For Kassidy and Marion, thank you so much for making me write again after such a long time of writer's block
In another reality
In life there are many possibilities. Every action, every step that is taken by us will cause a complimentary one into a different direction. Of course, the consequence is, that it leaves us with an infinite chance for these directions to expand to, an infinite combination of alternate realities to develop. And everything we do or don't, only brings forth more possibilites to add.
This is merely one of them.
„Ice King still loose, who will be his next
„Even two weeks after the last murder which could be contributed to the series of killings done by the Ice King, the police are still looking for this serial killer. There is no evidence to predict where he will strike next or who his next victim will be. There are even speculations about whether his cycle of killings has ended and he already has moved on to another city.
Despite the recent very tragic circumstances in this case, Police Captain Harold Dobey said yesterday, that they are doing everything possible to find the man real soon and that he has some of his best detectives working on the case. He promised they would not rest until the killer has been caught; he personally would see to it, that this madman would be standing trial and be sentenced for his crimes.“
When Detective David Starsky walked into the Bay City police station this morning,
he had no idea how the day would end. All that he knew from the looks on his
brother cops faces was, that they didn't expect him to be there in the first
place, most definitely not on this particular morning.
Deep inside he knew them to be right. Defiantly he raised his eyes to meet their still mostly sympathetic gazes, especially the one of his partner, practically daring them to send him home or tell him to finally leave the case to somebody else. Of course none of them said anything, quickly averting their eyes and did their best in pretending everything to be like usual.
These days, Starsky knew that better than any one of them and still he wouldn't dare to think of accepting their silent offer to take the case from him. With all that had happened, nobody would have minded taking over from him. He knew they wouldn't voice it openly though and he'd never take it anyways. Not now.
Now that it had become a sad truth he no longer could ignore, Starsky knew exactly what the case had cost him and that it had changed his whole life more than anything else ever could have. The one thing he didn't know was, that the end of this day would bring another more profound change into his life, one that he wouldn't have thought of coming so soon.
The case he currently was working on had been a difficult one from the very beginning. It started with what had been several random murders in Bay City over the last few months and they were no closer to finding the killer now than they had been at the beginning. Starsky had been the one to take over the case after the first three bodies had been discovered and also been the one to recently give them their first small breakthrough in this string of seemingly senseless and unconnected murders.
It had been him who figured out that it must be the work of a serial killer.
Even with that knowledge it still left the police with no real piece of evidence leading them any closer towards the identity of the murderer, where he would strike next or why he was doing these killings in the first place. Not to mention his captain had shortly afterwards basically ripped not just him but the whole department a new one for not being able to find out anything that would stop the, in his words „madman who slaughtered innocents on his streets“.
The only things they did know for sure, was that there were no real identifying clues that lay with the victims. The killer apparently made no exception between men and women, no real pattern either in the times of his killings or intervals when he would be expected to strike next. There was no visible or recognizable motive for these murders at all. They had nothing to at least attempt creating a profile of the killer, he himself had left them with nothing that could bring them on his trail.
Still, even with what limited information they had, after a lot of digging
Starsky had actually been able to identify and follow a trail of murders
that went over at least three different states and in varying intervals back
through at least ten years, the series of killings apparently starting somewhere
in Minnesota with the death of a teenage boy in a summer camp fifteen years
ago and pin all of these deaths directly onto their serial.
What Starsky didn't know was what had caused the killer to go serial after his first murder of that boy and how his other murders could be linked together from that point on.
Word on the street was that the 'new guy' in town was truly a cold blooded
man, literally must be having ice running through his veins. Someone who had
killed numerous times over such a long period of time and never gotten caught
simply must be a coldhearted bastard.
That, and the fact that the murders had started in Minnesota had made Starsky unconsciously dub the man „Ice King“ in his mind; a name that was then adopted by the press in their reporting about the case after on a press conference where he'd lain down their theory of the killings, Starsky had accidentally let that moniker slip. A few days after this new name had appeared in every newspaper article on the murders, complete with a picture of Starsky, several of Starsky's snitches had told him, that while they still had no news on his wherabouts, they'd heard the killer himself had taken on the nickname, he apparently must have liked it and was not only very dangerous but the rumors about this first discovery of all his kills also put him at becoming extremely unpredictable. Nothing Starsky hadn't known already.
His search had revealed, that for some reason the man always did several killings
in the one city before moving on to the next. And the only pattern, if you could
call it a pattern that was, was the fact that the last victim of a cycle always
was a white male, and Starsky noted that the final victim in every case also
was also a brunet. When looking at the pictures of these particular victims
placed next to each other, one could even see a slight resemblance between them.
The victims the Ice King killed before that last kill differed in gender and both hair and skin color. The shot wounds told them that the kills always were either done from a distance or from a closer range, each string of murders stayed true to one of these methods and then changed with the next cycle.
The coldness of the killer remained always the same though. One report from Nevada said that he had once killed a man right in front of his small son with a single distance shot between the eyes. The boy must have stood directly next to his father when it had happened for when the police later had found the boy, he stood in a catatonic state over his fathers body with the dead man's blood splattered on his face.
Now the killer had apparently chosen Bay City for his next bloody cycle of
murders. Already had there been three long distance killings in Bay City for
which the Ice King could be held responsible and the police weren't able to
tell how many more would follow before the man left town once more for fresher
But there was one thing Starsky had sworn to himself. He would bring the killer down, the trail of blood following the serial wherever he went all over the country would end here. And now he had all too good reasons for it.
A week after that fateful press conference, during which Starsky had inadvertedly named the killer and that way given him a platform where his whole work could be admired and made public in the right context for the first time since the killings had started, it seemed as if the other man had changed his usual methods. The Ice King had stepped out of the shadows and given Starsky a, in his words, small token of his appreciation, to show him his gratitude for naming him.
That had been the point where the whole case had begun to become very personal for Starsky and he was damned if he'd let the bastard escape this time.
On that same evening the news reports had mentioned another murder. The victim had been the owner of a bar called „The Pits“ downtown and had been killed with a single shot in the head while he'd been closing down for the night. Contrary to the other three before, this time the killer had been looking his victim directly in the eye, the shot had been fired at blank range.
The man who had become victim #4 had been a very close friend of Starsky. All he saw when he'd arrived there was that it was a scene like it had been with the other three, with one exception. This time the killer also had left something at the scene for them, a note from the Ice King that asked Starsky how he'd liked his little gift he had chosen especially for him. Starsky's first enraged reaction was to crumple the piece of paper and throw it to the wall with a strangled cry before he even realized his childhood friend was dead.
After that murder the newspapers were full of speculations and, even with this new development, the police no closer to finding out who the Ice King was or where he'd be hiding.
Then for another week there was nothing.
The first thing that caught his eye when Starsky reached his desk and tiredly
fell down in his chair was a picture of his fiancée Terry. He picked
up the frame and gently traced the outline of her face. Her curly dark hair
which fell down to her shoulders, her sparkling eyes and impish smile were beaming
at him from underneath the glass and sent a painful stab right into his heart.
God, how much he loved her.
Starsky remembered clearly the day he had taken that particular picture. It had been at one of their romantic picnics in the park, something Starsky tried to do as often as he could when they had the time and hadn't been that much different from all the others they'd had before. Still this one had been different and the most perfect one so far in his opinion.
It had been the day he had asked her to marry him, had in fact been one of the happiest in his whole life. And he still couldn't believe how lucky he had been. In the past he usually had laughed at the way his friends and even his partner went on about that mysterious thing called „love at first sight“ or that other thing his partner got very excited about when he told him about one day finding his „soulmate“. Starsky had always dismissed it as humbug, overly sappy inventions of romance novel writers and lonely women. Until the day he'd met Terry.
He never had felt more complete than when he was with her, the moment
their eyes had met, he had known that she'd be the one and now his soul cried
out for its missing piece. Starsky suppressed another painful sob as he kissed
his fingertips before touching the lips on her face, this way gently placing
a kiss on the image of her, wishing it could be her he'd kissed that
Then he took a deep breath, pushing the memory deep into the back of his mind and slowly pulled the file of the latest victim of the Ice King towards him. He knew what he would see there, the same he'd seen in all the other files that were the silent testament of the serial killers bloody handywork. Knew intimately what he'd have to expect in terms of the crime scene photos, coroner's report and the other details forensics had noted. And yet he hesitated in opening it, fearing what he'd be forced to see again there.
The Ice Kings last victim, his latest gift for Starsky, had been Terry, his beautiful innocent Terry, shot down in the middle of the street just as she was coming out of a grocery store.
He hadn't been there with her when it had happened, only arrived at the scene when nothing more could be done. One of the paramedics had said she'd been instantly dead and that she probably hadn't felt a thing, but Starsky had known differently; had known that last part to be just the empty phrase he himself had used frequently for giving the victims' families some peace of mind.
Like most of the other killings, this one had been done by a single shot in
the head, forensics had suspected at the scene and later confirmed it had been
fired with the weapon directly held to her forehead. Just like it had been with
Huggy the week before.
Even after the paramedics had left and the police had went on to search for evidence, after Terry's body had been moved away, Starsky had continued to stand there at the same spot, still in shock and had desperately wanted to listen to the tiny voice in the back of his head telling him, all he had to do was wake up and she'd by lying next to him in bed, alive.
Slowly a tall blond man who he'd seen recently working in the grocery store
and had talked a few times with in passing had walked towards him. The nametag
on his shirt had said „Ken“. The man had told Starsky that he had
watched everything, had seen her get shot and then had told him that before
the paramedics arrived, she'd still been alive.
Still in shock, all Starsky had done then was blankly look at the man, not understanding or even listening to a single word he'd said. Noticing the effect his words probably had had on the other, the blond then twisted his mouth into a sympathetic smile and had tried to correct this rather tactless mishap; done his best to console the grieving man by telling him, that he had tried to help her but that it had been too late. He told Starsky also, that her last words had been that she'd loved him so much and truly regretted that she couldn't be his bride. Then she had died.
Starsky had broken down then.
The murder of his beloved Terry had been two weeks ago.
Now, Starsky wanted the man caught even more, sworn himself to take him down even if it would be the last thing he'd do in this living hell his life had become. He couldn't stand it anymore to just sit there, staring blankly at the walls in their empty appartment, waiting for her to come home from the store and still wished dearly for being able to wake up from this nightmare. He wished for her to be alive, tried so hard to push away the harshness of reality and find refuge in this wishful thought.
He simply couldn't stand it any longer, this doing nothing while with every
passing day his heart slowly died a bit more, withered away inside his chest
from all the pain and loneliness, more pain than he'd ever believed he'd feel
in his life or being forced to feel.
His partner had been there for him through this hard time, tried his best to help him and told him that it would get better one day, he just had to pull through this.
But all his best efforts weren't doing Starsky any good, it simply couldn't be made easier for the mourning man.
Then one morning Starsky realized something important, that it wasn't the time for him to fully grieve for her yet; he knew he'd have the rest of his life for doing so but only one chance at nailing the killer and that chance was now. And all hell would break loose if anybody dared telling him differently.
During these past two weeks there had been no reports of new victims that could
be connected to the Ice King and Starsky suspected that he must have been waiting
for something, maybe it even had to do with his own private hell where he'd
spent the last two weeks in. There had to be a connection, he just knew it,
knew that the killer hadn't left Bay City yet. If he wanted to catch the bastard,
he had to go hunting for him. And for that he had to be back on the streets.
So he decided he had to return to work.
This morning when his captain had opened the door of his office to take his
usual look over his officers, the man had opened his mouth to say something
when he noticed Starsky sitting on his desk, visibly stunned at seeing that.
Then he had taken one closer look at him and shut it again, mumbling something
like it didn't matter what he said, Starsky would disobey the order anyway,
so hopefully he informed at least his partner about what he did and refrained
from doing anything stupid. Also the last words Starsky deciphered might have
been that he should find the killer and get him off the streets.
None of the other cops in the room had said anthing other than they hoped Starsky got the bastard and if he didn't make it to trial that truly wouldn't be a big loss.
Still, even with all the files on the past murders and this recent change in the killer's way of working, Starsky had no real piece of evidence to point him into the right direction of the murderer other than the long list of victims and the sad truth that by default he somehow had become a part of that list through both Huggy and Terry.
It must have been around noon, when he simply couldn't stand looking over the files anymore, especially all those pictures of the victims with the neat holes in their heads that he'd forced himself to watch. He hadn't been able to find a single clue that would have explained to him this strange new behavior of the Ice King or why he suddenly had changed his way of working that he'd successfully kept for so many years. Starsky knew that it had to be somewhere in the files, he just had to look harder and then he would find the last puzzlepiece that gave him a clue as to why the killer had latched onto him with his last murders.
Starsky knew he had to get out of there and stood up so apruptly that his partner winced on the other side of the desk when his chair scraped loudly over the floor. His partner looked at him, clearly startled by the unexpected noise but one glance towards the other man made him relax. He knew that his captain had practically ordered him to not let Starsky out of his sight but he also saw that the man needed to be alone right now. So in trying to distract him a bit, his partner asked him to bring him something to eat for his own lunchbreak when he came back from the cafeteria, sure that everything would be okay once he'd be back and that he wouldn't do something stupid in the meantime. Starsky smiled gratefully at his partner and told him he'd be back in an hour.
Maybe it would work in clearing his mind, or so he hoped, but it would most definitely give him at least a chance to get away from the glances that the others still kept sending towards him occasionally, the worst being that knowing sad look from his partner several times during the morning when he had thought Starsky wouldn't notice. Probably wondering when it would be that he cracked, Starsky thought grimly to himself.
He didn't care where he was walking to and his inner auto pilot took that decision
from him. He just kept walking, put one foot in front of the other. When Starsky
finally looked up he then noticed his destination, sighing sadly when the last
few steps took him directly to their park.
For him it still was their park, the one he had often gone to with his beloved Terry. She had loved this particular park, loved it to watch the children play there and together they had often imagined how one of them might even be theirs in the future and whom of them their daughter or son would resemble more. As he sat down on the grass, Starsky smiled sadly at the memory. She would've been a good mother one day, of that he was sure but ultimately it wasn't meant to be.
They would never find out whether their children would inherit her beautiful smile or his, in her words, „boyish grin“, his darker curly hair or the lighter curls of hers that he used to play with whenever they'd sat on the couch, or whether they would have more their mother's eyes or his own. It stabbed him deeply in his heart when he thought of the child they would never have and not caring who might see him, he felt the tears slide down his cheeks. He would never find somebody who would replace his Terry, no one would come close to her, of that he was sure. She had been his other half, they had fit so beautifully together in every way.
Inside he felt another pang of hurt, when he remembered another thing they
both had had in common, the curly hair; hers had fallen down her shoulders and
whenever he'd touched it, it had felt so soft underneath his fingertips.
Suddenly, Starsky felt once more empty and barren inside when he remembered all that. Before he had been angry for all the things he'd lost with her death, angry for the things they would never be able to experience, angry for all that had been taken from them with one single bullet. Now the first and foremost emotion he was capable of feeling in this moment was only the emptiness inside his heart. Without reason, he shivered slightly and hugged himself. The now cold place where her love had once warmed his heart seemed to grow, expand to wrap his whole being in its icy shroud.
Starsky mentally shoved this unsettling feeling back sharply and filled the space with the anger he needed to make it through those days, the desire to get her killer and make him pay for all he'd taken from them. He forced himself to remember his silent promise to grieve later, after the murderer had been dealt with.
Then from one second to the other, he felt a tiny shock as he remembered one small detail from the pictures of the victims in the files that they had overlooked. It struck him like he'd been hit by lightening. It had been there all the time. How could he be so blind to not see it?
The final victim of the kills always had not only been a brunet man, but he'd always had short curly hair; the other victims before that last kill had stood in more or less close relation to them.
Forgetting about everything else, Starsky suddenly was very excited and jumped
up to his feet. He felt a whole lot lighter than he had felt earlier this morning.
He ran his hands over his face, wiping away the remaining tears.
Maybe this was their missing piece that they had been looking for all the time, the one piece connecting all of their victims, the one piece that in the end would lead him to their killer. This could be the break they'd so dearly needed and had been looking for. Starsky would be able to nail the killer, get him before more innocent people had to die. He might not be any closer to finding out why the Ice King commited his crimes, but Starsky was dead sure that if he looked over the old cases again with this new insight, he could predict where the killer would strike next, knew he now was just one step away from catching him.
And by getting Terry's murderer like he'd sworn over her grave, maybe then he would be able to find peace again.
Like so often in life, the smallest things which are easily overlooked are
the ones to bring the largest, not seldom gravest changes with them.
The consequences of that oversight will hit you when you expect them the least, sometimes when you are ill prepared to face them.
It had been as if a huge weight had been lifted from him. With a much lighter
step on his way back to the station, Starsky kept looking for a phone booth
to call his partner ahead. He wanted to let him know what he'd discovered so
that when he'd returned, his partner might have already found something with
this new information he now had on the case.
Since he hadn't taken any notice of which way he'd come to the park and on previous visits there in happier times had never cared much for to know, he had no idea whether there were phones nearby or on the way. He cursed himself a bit for that and most importantly for not taking his car. He could have easily radioed in that information and been much faster back if he'd had.
Once again he didn't notice much of his surroundings this way either, deep in thought and simply trying to find either the fastest way to the station or at least a damn phone. Trying to sort through the information he had in his mind about the case he had tuned out everything and everyone else who might be on the streets so that he was pretty startled when he heard somebody calling him.
Starsky spun around into the direction of the noise. It came from a nearby alley where he spotted a lone figure, tall and with short blond hair. The man called him again and, as Starsky slowly came closer to the man, he noticed that the man didn't look like he lived on the streets like he'd initially suspected, if his clean clothes and crisp haircut were anything to go by. Finally his memory identified him as the man from the grocery strore, where Terry had been killed.
„Hello Detective Starsky, do you remember me?“ the blond asked him friendly. At Starsky's blank stare he added „Ken Hutchinson from the grocery store. We've met two weeks ago when....“
„Yeah, I remember“, Starsky interrupted him brusquely, maybe a bit harsher than he'd intended to; not really recognizing the man but not wanting to be reminded more of that fateful day either. It was painful enough already and now he had more pressing matters at hand. The chance of catching that bastard was within his reach and he would be damned if he'd let that pass.
„How are you feeling, Detective?“ The blond wanted to know, his sympathetic expression firmly planted on his face. „I saw you the other day and wanted to talk to you, but you probably didn't see me, I guess, since you didn't stop and just walked by me. I wanted to tell you that it was such a tragedy what happened with your girlfriend, hopefully you will find the bastard who did this.“
„Oh, I will definitely catch that son of a bitch“, Starsky half muttered, half growled; more to himself than in answer to the other man's words. Loud, he added that he was doing as good as the circumstances allowed him to and that he thought he'd be able to find the killer soon.
„I sure hope you do. You two must have been such a lovely couple, it is such a shame that she had to die so shortly before your wedding“, Ken continued in a strangely chipper way, blatantly ignoring Starsky's unspoken plea of letting the matter drop.
At first, Ken had only made him nervous with his whole admittedly pretty strange demeanor but now Starsky felt a bit uncomfortable with where he feared this conversation was leading. The pain of losing Terry, even with all his previous tries of burying that hurt so deep inside and not acknowledge it until the case was done, was too much for him for the moment. Not with the hurt being so close to the surface because of the emotional coaster he'd been rolling on over the last hour he'd spent in the park.
Also Ken had not only somehow closed the distance between them but was now
standing very close to him. Starsky had always been a man who didn't shy away
from physical contact with other people but this was different. The strange
phonecalls he'd gotten over the past week also had taken their toll on him.
Starsky tried to shake off this disturbing feeling that started to spread out inside him ever since Ken had called out to him. He even berated himself for being overly paranoid since the guy only tried to be friendly, wanted to know how he was doing and himself hadn't dealt with the fact that he'd been the one to be there with Terry and probably this been the first time he'd seen somebody die.
That, Starsky could relate to in a certain way; still that man hadn't even
known Terry and talked about her like he'd been best friends not only
with her but with both of them. It made the hair on the back of his
head stand up but the desire for revenge overruled all his other rational thoughts
right now. Instead, Starsky stepped back a bit and wanted to get away from the
other man, didn't want to listen to him anymore. He also needed to get back
as fast as possible, to follow his newfound trail that would lead him directly
to the serial, or so he hoped.
He managed a noncomittal „Yeah, I hope so, too. I will find him and I'm pretty sure I have good chances to do so.“
„I wish you luck, Detective. And if there's anything I might be able to help you, please call me.“ The blond still smiled, a harmless friendly smile. He also seemed to notice that his close proximity to Starsky had made the other nervous, so he noticably made a few steps backwards. „You deserve to find closure of any kind.“
At this last comment, Starsky's head shot up and looked at Ken suspicously,
but the other man simply returned his measuring glance with another harmless
smile, the blue eyes readiated an aura of innocence even though they had a bit
of a glazed look to them.
Again this strange feeling he'd began to feel earlier when meeting Ken threatened to bubble forth and he did his best to shake it off.
Starsky hastily told Ken that he didn't have the time to talk to him right now and that had to go, noticing that the other man's expression changed slightly at being dismissed in this way.
Ken obviously hadn't expected a reaction like that, if his face was anything to go by and the same moment Starsky, starting to feel despite everything a bit guilty, tried to soften this dismissal with more tame words. But the other man beat him to it, wished him distractedly goodbye and just left.
Stunned at this rather sudden change, Starsky watched the other man leave, not quite noticing that with every step Ken moved away from him, he felt himself become calmer. Even though he hadn't wanted to, he began to feel better with the man gone. He took a few more calming breaths to center himself.
Years of experience on his job as an officer of the law had taught him to be careful in every situation and that something about this one was very wrong, but another little voice told him, that the man had only tried to be helpful, just had tried to overcome his own somehow related trauma by wanting to do something. And he knew exactly how that felt.
Starsky fought that unpleasant feeling down, and with it the chorus of his instincts' voices in the back of his head which continued to taunt him with their knowledge that something would happen and by not letting him find out what it was. Making sure the other man was truly gone, Starsky shrugged and then continued his way through the alley, knowing that there must be a phone booth somwhere at the other end.
Really not trying to think about the strangeness of the short conversation
he'd just had with Ken, Starsky made it halfways through the alley when his
cop instincts once more raised the hackles on his neck. He spun around to face
whomever would be there - but the alley was empty.
Almost everything was hidden in the varying degrees of shadows that fell from the higher buildings which rose up on every side. The darkness clinging to the walls made it a bit harder for him to see if anybody actually was there hiding within. Still he couldn't see anybody.
Berating himself for becoming paranoid now for no reason, he still called out
to ask whether there was somebody waiting in shadows. Of course there was no
answer. He seemingly was alone, still the unnerving feeling didn't
go away and he began to walk a bit faster to get out of there as fast as possible.
An irrational panic overcame him, it was as if somebody was watching him. He could feel the eyes of an invisible watcher trained on his back.
Probably just a drunk he'd woken up with his shouts just before, he thought trying to calm himself, but yet he could not see a soul. Looking over his shoulder he made sure that the blond man who despite Starsky's best efforts still had managed to creep him out a bit, stayed gone. When he looked up again, he realized that with the whole situation and the emotional turmoil he was in, he'd mistaken this alley for another, this was one with a dead end. Cursing, Starsky started to make his way back but what he saw then stopped him dead in his tracks.
At the entrance of the alleyway, fifty meters opposite of him stood a man. His blond hair gleamed in the sunlight which had somehow managed to find him but at the same time had turned the alley into a pool of dark shadows.
It was Ken.
He slowly made his way towards Starsky, looking around and in a conversational tone told him casually that he might have some interesting news on the Ice King for him, news he sure wanted to hear. This casual mentioning of the serial killer now forced Starsky to take a closer look at him, took in the relaxed posture, one hand not quite behind his back, the slightly cocked head but more importantly how he seemed to have changed in the barely five minutes he'd seemingly been gone.
All his instincts were screaming now for Starsky to get the hell out of there, that it wasn't safe for him to remain but he couldn't. Still his desire for revenge overwhelmed all his usual common sense and he wanted to find out what the man knew about this killer. No matter how much this sudden reappearance of Ken disturbed him. The blond man simply stood there, effectively blocking this way the only way out for Starsky, who found himself surrounded by large walls on the other three sides.
Belatedly he remembered that he was a police officer and inwardly cursed himself for his own stupidity. Before, it hadn't even occured to him to reach for his own gun, act in this situation like the seasoned police officer he was and not like a scared little girl in the dark alley or the revenge hungry grieving man; now he had to realize bitterly that it wouldn't have made a difference anyways. With the warm summer day and his intention having been to only go for a walk to clear his head, he had left the gun in his locker in the police department. A stupid rookie mistake, one he feared he'd be paying dearly for now.
„Look, I really need to go, my partner knows where I am and he's probably started looking for me already...“, Starsky tried to talk to the man, buy himself some time to find a way out, but he was cut off.
„Now, is that a way treating somebody who could give you important information, who could help you?“ Starsky noticed the change in the other's voice. He still sounded friendly, but there was a hint of anger creeping into the voice now. With a sudden move, Ken pulled out the hand from behind his back and revealed the gun, he'd had hidden there, pointing it towards a now truly trapped Starsky. The intense glare of his blue eyes bore directly into him. „Is this your way of showing some gratitude?“
The way the situation had so dramatically gone sour frightened Starsky more than just a bit. He never took his eyes off the other man while desperately trying to find a way out. There was obviously more to Ken than he had suspected, more than he could have suspected from the friendly looking man. Something sinister emanated from the blond man that started to truly scare Starsky now. Looking at the other man, Ken sighed heavily.
„It was such a waste for a pretty lady like her to die like that“, the blond man continued instead, slowly advancing towards Starsky, one step after another while Starsky himself seemed frozen to where he stood by the look in Ken's eyes. „So much beauty uselessly lost, another priceless gift gone, unappreciated.“
The gun in front of his face had never left his focus but that was too much for Starsky who managed to finally shake off his paralysis and tried to get away. Of course the blond man couldn't allow that and told him so.
„Tut, tut, Detective, you know I can't let you leave now, not when we've just started to have such a nice talk. We're just getting to know each other better for the first time and you want to run away from me.“ Ken scolded him, still keeping the gun trained into the direction of the other's head. „What do you think how that makes me feel? But I'll let that slide, since I know you're not yourself right now, you are grieving. I can help you, you know? I know who you are looking for“, the last comment stopped Starsky instantly.
„What do you know about the murders?“ Starsky but demanded from the other man, forgetting for a second the gun that was pointed directly towards in his face and that his back was to the wall. Gun or no gun, he had to find out what the man knew about Terry's and all the other murders. „If you know something, you have to tell me and we'll forget about this.“
„I know exactly who you are looking for“, Ken told him smiling broadly. „But I'm afraid I cannot allow you to find him now. It all could have gone differently, you know?“
Was the smile on his face before harmless and friendly looking, it now fell and turned colder. Realizing the truth for himself, Ken also became more agitated and started gesturing wildly with the gun. All Starsky could do was wait, more or less paralyzed by fear, reduced to simply watching how it all played out and hoping for a way to disarm the raving man before the gun went off accidentally.
„It didn't have to come this far, you know? All this has been your own fault. You're responsible for everything that happened.“ Ken drove himself with every word deeper into his rantings, apparently lost in his memories of other times. „I've tried so hard to please you, did all those things only for you and every time you've rejected me, again and again! Every single time! Why did you have to be such an ungrateful bastard, why couldn't you just appreciate what I've done for you, all the gifts I've chosen especially for you? I've never asked for much from you and did everything for you. Why couldn't you just like me?“
Shocked by all this, Starsky took a more closer look at the other man who now stood almost in front of him, the gun nearly on his forehead. He began to fully comprehend what Ken was really saying and when the in this light rather mad blue eyes turned blank, he realized something very important.
At first Starsky hadn't recognized the man for who he truly was, but the moment he did, it was too late.
A single shot rang out in the silence of the alley, echoing loudly from the walls. The tall blond man watched impassively as his target slid slowly down the wall, leaving behind a bloody smear where the back of his head touched the grey stone. Starsky had a shocked and somewhat surprised look on his face, his dead eyes staring blankly ahead, directly towards his killer.
Ken tucked away the gun, then squat down so he was on eye level with the dead man, gently reaching out to touch the slowly cooling cheekm for a last time. Then he stood up again.
The blond smiled a cold smile, curling around the corners of his lips and he allowed himself one last look onto the dead man slumped on the floor as he sauntered by him.
„It could all have gone differently, you know“, he said, the same icy smily still on his lips and ice in his blue eyes. „In another reality, we might have become friends.“