Alone (Starsky & Hutch story)

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Fanfiction
Title: Alone
Author(s): Daydreamer
Date(s): March 23, 2003
Length: 424K
Genre: gen, though see author's notes
Fandom: Starsky and Hutch
External Links: Alone online/WebCite & via The Wayback Machine

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Alone is a Starsky and Hutch story, a classic Hutch Whumper, by Daydreamer.

In it, Hutch is kidnapped and locked in a room by himself for 795 days. The story explores his eventual breakdown, his rescue by Starsky, and his rehabilitation. "Alone" features several OCs, one of which, Betsy Ferguson, has been voted a fan favorite.

"Alone" was the winner of numerous Torino Awards in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007.

Author's Summary

From the author's summary:
This story is being posted as gen. There is no m/m sex in it. It does, however, have slashy overtones. Or so I've been told. Actually, my gen readers were okay with it, but thought there was one scene that was iffy, and my slash readers didn't think there was enough contact. Go figure. If reading about two men offering physical comfort to one another offends you -- do not read this. Or at the very least, do not read it and then feel you need to write me and tell me I mislead you. Consider yourself warned. This may not be everyone's cuppa. But if you like a long, angsty tale, with lots of hurt, lots of comfort, lots of love and affection and devotion and companionship, this may be just what you're looking for. [1]

Excerpt

But he could wait. He knew that right now, somewhere out there, his partner was looking for him and he would find him. He'd track down whoever had done this and then he'd walk through that door, those dark curls all wild, his eyes blazing, and he'd grin a goofy grin and say, "Hiya, Hutch. Ya ready to go?" And then he would say, "What took you so long, dummy?" and Starsky would laugh and he would laugh and Starsky would probably even have a sweater or a coat or something he could put on, and then he would be really warm. Hutch smiled again as he began to drift back off to sleep. It was gonna be great. Just as soon as Starsky got here ...When he woke up, there was no oatmeal, no water, and the mattress was gone. He began to cry.

Reactions and Reviews

2003

I'd like to recommend Daydreamer's 'Alone'. Very traumatic, dark, yet with the traditional S&H window of light at the end. Good use of time stamping and realistic in the portrayal of how being alone for a prolonged period affects someone physically, emotionally, and mentally. And to top it off, there's a neat recipe included! [2]

2004

How long can a man hold out hope? How long can he survive alone, cut off from reality? How long can he suffer? Those are all questions one must ask in this story. Hutch is taken away, kidnapped, and put in isolation. Starsky searches, relentlessly hanging onto any lead he can find. But as the days stretch into months and the months stretch into years, how much hope is left? And as the time passes, Hutch's only companion is the visions he creates for himself. Even the pain is welcome because it reminds him he's still real.

And when he's found, when Starsky finally gets the lead that brings Hutch home, that's only the beginning of their journey. Hutch left as a whole man, a strong partner, and he came back broken, a ghost of himself, cut off from what is real. The scenes that are created in this story are heart-breaking. The scene that will always stay with me is Hutch, on the bathroom floor, counting the tiles.

He needed something familiar.

He needed something to do.

He needed his routine.

Hutch turned his attention to the floor and all the little tiles and began to count.

This story defies labels because at the heart of it is one truth. It's about two men trying to regain what was lost, both physically and mentally.[3]

With all of this talk about a weepy Hutch, needles, and hurt/comfort--I just have to jump in here and comment on a story I just finished reading with loads of hurt/comfort for both Starsky & Hutch. The story in "Alone" written by Daydreamer. I won't go into the details of the story, but there physical hurt for one of the characters, but both feel emotional angst and each comforts the other. The story is very interesting, and you are kept wondering who the bad guy is pretty much to the end. The emotions aren't "soapy" as Starsky would put it, but these emotions are gut-felt by the characters and, in my opinion are vital to the story and not overly done. Some may think the physical hurt part goes on too long, but I think it fits with the aftermath part of the story.

A good story is you want a dose of hurt/comfort!! [4]

2005

Rule 4. No cowering in corners or other behavior of the regressive kind.

RC: Now, some authors have pulled these sorts of actions off magnificently, without the least hint of OOCness.

EH: I know I'm never going to recover from having my heart ripped out and stomped on by Daydreamer's "Alone."

RC: However, as we weren't going to lock our poor macho man in a closet for two years, we couldn't justify such a radical departure from normal behavior.[5]

2008

Daydreamer's "Alone" is my all-time favorite piece of fan fiction, in any fandom, any category. I adore LTR (long term relationship) stories (gen or sl), and this is the King.[6]

2009

Okay, so this is my offering for Dark Themes Week that I think everyone can enjoy even if not a fan of dark stories in general. Why? Because although the story deals with torture (hence: dark, at least to me) it’s actually a very hopeful story and a majority of time is devoted to the recovery process (and the comfort part of hurt/comfort). Daydreamer treats the subject of Hutch’s experience very realistically (as far as I can tell): the torture is primarily psychological in the form of long-term isolation and confinement and you can literally watch Hutch’s deterioration bit by bit. The physical manifestations are also dealt with very bluntly and believably: there are serious physical repercussions but thankfully Daydreamer doesn’t go over-the-top to the point of ridiculousness as too often torture fics tend to do. As I mentioned, the majority of the story is actually spent on the recovery and it’s frankly wonderful to read the flipside of Hutch’s slow deterioration as he steadily builds himself back up. The process is gradual and there are setbacks, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I think that makes it all the more believable. You wouldn’t expect a person to bounce back immediately from something so traumatic – and Hutch definitely does not bounce back right away – but he does recover. All in all, Alone is one of the best and definitely the least sensationalized torture fics I’ve ever read. Painful and hopeful all in one package.[7]

2010

It's been a really long time since I read Alone, but it is always gripping--don't have time to do more than skim today. This is a powerful story with Hutch having to adjust and adjust again to his incredible loneliness and solitude. It's the ultimate nightmare, stuck alone in a white room for what seems like the rest of his life. There's such a sadness, such grief--and not only from imprisoned Hutch, but Starsky, too. Really good writing. I had to laugh just now, going over the first couple pages--a teeny blooper, which in no way detracts from the overall goodness of the story--the date Hutch gets kidnapped is Jan 12, yet when Starsky goes hunting for him, it's just getting dark at 8:30 at night due to daylight savings time. Except in the winter, it's be dark at about five thirty or six! [8]
My favorite part was about a month in to just a little after Hutch was found. I think the unwilling descent into madness on Hutch's part, and the unwilling slide into normality on Starsky's part were amazingly portrayed. Every described day of Hutch's life was a self-contained heart-breaking vignette; every day of Starsky's was just as heart-breaking and read like someone in mourning shock. It really is the worst when you Don't Know what happened. Luckily, Starsky did not 'accept' and move on.

Peter Ferguson was a fun OC and it was a bittersweet juxtaposition to watch him grow as a detective and his family develop, which at the same time marked the passage of time for Hutch being gone. Reading about him made me wish that S&H had taken him under tutelage earlier so I could watch them show him the ropes together. Although, as Ferguson says, it's really being with Starsky alone that teaches him best what partners is about.

My only major complaint was the tendency to sort all the characters into Saints or Demons -- the unfailingly good and the unfailingly evil. But then, I suppose the story had a somewhat fairytale-esque feel to it to begin with.

A very ambitious and difficult tale. Impressive! [9]
This is, as I've said before, one of my absolute favorite stories in this fandom. It hits my h/c buttons, of which I do not have too many, all there, all the time. It's a wonderfully written story, tight, not flowery, with scenes guaranteed to leave me in awe and in tears.

Hutch in the hospital bathroom counting tiles, Hutch in the F's bathroom doing the same with the little one asking him if he's okay.

The list could go on and on and on. It's a beautiful story of the lengths one man will go to to find the one he loves, and the lengths another man will go to just to stay alive for the one HE loves.

Well written, well plotted, it's just an absolutely beautiful, breathtaking story, and whenever I'm in the mood for straight out hurt/comfort, this is the one I always find myself reaching for.

A definite MUST READ for me.[10]
I'll say, right off the bat, that I did not read the entire story. I know a lot of folks really like it, and what I could read of it was well-written, but for me, what happens to Hutch basically constitutes long, excruciatingly drawn-out torture, and is not the kind of fic I want to read. (I'm sorry, Sue, maybe I shouldn't say anything since I didn't finish, but I did try. Feel free to delete [this comment] if you wish.) [11]
I hadn't read this in a while - mostly by choice. :) What I used to remember from this was the "oo seepin'?" question from DK to Hutch, lol.

I think I needed the distance from it to read it again and...I just am not sure how I feel about it! Maybe it's a little too melodramatic, but my gut gets all squeamish when I think about, 'what if this really happened'?

I think it wouldn't have taken two years for Hutch to go that far into madness. A strong man he might be, but he NEEDS human contact and I think he would have spiraled out sooner than the author had him.

I did like how Starsky found Hutch's photographs and recalled how he'd say, "Hey, I want a copy of that!" and because I love when fics circle around back to a previous scene, I think I would have had a bigger grin on the happy ending if, as those two settled against each other, someone had taken their picture, and BOTH of them raised up a finger and said, "Hey, I want a copy of that."

But other than a few POV bobbles for a paragraph at a time, it was written with good pacing and good characterizations; I could really feel what everyone else was feeling and that's important for me.[12]
I've read this story twice and I will read it again very soon I'm sure - like you Sue, it hits all my h/c buttons without blood being shed or bones being broken - I know its torture of a kind but its not the same as some of the torture stories I've read that turned me off torture - even tho this is bodily torture of a kind, 50% of it is a mental torture on not only Hutch but on his friends and family as well......

I love that Starsky never gave up and I love that Hutch just relied upon Starsky to take care of him even when he wasn't there.... I especially love the recovery part of the story, I just loved all of it.....but I have to admit that it really disturbs me too coz I always put myself in the position of the one being exposed to the most pain - in this case its even - I try to imagine how I would feel if a loved one disappeared and how I would feel locked up in a freaking room with NO ONE for 2 years - I would probably be a vegetable when found but thats just idle speculation since this is fiction (thank God - or any Deity of your choice) and I don't know any people who hate me enough to exact this kind of revenge ...LOL - but what a nightmare!!!

I read another mental torture kind of story - 280 by weumsel - and it was kind of similar in the mental anguish part.....I can read stories like that but brutality for the sake of brutality is what I can't handle....

sorry to go off-track but I didn't consider this to be the same kind of brutality like some stories I have read...

anyhow - thoroughly enjoyable read - and there is a kind of "happily ever after" aspect to it as well....which is always a good thing for me....LOL [13]
Well I have read this story four times now and I still love it. I am like you Sue it is one I go back too. When I read stories I think I read them differently then a lot of you, I try not to over analyze them too much because I realize that they are just that "fiction, stories". So I try to get into the world this author is painting. To me AC did a amazing job, because she made you feel and see and hurt right a long with Starsky, you just ache for him. And then with Hutch, like Starsky said being alone would be terrible for someone like Hutch who is always thinking and learning. I always thought that Hutch did survive because he was a thinker(I even like the masturbation marathon because I believe that would be a very real thing for a man (Maybe a women too)to do to fill pleasure etc...) He was able to practice his math and states and capitals, quotes etc... and his Starsky was always there. He was able to go into that beautiful mind and escape. The recovery was written so well. How Starsky was human and loses it and Hutch gets frustrated, but their love for each other always transcends, they both never wanted to be alone ever again. I just love this story. SO I will stop here and start counting tiles.[14]

2014

This was absolutely fantastic! It is so good, a bunch of us are having a discussion on it (Facebook friends that are fans of the show). Thank you for writing this.[15]

What an absolutely amazingly written story! I'm really impressed with the incredible patience and detail you put into writing the gradual recovery out step by step. Also, the way you describe Hutch's slow psychological deterioration while locked up, so that he still seems so perfectly in-character even when he's at the lowest and most un-Hutch-like point. The alone-ness was so tangible and felt so terrifyingly real and believable it really unsettled me and haunted me.

Also, I love the original characters of Pete and his family. It's a hard task to write original characters that play an important role but don't feel incongruous. Excellent job. The only thing that struck me as odd is that I don't see them as 40 in 1981 -- maybe mid-30s, but it's a pointless thing to quibble about since this story was posted quite a while ago ;)

Also, I uh, didn't see any slashy overtones at all in any of the scenes here? Felt much more like parent/child dynamics developing back into an equal footing. Actually, while I love reading slash stories, I think slashiness would have been unwelcome in this particular story because it's so completely unrelated to the focus.[16]
I'm blown away! These characters just popped off the pages. I could practically see and hear them. Some scenes were so intense, I actually had to walk away for a few minutes before I could continue reading. I'm not a fan of "slash" but this didn't really really seem slashy to me. Considering you have two friends/partners who are unusually close, then one ends up being tortured with sensory deprivation and the other endures tremendous survivor's guilt, the way they dealt with the situation seemed so very real.[17]
I have said it before and I will say it again here: if the show had had writers as good as this, it would still be on the air! This story is absolutely wonderful and every word rings true. I am in awe and cannot thank you enough for having written it. It goes to the very top of my list of stories to be re-read, many times, I'm sure. Thank You, Daydreamer! [18]
This is one of my favorite stories and I keep forgetting where it lives. So nice to see it safe and sound here where I can read it over and over. This is a really, really fine piece of work.[19]

2015

This was such a wonderful, complex story about the simple strength of love and frienship. I so love how Starky never gave up, never lost hope, and never lost Hutch. And, Hutch, never lost Starsky. And, when Starsky finally found Hutch - I so love that it was a "quiet" find, if that makes sense. It made the moment so much more powerful and I cried so very hard!

And, the tendey care that Starsky took with Hutch - always there for him - touching him, laying with him, talking with him, being there for him always and forever. A true show of the depths of their frienship love! Amazing.

I also love how you incorportaed Pete and his family into the story and how he always worked with Davey - but was never the partner. Without realizing it, Pete and his family became the rock Starsky needed to survive and keep looking for Hutch.

I have just started writing S&H FanFic, a Drabble and a few simple, short storied. I hope, to one day, be able to write a story such as this. Again, a great job! I look forward to reading more of your work! [20]

Undated

Long, unashamedly sentimental hurt/comfort piece (multiple award winner in the 2003 Torino Awards). Gen, though with much physical affection. The plot is as generic as they come (Hutch is captured and imprisoned, then found & nursed back to health by Starsky). What makes it special is the way that this story is not just about the love and support between Starsky and Hutch, but between a whole network of people including Dobey, Ma Starsky, and particularly Starsky's temporary partner Pete Ferguson. The story also has masterful control of tone and pace throughout. Rated R for language & psychological torture.[21]

References

  1. Introduction
  2. from a fan on The Pits (mailing list), quoted anonymously (March 30, 2003)
  3. a 2004 comment at Crack Van
  4. from a fan on The Pits (mailing list), quoted anonymously (March 23, 2004)
  5. from a list of their own fiction rules by Rebelcat and Elizabeth Helena in the preface to the story "Never Saying Sorry," story is here
  6. by gwena54 at Many Roads, posted May 22, 2008, accessed April 9, 20123
  7. from Epic Recs, posted March 19, 2009, accessed March 21, 2012
  8. by dawnebeth at SH Netfic; reference link, posted July 10, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  9. by kuonji14 at SH Netfic, posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  10. by dipslikeramon at SH Netfic, posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  11. by hardboiledbaby at SH Netfic, posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  12. by lauramcewan at SH Netfic, posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  13. by jazzybabe56 at SH Netfic, posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  14. by nancys soul at [1], posted July 11, 2010, accessed September 24, 2013
  15. Sandybeliever51: starskyhutcharchive.net, December 28, 2014
  16. tinderbox: starskyhutcharchive.net, December 10, 2014
  17. Spencer: starskyhutcharchive.net, November 21, 2014
  18. D P Patricks: starskyhutcharchive.net, October 12, 2014
  19. Ekokai: starskyhutcharchive.net, February 15, 2014
  20. acmabry: starskyhutcharchive.net, September 9, 2015
  21. from Fluffhouse, accessed April 9, 2013