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by Charlotte Frost
Another wave of her alcohol-rich breath drifted over him. Hutch looked
toward the ceiling as he thrust frantically from beneath her, trying to keep
his partial erection within her body. His own breath was full of booze, and
he knew that was the root of the problem he was having...never mind that he
was shying away from wondering what he was doing here in the first place.
Starsky seemed to be having no such qualms. His partner was humping
intently, eyes closed as he sought some pleasure within, his weight driving
both himself and the girl into Hutch. It's not that Starsky was directly on
top of them both, he was thrusting into her behind from a sideways angle,
but the force of his movement drove her at that same angle onto Hutch.
There had been too much booze, and as he stole a look at her- -Tammy, he
remembered her name was Tammy-- Hutch realized that she was passed out,
though she emitted an occasional groan from Starsky's attentions. Her lack
of participation made the experience for Hutch totally pointless -- both
physically and emotionally -- but the feel of his partner's thick organ
driving on the other side of the thin membrane of tissue within her body was
enough friction for Hutch to stay somewhat erect.
Starsky's hips were bucking harshly now, and he gripped her arms harder and
rested his cheek against her back. His eyes, when they opened part way,
faced some far-away wall, and seemed to distinctly avoid the two other
occupants in the bed.
Hutch closed his eyes as the thick flesh within her anal channel moved back
and forth more powerfully. And then Starsky emitted a deep-throated growl,
and then all was still, save his gasping for breath...at first harshly, and
then more airy. And then he went slack all over and planted a gentle kiss on
her shoulder, snuggling his cheek against her back.
"She's passed out," Hutch told him.
Starsky jolted upright, a guilty look on his face as he stared at Hutch with
an open mouth.
That look, in turn, made Hutch feel guilty, because this whole fiasco was
because of him.
Abruptly, Starsky was off the bed, holding a towel against his groin as he
trotted off to the bathroom.
The smell remaining in the air made it obvious that anal intercourse had
taken place. Hutch's own organ had slipped out, now that it didn't have the
action of Starsky' s to keep it stimulated. Hutch gently maneuvered himself
from beneath Tammy, then spent some time getting her beneath the covers. He
patted her hair when she groaned softly.
He straightened, his legs aching from the gymnastics, and looked over at
Cynthia. She was naked and passed out on the other bed, which was why a
giggling Tammy had invited both detectives to enjoy her own pleasures at the
same time. Only slightly less drunk than the girls-- and only because they
had more body weight to absorb the alcohol-- both men had indulged without
thought or discussion.
Hutch placed a cover over Cynthia, who was sound asleep. Then he pulled a
pillowcase from a pillow and wrapped it snuggly around his slick groin,
wiping away the moisture. His balls ached with the lack of release; but it
was, at the very least, what he deserved.
He found his briefs amongst all the scattered clothing and pulled them on.
As he continued to dress, he was aware of a deep sadness that could no
longer be held at bay. He had let this happen because the divorce was made
final today. He had let Starsky "cheer him up", mainly because he'd felt bad
for his partner having put up with his marital problems for so many months.
He'd thought enjoying the delights of a stranger would help him get back at
Van. But she was not here to observe, and would have probably only laughed
at his having had to turn to strangers to pleasure himself.
Dressed, save for his shoes, Hutch plopped down heavily in an easy chair. He
couldn't deny the hole inside him. It was a vacuum of deep loneliness. He'd
escaped the Hutchinson household and all the expectations that he was to be
something he was not--by marrying someone who was perfect and beautiful and
smart and vivacious, and who loved him. Except... not really. As it turned
out, Vanessa had had her own agenda for him, and that was something he could
not own up to, either.
Hutch rubbed at his face, trying to summon the energy to put on his shoes.
He heard the water go off in the bathroom, and realized his partner had been
His partner. Starsky. A person who was everything that Hutch was not, and
who did not pretend otherwise. And who did not ask Hutch to pretend, either.
Hutch sighed heavily and bent to put on his left shoe. Starsky was now the
most important person in his life, like it or not.
For God's sake, Hutchinson, he
scolded himself as he struggled with the right shoe, don't
mess it up with him. You have his respect. If you lose that, you lose him.
And then you won't have anybody.
You'll be twenty-seven years old and someone nobody gives a damn about.
Then what will you do for the next fifty years?
He swallowed as he tied the shoelace, feeling a headache coming on. He was
painfully aware of how much older he was than his years. Most men his age
were still enjoying some of the pleasures of adolescence... the illusion
that they were going to live forever and always be free of any genuine
The bathroom door opened and a weary-looking Starsky emerged with a towel
around his waist. Jaw grim, the darker man started gathering up his clothes
from the floor. Then he stopped and looked up at his partner.
The guilt Hutch saw there was as stark as his own.
"Yeah, it was worth it," Hutch quoted sourly as he flung the newspaper and
other mail onto the sofa.
Starsky sat down in an easy chair and regarded his partner with concern.
They'd finally gotten home after a twelve-hour day, the bulk of which was
spent writing up their reports on the murder of alleged rapist Lenny Biggs,
at the indirect hand of the once highly respected Lt. Dan Slate, whose
daughter had been Biggs' most recent victim. The case had touched deeply
into the nerve of the department, for Biggs' murder was, on the surface, the
act of a cop-turned-vigilante, and that's how the press viewed it. In
reality, it was a father getting revenge for his daughter's trauma and
humiliation. And, even as he was cuffed, Slate maintained – in direct answer
to Hutch's outraged question – that it had, indeed, been worth it, for Biggs
had gotten what was coming to him.
Starsky shrugged and muttered, "Guess it was worth it to him."
Throughout the case, his own reactions and feelings had been subdued. Hutch
had expressed enough worry, frustration, and anger for both of them. To keep
their partnership balanced, Starsky had had to assume the position of one
calm and cool, so that Hutch's reactions did not tip the scales too
dangerously against them.
It was the way Me and Thee worked most successfully.
But now that the case was over. Hutch was probably tiring of being the one
doing all the talking, though he had to instinctively know the reason for
Starsky pulled himself to his feet as Hutch sat down and began tossing the
mail from one pile to another on the couch. "I'm getting a beer. Want one?"
"I don't think there's two."
Starsky opened the refrigerator. Indeed, there was only one bottle. "What
else do you want?" he asked. He watched the blond head shake as the sound of
ripping paper penetrated the room. Starsky pulled the bottle from the
refrigerator. As he passed by the couch, he laid a hand on his partner's
shoulder and squeezed. Gently, he said, "The case is over, Hutch."
Hutch looked up sharply as Starsky sat back down. "Is it?" he challenged.
"Or will it just cycle around to another cop who's had it up to here with
the system? Iron Mike Ferguson two years ago. Then Fargo right after that
Dan Slate this year. Who will it be next year who compromises their morals?
Some day, it could be me. Or you."
"What are you talkin' about?" Starsky asked with a frown, popping the lid.
The blue eyes flared. "You think I wouldn't do what Slate did, if somebody
did something to you?"
Softly, Starsky pointed out, "I have had
people do things to me, Hutch. And you never took the law into your own
"You're alive. You think I'm going to be able to let the legal system act on
my behalf if you ever end up dead?"
Starsky blinked, bothered by how sure of himself Hutch was.
But Hutch deflated, then admitted, "I don't want to think I would be like
that. I want to believe that it would be so wrong that I'd never cross that
line. Just like I wanted to believe Slate wouldn't cross that line." He
suddenly became very interested in the mail, unfolding papers and pretending
to read them.
Starsky took a sip of beer. "You're a better cop than that. A better
Hutch looked up again, and pleaded, "What about when I don't have anything
else to lose? Like Slate."
Starsky grimaced. "That's where Slate was wrong. Dead wrong. He has a
daughter in a mental hospital who needs her daddy to help her get better.
How much good is he gonna do her while he's serving time in the slammer?
That's something he was too selfish to consider. Now he's hurt two lives. To
say nothing of losing the respect of the younger cops who looked up to him.
And getting Biggs killed. That pervert deserved to rot in prison for twenty
Hutch spent a long moment staring at the papers before his eyes, but Starsky
knew his partner wasn't really seeing them. After a time, Hutch said softly,
"But I wouldn't have anybody else who needed me. If there wasn't you... then
I got nothing." He seemed to give up deciphering any correspondence, and
tossed all the papers onto the coffee table.
Starsky felt a grin spread across his face as he took another sip of beer.
Hutch always wore his heart so boldly on his sleeve. Gently, Starsky pointed
out, "That doesn't mean you couldn't ever have nothin'... if I weren't
around. You'd still have a future ahead of you. I'd come back from the dead
and kick your ass if you just gave up on life."
Hutch met his eye as he shifted on the couch. "I suppose that means you have
no doubts about your future if anything happened to me."
He stood. "Pardon me, buddy, if my feelings are just a little hurt." He
moved to the chair and, from behind Starsky, grabbed a handful of curls and
tugged gently, as though in reprimand.
Starsky grinned, knowing Hutch didn't mean it. And knowing that he should
have seen the parallel coming. "I dunno, Hutch," he admitted, watching the
other move to a window and look out. "I don't believe in spending a lotta
time trying to figure out what might happen.
I only care about the now. And right now I'm as hungry as a horse."
"Oh, so it's my job to feed you?" Hutch asked incredulously. He'd used that
tone a lot in recent weeks.
"I can feed myself if you can convince me there's enough edible stuff in the
kitchen to make getting off my duff worth it."
"Let's order out. Chinese."
"I'm sick of pizza."
"All right, then, Chinese." Starsky sighed and got up to find the telephone
underneath an end table. He dialed information. "What's the number for
Wang's China Kitchen?" As he wrote it down he looked up at his partner, who
was still leaning against the window sill, staring out. Starsky wondered
what was so interesting outside it, but asked instead, "What do you want?"
"Cashew Chicken. White rice."
"Soda to drink?"
Hutch shrugged without looking back. "I guess. Unless you're going to make a
run for beer."
Starsky frowned at him. "Soda it is." Except, he'd really like another beer
for himself. Especially since, as he dialed the Wang's China Kitchen, he saw
Hutch go to the table where the lone beer bottle was and pick it up. Hutch
wore a triumphant expression as he took a healthy swallow.
Starsky couldn't say anything until he was finished calling in their order.
When he hung up, he grumbled, "You're so mean."
"I love you, too."
Starsky wrestled into his jacket and left the apartment.
* * *
Yeah, Hutch, Starsky
muttered sarcastically to himself, like,
if you let something happen to you, because I wasn't around anymore, no one
would give a damn. Not Dobey. Not Huggy. Not your family back in Minnesota.
He sighed heavily, turning into a liquor store. His own family was the very
reason he'd have to force himself to carry on, if anything ever happened to
Hutch. Couldn't do that to Ma.
To Uncle Al and Aunt Rosie. Nicky.
Starsky turned off the motor. He sat in the car, trying to imagine what it
would be like if the empty seat beside him were a permanent condition. As
he'd just told his grumbling partner, there was no reason to worry about
what might be, especially when one's hands were full dealing with what is.
But tonight Starsky forced himself to carry out the fantasy, searching for
the true honesty within, making sure he wasn't kidding himself.
If there were no Hutch, a glow that seemed to shine on him would be turned
off. Abruptly. Forever. The comfort and security that was always at his side
would be gone. No gorgeous smile. No standing back and watching him with
affection. No scolding when he said something stupid. No name calling when
Hutch wanted to claim superiority. No pet and cuddle when he was hurt or
grieving. No feeling that he was on a pedestal because Hutch loved him --
for Hutch's love would die with Hutch.
Starsky grimaced as he got out of the car. If anything happened to Hutch, he
would just become another human being in the realm of things. One of
millions in the world.
He frowned as he entered the store and made a beeline for the beer aisle. He
tried to tell himself it really wasn't a revelation; he'd just never thought
of it in those particular words before: It was Hutch's love that made him
the most important person in his own life.
Hutch had remained grumpy while they ate, and Starsky hadn't felt much
inclination to stick around. He started toward home, wondering if Nancy
Swanson might be available this evening. He'd seen her a few times and liked
her company well enough. They both enjoyed each other a great deal in bed.
Now that he had plans for asking a certain patrol cop named Dee O'Reilly
out, he felt he should cool it with Nancy. But he had an evening of idle
time ahead and if Nancy were available....
Starsky grinned as he thought further of Dee O'Reilly. He did enjoy the
games of one upmanship that he and Hutch tended to play. Bedding the traffic
cop who had irritated his partner with a couple of parking tickets would be
a great tally for his scorecard. Besides, O'Reilly was beautiful and
charming and going places. They could be great fun for each other,
especially since she knew Hutch's less-glowing qualities, too.
But, tonight, it would be Nancy.
Hutch pulled into the parking lot behind the Torino and honked. He had a
full tank of gas, and Starsky had been whining recently about the abuse his
tires had been taking, so Hutch had decided that they were taking the LTD
and he wasn't in any mood for complaints. He revved the engine, anticipating
his partner's protests that they should take the Torino.
Hutch realized he'd been staring up at Starsky's apartment door for nearly a
minute. He honked again.
The door flew open and his partner emerged, trotting down the stairs while
inserting his arm into his holster and carrying his jacket.
Hutch reached over and popped up the lock on the passenger side.
Starsky got in and shut the door. "Mornin'."
Puzzled that his partner hadn't said anything about the selection of
vehicle, Hutch placed an arm across the back of the seat and looked behind
him as he backed out of the driveway. "Mornin'," he acknowledged belatedly.
He turned into the flow of traffic.
"We gonna stop by whatsherface first to find out if Joe Beaver has been in
Oh. Hutch had forgotten about that. Now that Slate's case had ended, they'd
been put on a murder where a two-bit punk named Joe Beaver was the prime
suspect. His ex-girlfriend hadn't been home when they checked late yesterday
afternoon, so they had agreed that should be their first stop this morning.
Hutch grunted something that was intended to sound like a "Yeah."
Starsky was still adjusting his shoulder harness. He hadn't looked at his
partner once since emerging from his apartment.
Hutch watched Starsky as the other now settled back into the seat and looked
out the side window. Starsky's expression was neutral, his eyes taking in
the activity on the streets that they passed. Hutch belched, then wove the
LTD a bit before finally changing lanes. Still, his partner didn't react.
"What's eating you?" he finally grumbled.
The dark head turned to him. "Huh?"
"What are you all quiet about?"
Deep blue eyes flicked to Hutch, and the tone was firm. "Nothin'." Starsky
began studying the street again.
Hutch decided that blackmail had its uses. "Nothing as in nothing, or
nothing as in you can't talk to me about it?"
He watched the jaw firm, knowing he'd hit a bullseye by indicating his own
hurt that his partner wouldn't open up to him. Starsky bit his lower lip –
an uncharacteristic gesture – and then visibly swallowed. He was now looking
out the windshield, and his voice was surprisingly unsteady. "Nothing as in
I hope it's
Hutch reached over and slapped at the other's arm with the back of his hand.
He was amazed at the transformation from confident cop to friend in need,
though it was hardly the first time he'd seen it. "Hey, what is it? Come
on." His heart beat a little faster, fueled by worry.
Starsky filled up his chest with air, then released a deep, slow breath. It
helped steady his voice. Then he threw up his hands in a helpless gesture.
"Awe, Hutch, Nancy thinks she's pregnant."
Oh, no. Hutch held his own
breath a long time, before letting it out slowly. Hesitantly, he asked, "And
she thinks it's yours?"
"I guess. I mean, I didn't question her about it. Figure she wouldn't be
tellin' me unless she thought it was mine. She's acting all crazy... hormone
fluctuations, I guess. I don't want to get her all upset by inferrin' that
she's been sleeping with somebody else."
"You'll have to ask her," Hutch said firmly, braking hard to make a turn
he'd almost missed.
"I know that!"
Starsky said with frustration.
"When is she going to find out for sure?"
The other's voice was calmer. "She has a doctor's appointment Thursday. She
hasn't had her period for over two months."
Hutch soothed, "Buddy, that can be for a lot of reasons other than
"Yeah, but I've always believed women have an instinct about these things.
She seemed real sure.
Plus, like I said, she's got all these crazy mood swings. Cryin' like crazy
Hutch made sure he kept any accusation out of his voice. "What were you
"She had a diaphragm." A thick swallow. "Man, nothin's foolproof."
They drove in silence for a while, Hutch's heart beating faster at the
images of his partner holding a baby, of dropping him off or picking him up
at a house with a picket fence, of watching him kiss Nancy Swanson hello or
goodbye. And occasionally inviting Uncle Hutch to stay for dinner. More
softly than he'd intended, Hutch asked, "What do you think she's going to
want to do?"
In an equally low voice, Starsky replied, "Doubt she'd want to get an
abortion. Don't think I'd want
her to get an abortion. I mean, we'd really need to talk about it. That's
not the kind of thing you decide on a whim. And if she's going to keep it...
well," he shrugged and swallowed again, "I guess I'll hafta marry her."
Hutch made a sharp right into the first available alley. His heart was in
overdrive as he shut off the motor and turned in his seat. "You don't owe her
that," he jabbed his finger at Starsky.
Starsky's eyes blazed in disbelief. "This isn't about owing. It's about
responsibility. That's my kid,"
he jabbed a thumb at himself. "I'm not gonna have it turn out like every
lout we have locked up in our jails and prisons, who's from a broken home. I know
what it's like to grow up without a daddy. I ain't runnin' away from that
kid. Uh-uh. No way."
Hutch closed his eyes, wanting to protest that he hadn't meant it that way.
Then he opened them and stuttered, "Y-you can still be a father without
marrying her. It was an accident. You and she don't love each other."
Starsky held his gaze, but his voice wasn't as harsh. "Maybe we'll have to learn to
love each other. For the kid's sake."
Hutch wanted to protest That
never works, but he was too afraid of sounding negative. Starsky had
always been so damn loyal; that was one of the very things Hutch admired
most about him. And he would do the right thing. No matter how great the
Hutch let another breath exhale, forcing himself to calm. "All right, look,"
he said, "let's take it one step at a time. The first thing we have to do is
find out if she's really pregnant. The second thing we have to do is find
out if she's claiming it's yours. Once we know the answers to those to
questions, we can think more rationally." He ran a weary hand over his face,
then started the motor.
Starsky returned to staring at the window.
"The first thing we have to do", "The second thing we have to do"...
the words played themselves over and over in Starsky's mind, as they had
since Hutch spoke them. He was now at the water fountain, despite having
already quenched his thirst.
We. It wasn't as if Nancy
might be pregnant with his baby; it was more like she might be pregnant with their baby.
Starsky was still trying to fathom his partner's reaction as he continued to
drink. Truly, it had been a relief to talk about it. He wasn't sure why he'd
been hesitant to in the first place. Probably because he was still trying to
sort through it all and recover his shock. He'd expected sympathy and
concern from Hutch – which he'd received to a degree – but what he'd been
unprepared for was the way his partner was so firmly against his doing the
proper thing and marrying Nancy. Not that Hutch didn't have good points
about why it was the wrong thing to do. But Starsky didn't know if he'd ever
be able to live with himself if he didn't do the only right thing.
No child of his was going to be a statistic on broken homes.
Of course, all that self-righteousness did nothing to prepare him for being
a father. It was foreign territory. But one where he felt confident that if
he loved his son or daughter, that would be the most important thing, and
all the other important things would fall in line behind it.
"David," greeted a pleasant female voice.
Starsky looked up, water dripping from his chin. He quickly found a smile.
"Hey, O'Reilly. What's shakin'?"
"Just hope I don't have to wait too long for my phone to ring," she replied,
straightening her meter maid's hat.
Starsky knew she was only teasing, for he'd taken her out just three nights
ago. It had been their second date. "Uh...," he hesitated, not wanting to
hurt her feelings, not wanting to lead her on, but also not wanting to let
her in on too much of his private life. He placed a hand on her arm and
stepped closer. "Look... Dee... uh, something's come up. Real personal. I
don't know when I'm going to be able to go out again."
He could see her trying to hide her disappointment. She seemed resolved to
being pleasant. "Anything I can do?"
"Unfortunately," he sighed, "I'm afraid not. It's one of those things that
nobody can help with." He shrugged. "Sorry." He hesitated, then added,
"Depending on how things work out... maybe I'll be able to call you soon."
He'd said too much, for her eyes narrowed. "Is there somebody else?" It was
obvious that she was forcing her tone to be neutral.
"No, nothing like that," he said immediately. Then realized it was a lie.
"Well, yes, but not like you think." She was looking at him funny, trying to
decipher his riddles. "Look, it's one of those things I can't really talk
about." He squeezed her arm. "Maybe I'll be able to explain it all someday."
Her tone was short this time. "I'm sure you will." She marched off.
Hutch stepped up next to him. "You ready?"
A frowned formed beneath the mustache. "We're supposed to see Huggy,
Oh. Right. Huggy had some info on Joe Beaver and Hutch had stopped off first
at the men's room while Starsky grabbed a drink of water. Now Hutch was
ready to go and Starsky's stomach was uncomfortably full of liquid. And he'd
managed to tick off Dee O'Reilly. And hadn't solved a damn thing while alone
with his thoughts.
Hutch was already headed for the stairs, and now looked back at him. "Let's
go," he said impatiently.
They were silent as they made their way down to the basement of the parking
garage. Starsky moved briskly ahead to the LTD. He reached for the door
Before he could push in the button, he felt arms surround his shoulders,
coming to rest across his chest, and the scent of after-shave was poignant
against his cheek, where another cheek pressed against his.
"It's gonna be okay, partner," Hutch said, squeezing with his arms.
Starsky knew that Hutch was trying to convince himself as much as him. But
he appreciated the effort, and was almost sorry that he'd made Hutch so
concerned about him.
Almost. The arms, which were still comfortably around him, felt good. It had
been a while since they'd shared this kind of closeness. And it made him all
the more determined to see this thing through. "I know," he said. He tried
to turn, and Hutch let him, loosening his grip so that they were facing each
other, and now Hutch's hands rested loosely upon each of Starsky's
Starsky gazed up into those eyes as rich as the sea... like the Nile, as
Anna whatshername had said. "H-Hutch," he found himself stuttering
uncharacteristically. "You know, if it turns out that she is pregnant, and
it is my
kid, and... I do end
up marrying her...." He trailed off, unsure how to say what he wanted to
say. Then he resorted to the simplest route. "You'll, you know, still be my
Those rich eyes narrowed across from him. Levelly, Hutch clarified, "On the
job." He clearly wasn't happy about it.
Of course, on the job, Starsky
thought, trying to shy away from the fact that he knew what Hutch meant.
Limply, he said, "We'll still be pals."
Hutch sighed heavily as he released Starsky's shoulders. He moved to one
side of him, leaning back against the LTD. "You know," he said with his head
bowed, "it would be different if you and she loved each other."
Gently, Starsky said, "I know that, Hutch. But that doesn't change the fact
that there's an innocent child in all this. It isn't his or her fault that –
"An innocent child," Hutch interrupted firmly, "who doesn't deserve parents
who don't love each other." A glint flared in his eye for a brief second. "I
know what that's like. My parents stopped sleeping together when I was eight
Starsky's own head was also bowed, and he listened to the self-pity, not
well concealed, in his partner's voice. Somehow, he'd known that Hutch's
parents didn't sleep together; surely because Hutch had mentioned it at some
point in all their years together. But he hadn't realized the impact that
fact had had on his partner.
Starsky looked up and nudged Hutch with an elbow. "Hey," he said gently,
"whatever happened to taking it one step at a time?"
Hutch looked up, too, and those eyes were now bright with gratitude for
having eased the stress of the moment. He snorted amidst a smile. "Yeah."
Both men pushed away from the car, Starsky opening the passenger door while
Hutch went around to the driver's side.
For probably the twentieth time, Hutch thumbed through the arrest records on
Joe Beaver. The man had been picked up numerous times for everything from
theft to drug trafficking, but his only convictions had been for
misdemeanors and he'd never served time. Hutch kept opening the file again
and again, trying to find something they'd missed, some person or prior
witness who might now help them find him. The ex-girlfriend had denied
seeing him or hearing from him in three years. Unfortunately, Hutch felt her
to be telling the truth.
His thumb paused as he came to an arrest record from two years ago. Numerous
witnesses had been helpful in that one, when Beaver was arrested for
stealing a car. He'd gotten off because of a technicality. Hutch tried to
concentrate on the various statements beneath the document, wondering if
there was anyone they'd missed whom they could question now. But the names
weren't registering on his brain, because his thoughts kept wanting to go in
Finally, he gave in and looked up from the file. The subject of his thoughts
was standing at the file cabinet, where the top drawer was pulled open.
Starsky had pulled a file halfway from the drawer, and was trying to read
something inside it. Hutch wanted to scold him for being too lazy to put the
file back, which is why Starsky hadn't pulled it all the way out in the
His partner was looking pretty haggard these days. Nancy had spent the first
few days at Starsky's apartment, before deciding to stay instead with her
parents. He knew Starsky felt obligated to put her up, to be there for her,
for she had indeed come out and said the baby, if there was one, could only
be Starsky's.. Hutch did not question that obligation his partner felt, but
he could imagine how wearing it would be, and how it made Starsky all the
more determined to do the right thing.
Even now, with Nancy's doctor's appointment not until tomorrow, Hutch could
feel a subtle difference developing between his partner and himself. And he
knew why. Starsky was one who faced crisis head on, and he was already
mentally preparing for being a father and a husband... for putting the needs
of his family ahead of those of his work. And his friends. Hutch did not
think Starsky would be any less a cop once married, but he would definitely
be less a full-time friend. Of course, Hutch knew his partner would be at
his side in an instant if he needed him; but what Hutch also knew was what
he was going to miss most was having the privilege of his partner's company
when he didn't need
He hoped that Nancy's parents would convince her to turn down Starsky's
offer of marriage if she were indeed pregnant. As is, he wasn't sure what
they thought of Starsky as a prospective son-in-law, only that they were
nervous about their daughter having a husband involved in a dangerous
occupation. But they'd apparently, according to Starsky, already felt that
way before their daughter announced that she was probably pregnant with his
Hutch furrowed his brow, acknowledging the one fact that had bothered him
greatly in all of this. Most women he knew who suspected they were pregnant
would have sought a physician immediately, because the waiting would be so
unbearable. But Nancy had seemed content to wait a few days between when she
told Starsky something was up, and when she'd actually made her appointment.
Most women wouldn't tell a man – especially a man they weren't in love with
– that they might be carrying his child unless they knew for sure.
The phone rang and Hutch picked it up. "Hutchinson."
The voice was gruff. "I need to speak with Detective David Starsky. It's
Hutch swallowed. Normally, he wouldn't question the identity of the caller,
but his protective instincts kicked in as he watched his partner still
fighting to obtain information from the partially-open file folder. "May I
tell him what it's regarding?"
The voice was almost angry. "It's personal."
"Uh," Hutch felt the thundering of heart, "just a moment." He took a breath
and pushed the Hold button. Then he cleared his throat. "Starsk?" His worry
made his voice short and he had to speak more loudly. "Starsky."
His partner turned. "Yeah?"
Hutch held up the receiver. "Line one."
Starsky grimaced, then stuffed the file folder back into the drawer and
slammed it shut. He moved to the desk, and just as he reached for the phone,
Hutch told him, "The caller says it's personal."
The other's mouth dropped open as he took the receiver and pushed line one.
"David Starsky speaking." A moment later he said, "Yes, Mr. Swanson, how are
Nancy's father. Hutch watched his partner as his face went blank, and then
his mouth moved as though trying to repeat the words that were being said to
Finally, Starsky demanded, "What hospital?"
Hutch waited anxiously.
"I'll be there in ten minutes." Starsky slammed the phone down. "Nancy had a
miscarriage." He picked up his jacket and tore out the door.
Hutch slumped in his chair, relief and sadness battling within his
conscience. There was no victor throughout the long afternoon.
Hutch wasn't surprised that he hadn't heard from his partner by the end of
shift. He could imagine Starsky talking to the family and to Nancy at the
hospital, consoling her, and trying to figure out what this now did to all
his noble plans.
Surely, Starsky wouldn't feel any obligation toward marriage now. The whole
point had been for the child. And now that there wasn't a child....
There was a lazy knock at his door and Hutch looked up, feeling a weight
fall from shoulders. The relief was even greater when the so-familiar voice
said, "It's me," from the other side of the door.
Hutch opened it and found his partner standing there, leaning against the
door frame with outstretched arms, looking haggard. Then he straightened and
went past Hutch.
He watched while his partner stopped in the center of the room. Starsky
didn't look visibly upset, just very tired. And contemplative.
Hutch slowly closed the door. Then he said to the taut back, "How you
The reply was soft. And distant. "I'm okay."
No, you're not, Hutch
wanted to say. He wanted to go up to Starsky, soothe him, but he thought
he'd best wait until the other gave signals that that was what he wanted.
Instead, Hutch moved to the kitchen. He was about to offer a beer, then
thought better of it. "How about some wine?"
Starsky drew a deep breath, then glanced back over his shoulder. "Yeah."
"How is Nancy doing?" Hutch asked as he poured it.
"Okay," Starsky said, removing his jacket "They let her go home." As he
slowly draped it across the arm of the chair, he shrugged and said with head
bowed, "Just one of those things. You know?" He looked up.
Hutch handed him a wine glass. "Yeah." He managed to meet his partner's eye
briefly before the other focused on the glass. "How do you feel about it?"
He pushed on the other's shoulder. "Come on, sit down."
Starsky did. He shrugged. "I figure whatever I'm feelin', it's gotta be a
lot worse for her."
Hutch snorted. "Yeah, that's what I thought,"
he said, taking the easy chair next to the sofa.
Starsky looked up. "Huh?"
Hutch realized that he'd probably never mentioned it before. "Van had a
Starsky's eyes widened. "You never told me that." His voice hinted at
Hutch tilted his head, thinking back, trying to remember the person he'd
been back then. "It was early in the marriage, before I'd known you. She
probably conceived on our honeymoon, before we'd discussed how we shouldn't
have a family until my career was well under way. Anyway, once it had
happened...," he shrugged. "I guess I tried to put it out of my mind. Guess
I figured if I didn't think about it much it wouldn't bother me much." He
eyed his partner. "And I kept telling myself that the pain -- the loss -- I
felt had to be nothing compared to what she felt." He shrugged, unable to
keep the bitterness out of his voice. "We're only men, you know. Heartless."
He wondered what Cassie, the friend of Slate's daughter who thought men were
insensitive about the subject of rape, would think about a man's feelings on
losing his unborn child.
Starsky drew a long, deep breath. "Yeah," he finally said, gaze on the
coffee table. "I keep tryin' to figure it out. I mean, at this stage, it was
just a lump of flesh. Not even a real person, with a real personality.
But...," he swallowed audibly, "some part of me feels like my kid died
today." Now a quick snort in what Hutch knew was an attempt to stem heavy
feelings. Then a forced smile as he looked up. "Kinda dumb, huh?"
Hutch closed his eyes and shook his head. "No," he whispered.
"You and Vanessa... you ever try again?"
"No. We thought we would later. But by then -- by the time my career was
appropriately 'under way'-- things started falling apart." He looked up and
pointedly said, "Now I'm glad we never did. The divorce would have been that
much messier." For starters.
"Well," Starsky said, putting down his empty wine glass, "the good thing in
this is that it solved all those other dilemmas."
Hutch was glad that they'd moved to more positive subjects. It was easy to
say now. "Sorry, buddy. Sorry everything turned out like it did... even if
it's for the better in the long run."
"Yeah. Thank goodness for the long run."
"How's Nancy doing?" Hutch asked again. What he really wanted to know was
how the entire afternoon at the hospital had been spent.
"She's sad. Depressed. And she insisted on she and I talking things through
– even though I wanted to wait until later-- and she insisted on the truth,
and when I told her the truth -- that I would have been willing to marry her
for the sake of the child, but that was the only reason -- she was hurt and
upset and her parents were mad at me for upsetting her. But," he looked up,
wearing an ironic expression, "the bottom line is that we won't be seeing
each other again." Now a dramatic sigh. "I wonder if O'Reilly will be
willing to take me back."
Hutch got up and took the empty wine glass from the coffee table. "How about
Hutch looked at Starsky sitting on the sofa. His partner still had on his
shoulder harness, and was sitting up, but with shoulders slumped. He looked
worn out, and Hutch knew that his brain circuits had to be even more fried
than his body, for having such a difficult dilemma to deal with the past few
days. Perhaps now, he was ready for some sympathy.
Hutch put the wine glass down. "Hey, partner," he said as he came behind the
sofa. He squeezed Starsky on the arm. "How 'bout letting your buddy take
care of you. Huh?"
Starsky perked up as Hutch came around the sofa. "What kind of 'care' are
you talkin' about?"
Hutch grinned. Usually food was the best route to boosting his partner's
spirits. But he had something else in mind. He reached to the shoulder
harness. "Come on, get this off," he said, moving to kneel at his partner's
Addidas while Starsky took over with the holster. "Just want to make you
more comfortable." He spent some time removing shoes and socks. Then he
looked up and said, "Take off your shirt."
"Why?" But Starsky's hands were on the buttons.
"Trust me and quit asking so many questions."
"I'm a detective. I'm supposed to ask questions."
"Yeah, well, you're also supposed to trust your partner."
Starsky removed his shirt. "Now what?"
Hutch got on his knees and straightened. "Okay," he said, taking Starsky by
the arm, and pulling it to the sofa cushion, "just lay right down there and
relax." Starsky followed his lead, stretching out onto his stomach, closing
his eyes. "That's my buddy," he approved, petting the small of Starsky's
back. He shifted on his knees, getting comfortable, and then placed his
hands on his partner's shoulders. He started moving his fingers, pressing
them into the skin that had a good helping of hair and was dotted with
"Mm," Starsky approved.
"Just relax," Hutch whispered. He worked silently for nearly half an hour.
During that time, Starsky shifted so that his face was pressed against the
back of the couch, giving Hutch easier access to his back.
When his partner was so still that Hutch thought he must be asleep, he
removed his hands.
A small voice broke the silence. "Don't stop."
Hutch shifted his cramped legs and placed his hands on Starsky's back once
again. "Big baby," he admonished. And began moving his fingers again.
"Control One to Zebra Three."
Hutch picked up the microphone. "This is Zebra Three. Go ahead."
"See Huggy Bear about a lead on suspect Joe Beaver."
Hutch looked over at his partner, the other's triumphant gaze meeting his
own. "Will do. Zebra Three out."
Starsky swung the Torino into a U-turn at the next intersection. "If this
lead of Huggy's pans out, we're gonna owe him big-time."
Hutch said, "Let's make sure it pans out first."
It was stating the obvious, Starsky thought, and he felt a small flare of
annoyance that Hutch always had to say something negative about a
potentially positive situation.
He shifted in his seat, weaving his way through traffic, anxious to get to
Huggy's. And wondering why, after all their years together, he was letting
Hutch's personality flaws get to him.
"I got the back," Hutch whispered as he moved off.
Starsky nodded. His own gun was raised as he moved along the edge of the
house. According to Huggy, a friend of a friend of a friend had said that
Joe Beaver had been staying at the house, but was planning on leaving the
state any day... or any moment. If they were lucky, they had arrived in
Starsky came up to the door. He hadn't heard any noise from within. He
waited until he was sure Hutch would have had enough time to get into
position at the back entrance. Then he banged on the door. "Police! Come out
with your hands up."
There was no sound.
Starsky banged on the door again. "If you don't come out, we're coming in."
There was a soft "thud" behind him. Starsky swung around. He didn't see
anything. He moved quickly along the edge of the house, then saw a man
matching Beaver's description tearing out at a run from the side of the
house, where he'd obviously jumped out of a window.
Starsky fired into the air. "Hold it! Or I'll shoot."
There was a brief hesitation, then the man took off again.
Starsky aimed and fired.
Beaver went down, gripping his leg. Hutch appeared and took off after him.
"I'll get an ambulance," Starsky called. He went back to the Torino. As he
called it in, he watched Hutch yell something unintelligible at Beaver. The
suspect was moving backwards on his ground on his rear, as if trying to move
away from Hutch.
Hutch grabbed him by the collar and slugged him. Even being some thirty
yards away, Starsky could see that the punch had a lot of power behind it.
Hutch's angry voice was clearly audible now. "FACE DOWN! HANDS BEHIND YOUR
Starsky trotted over to them as Beaver obeyed. Hutch was now cuffing him and
Starsky said, "You're under arrest for the murder of Stanley Lewis. You have
the right to remain silent..." As he continued to voice the speech from
memory, he and Hutch turned Beaver over. Starsky tried not to wince at the
thick swelling developing on their suspect's face.
Starsky sighed heavily as he pulled the arrest form from the typewriter.
Filling out the paperwork on Beaver's arrest had taken three hours. Now,
finally, he and Hutch could go home.
Dobey emerged from his office. "Starsky, Hutchinson. In my office." He
didn't sound happy.
Starsky wasn't all that surprised. Nearly a half hour ago, Detective Dale
Reeves from IA had walked into Dobey's office. Considering IA's obsession
with he and Hutch of late, he wasn't surprised that the visit concerned
them. He looked at his partner to catch his expression, but the other had
already turned to Dobey's office.
Reeves was sitting in a chair at the far end of the room.
"You two know Dan Reeves from IA," Dobey said by way of introduction.
"Of course," Hutch replied, overly polite. They sat down in the two vacant
Dobey leaned forward. "I want the both of you to give him your full
Again, Hutch responded first. "Of course, Captain." His smile was full of
"When do we never not cooperate fully?" Starsky followed up. A part of him
wondered if it was really necessary to always be on the defensive when IA
"Knock it off," Dobey frowned. He pointed his pen at Reeves. "Go ahead,
Reeves leaned forward in his seat. "First of all, let me make it clear this
meeting is informal and off the record. I'm here for preliminary purposes
only, to see if IA needs to investigate further. You can answer formally in
writing when you receive official notices from us."
"Official notices on what?" Starsky asked, though he was pretty sure of the
"The LAPD has received an official complaint from Joe Beaver, via his
lawyer, against Officer Hutchinson for alleged police brutality."
Starsky sighed with great exaggeration. "Don't tell me you're gonna believe
some two-bit murderer who-- "
"Starsky!" Dobey admonished. "Let him finish."
Starsky made a big show of settling back in his seat. He noticed that Hutch,
whose face was turned away from him and toward Reeves, was remaining silent.
But he had put his chin in his hand, deliberately showing a casual attitude.
After making sure the two were silent, Reeves continued in a congenial
manner. "The fact of the matter is that Beaver has a fractured cheek, which
he claims was from being hit by Detective Hutchinson."
Starsky squirmed. "Yeah, well, I'm sure if you measure the fracture, it'll
match my partner's hand size exactly. After all, the little twerp was
resisting arrest, and I don't think-- "
"Resisting arrest?" Reeves questioned. "That's the part we're having a bit
of a problem with, fellas. According to Beaver, he was shot in the leg before being
assaulted by Detective Hutchinson. The man was already on the ground,
Starsky deadpanned, "If you knew you were facing murder one, would you let a
bullet wound in your leg prevent you from
trying to resist arrest? The man was still trying to flee after I shot him."
Reeves nodded skeptically. "Punching him in the face was supposed to prevent
him from fleeing? Have either of you detectives heard of something called
Methods for Restraining Suspects?"
"Look," Starsky said, "I was calling an ambulance, so I wasn't able to
assist in the 'restraint'. He was still trying to get away when Hutch belted
him. It's rather obvious, isn't it, that my partner's method was plenty
effective in restraining Beaver. The little prick behaved just fine after
Reeves' eyes went from Starsky to Hutch. "You're being awfully silent in all
this, Detective Hutchinson."
Hutch shifted, and Starsky could see the pale lashes flutter innocently.
"Frankly, Lieutenant Reeves, since this meeting is informal, that tells me
that you're hoping we'll say something to assure you that it would be
pointless to launch an official investigation. So, in deference to that
goal, I'm choosing to remain silent and not say anything. Just know that I
don't contradict anything my partner has said."
"Uhhhh... huh." Reeves
stood. "Your men are well trained, Dobey," he said to their captain. Then
his eyes went to the detectives. "Listen, boys, the LAPD has no more desire
to make an issue of this situation than either of you. But be forewarned
that because you both-- and in particular Detective Hutchinson--have such
thick files with IA that you'd better watch your step from here on out, if
you intend to keep your badges. Little incidences like this can only be
over-looked up to a point." He nodded politely and reached for the door.
"Good day, Gentlemen."
Dobey's cheeks billowed as he let out a heavy breath after Reeves had left.
"If you're smart you'll listen to what he said."
Starsky only made a face, squelching the automatic instinct to rebel.
But Dobey's expression softened. "You boys did good, picking up Beaver." He
shook his finger. "And collars like this are the very reason I'd hate to
lose either of you because of an incident with IA. You're too valuable." His
voice increased in volume. "So behave yourselves."
"Uh, Captain," Hutch said in a calm voice, "since we 'did good', how about a
Starsky looked sharply at Hutch. His partner was looking at their superior
and wouldn't meet his eye. They hadn't talked about having days off. He
wondered what Hutch was thinking... or needing.
"What are you talking about?" Dobey demanded. "You two have had your share
of days off."
Now an overly-sweet smile from Hutch. "It might give us a chance to
contemplate 'behaving ourselves'." Starsky could detect the subtle hint of
Dobey grunted, clearly not believing the intent.
"Or would you rather," Hutch batted his lashes, "that we call in sick the
next two days?"
Dobey was looking at Starsky, and Starsky merely shrugged, trying to look as
innocent as Hutch, and not give away that he had no idea what his partner
was up to.
"All right," Dobey relented. Then bellowed, "But you'd better have your
tails back in here on Monday!"
Hutch grinned as he stood. Starsky followed him to the door. After he walked
out, Starsky did a poor imitation of a salute. "Thanks, Cap'n."
As soon as he was out the door, Starsky rushed up to his partner. "Whaddya
mean, four days off? Where we goin'?"
Hutch grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair. "Lake Tahoe."
Starsky felt his jaw drop. "Huh? When did this come about?"
Hutch's calm, cool, nonchalant attitude was a charade, Starsky knew. There
was something going on. He could only hope that it wasn't serious.
As he put on his jacket, Hutch levelly said, "You can stay here if you have
Other plans. Oh, no. He'd
talked O'Reilly into giving him another chance and they had a date set for
Friday. Hutch didn't know that. Not that it would have necessarily
"W-w-well, when are we leavin'?" Starsky demanded.
Hutch looked at him, his expression still neutral. "Tomorrow. Early. Six
o'clock. I'll pick up you, unless you're not going."
It was hard to tell, with the overly bland tone, but Starsky sensed that
Hutch very much wanted him to go. "Of course, I'm goin'."
"See you at six." Hutch squeezed his arm and headed for the door.
Starsky rolled over on the mattress to face the nightstand. 2:15 the
illuminated numbers of the digital clock read. He hadn't been able to sleep
at all, and he was supposed to be ready to leave the city at six a.m.
First, there had been the ache in his groin, knowing that O'Reilly would
probably never want to see him again. He'd as sweetly as possible told her
that he had to take a rain check for their date on Friday, but he'd be sure
and make it up to her the following week. She had seemed content with that.
But before he'd managed to leave the station she'd confronted him with the
rumor that he and Hutch were going to Lake Tahoe for a four-day weekend.
He'd sputtered it was just the two of them and that she was the only woman
he was currently seeing, but that had backfired when she was all the more
upset that he was choosing to spend time with the insolent Detective
Hutchinson over spending a romantic evening with her.
He'd finally left the station, all the more annoyed with his partner for
making his life so difficult. And frustrating. Which turned his thoughts to
Hutch... where they'd stayed all evening. And now into the wee hours of the
Hutch was acting very weird lately. His sarcasm was more biting than in
times past. His humor more dark. His complaints more menial. His grumpiness
more badgering. His anger more dangerous. His love more shielded.
Starsky sighed. He couldn't lay his finger on any particular past incident
when things had changed. It just seemed to be an accumulation over time.
And most notable of all-- and probably a result of everything else-- was
Hutch's distance. It was a subtle thing, but felt nonetheless. They used to
give so much of themselves to each other. Now, Hutch was holding back.
Starsky was old enough to have been around the block a few times, and he
didn't pretend that that distance was one-sided only. He knew he had to have
some responsibility for it. More recently, he was sure that his intent to
marry Nancy had hurt Hutch to some degree. It was only natural, then, that
Hutch would take a step back to prevent himself from getting hurt further.
But the distance existed before the situation with Nancy had ever come up.
Starsky rolled to his other side. The good news in all of this was that
Hutch had apparently wanted to get away... perhaps to work things out.
Starsky grinned in the darkness. Hutch apparently wanted his partner with
him to help him do it. Things would get better. Starsky knew they would.
Eventually, he drifted to sleep.
It was very tempting to toot the horn as he pulled the LTD behind the
Torino. But it was six o'clock in the morning and other residents in
Starsky's building probably wouldn't appreciate it. Hutch thought to
hell with them, but something prevented him from following through. He
turned off the motor and trotted up the staircase.
Slowly, the door pulled back. His partner stood there, in jogging shorts,
bare-chested, unshaven, his eyes squinted open
"Good morning," Hutch said cheerfully, pushing past him. The living room was
full of fishing gear and golf clubs. "You packed?"
"Almost." Starsky stumbled to the center of the room. "I was trying to get
all my fishin' stuff together." He plopped down. "And then I got to thinkin'
about my golf clubs." He looked up at Hutch, eyes widening with accusation.
"Then I got to thinkin' that I don't even know what the hell the plan is.
Just what are we goin' to Tahoe for, Hutch?"
Hutch ran his fingers along his mustache. "Take the fishing gear, leave the
clubs." He knelt down and grabbed some sections of pole.
Starsky sighed heavily and closed his tackle box.
Hutch frowned at him, not liking the way Starsky fussed with the closure on
the tin box. "You hung over or something?"
His partner frowned back. "No. Just didn't sleep well. Tryin' to wake up."
Hutch put the pole down and went into the kitchen. He filled a glass with
cold water. He took a sip, then went back to where Starsky was tucking the
box under his arm in preparation to stand. "Starsk?"
Starsky looked up.
Hutch threw the cold water in his face. "There. You awake now?"
Starsky was curled up in the front seat for the first few hours of the trip,
trying to sleep. For the first half hour of the drive he'd been seething
with self-pity that Hutch was capable of such antagonistic behavior. But
then he consoled himself with the promise to get even, and he was able to
sleep for a while after that.
He drifted awake to the sound of Hutch alternately singing, humming, and
whistling along with the radio. The sounds were comforting. The sun felt
warm against the side of his face that was pressed against the window,
cushioned by a sofa pillow.
He went back to sleep.
"Hey, lazy bum."
Starsky felt a series of taps on his shoulder. He stirred, realizing the car
had stopped. It had stopped before but Hutch hadn't tried to rouse him.
"Lunch," Hutch said.
Starsky squinted at his partner who was getting out of the car. Hutch did look
more peaceful. The long body stretched a moment, then stuck his head back
in. "Come on."
"Where are we?" Starsky mumbled as he straightened. Food was definitely
worth waking up for. Hutch had tried to offer him some breakfast bars
shortly after they'd left, but Starsky had been sulking too much to accept
The side door opened, and Starsky had just balanced himself on the seat,
which was fortunate, or he would have fallen out. He wondered if that had
been his partner's intent. When he looked up at the innocent expression on
the other man's face, he knew it
had been Hutch's intent.
Starsky stretched his muscles, then stepped out of the car. He planted
himself in front of Hutch and said, "Don't think for a minute that you're
going to get away with any of this. When you least expect it...," he trailed
off, letting the threat linger.
Hutch chuckled. "Why, buddy, I have no idea what you're talking about."
Starsky watched him turn toward the entrance of the restaurant. It was a
game. And Hutch was enjoying it thoroughly.
Starsky sighed. It was so hard to begrudge his partner his little enjoyments
in life... however painful to his person.
They stopped once more, this time Hutch going into a local market and
emerging twenty minutes later with packages wrapped in white.
"What's that?" Starsky asked. He was wearing sunglasses and resting one foot
on the dashboard.
"Steaks for dinner."
"Oh. We havin' a barbecue?"
The blond head turned to him as the LTD started forward. "You ever think
about becoming a detective?"
Starsky made a face, but his mind started tossing facts back and forth. Then
he asked, "You rent us a cabin or somethin'?" He'd assumed the trip was
spur-of-the-moment, and he and Hutch would be spending their time in motels.
Those sea blue eyes were upon him once again, the tone this time hinting at
admiration. "Really, Starsk, you ought to seriously consider going into
It was a
cabin. They reached it in the middle of the afternoon, stopping there before
actually reaching the lake. It gave the illusion of being isolated, but in
actuality there was a shopette just ten minutes away, and various other
cabins in the area. Still, the surrounding vegetation was lush and the
pretense of privacy easy to indulge in.
Starsky was fully awake by now, and as he unloaded the car, he said, "So,
just when did you make reservations for this place?" He wondered if Hutch
had planned it weeks in advance.
The tall blond had his hands stuck in his back pocket as he watched the
unloading. "Last night."
"Last night?" Starsky
asked in disbelief as he walked passed him, arms full.
Hutch pushed open the door. "Yeah. I called and they said they'd had someone
Starsky dropped everything to the floor, and looked at his partner with
gritted teeth. "You gonna help, or do you just intend to be ornamentation?"
"What's wrong with ornamentation?"
Starsky brushed his hands off and planted himself in front of Hutch.
"Nothing. Unless you want the rest of our stuff, including the
steaks, to stay out in the car." He brushed his hands against his jeans. "If
you'll excuse me, I'm going to check out the plumbing."
Hutch grinned, as though he'd somehow bested Starsky, and headed for the
Hutch was frowning. It was a transformation that had come on gradually,
Starsky thought. Now that he was focused on grilling the steaks his
expression was far away.
Starsky shifted in the lawn chair that was next to the picnic table in back
of the cabin. He'd done his part and made the salad and set out the
condiments. Hutch was in charge of the steaks and potatoes. Starsky was
enjoying the view into the woods set back from a clearing at the edge of the
cabin. He was thinking that this had actually turned out to be a nice idea.
Except for his partner's puzzling expression.
The steaks protested loudly as they were turned over. Starsky watched the
smoke billow up as greased dripped onto hot charcoal. Hutch moved around the
grill, poking at the meat, shifting them, as into his task as if it were a
matter of life and death.
Suddenly, he looked up. And caught Starsky watching him. "What?" he
Starsky looked away, feeling a protectiveness well up. He felt an
affectionate smile pull at his mouth corner. "Nothin.'" Then he amended,
"You're just so into cooking those things."
Blue eyes glared at him. "You want yours to end up well done?" Hutch
Starsky shook his head, wondering where the defensiveness came from, though
he suspected the response was more from Hutch's automatic tendency to make a
smart remark to anything that was said. A tendency that had become much more
of a habit in recent months. Amiably, he replied, "Medium-well will do."
Hutch was already cutting into them. "Plate," he requested in a gentler
tone. "Mine's done."
Starsky handed him a plate, deciding against making a remark about how
Hutch's preference for medium rare bordered on barbarianism-- something that
Hutch had occasionally accused him of.
The preparation was completed within the next few minutes. Starsky noted
that their conversation, however brief, had relaxed Hutch somewhat.
He wondered when it was that they'd stopped talking as much as they had in
the early years. And wondered, too, if the answer was also a source of his
partner's increased frequency of unhappiness.
They both were silent, except for occasional noises of approval, as they
ate. Hutch would often pause and look out at the surrounding wilderness.
Finally, when he was full enough to slow down his eating, Starsky said,
"This is the best meal I've had in a long time."
Hutch turned to look at him, a distinct softness settling over his features.
"Anything's better than that processed and fast-food stuff you're so fond
Starsky wasn't interested in a retort, because he thought it a good time to
ask what he really wanted to know. "How come you wanted to come here?'
Hutch shrugged, and the pale features softened further. Then, a bit
bashfully, "I thought it would be good for you to get away, after... you
know, losing the baby."
That was touching, that Hutch had wanted to do this for him. Except, Starsky
didn't quite believe it, especially since Hutch had acted like he didn't
particularly care if he came or not. Starsky decided not to press that issue
for now. Instead, he assured, "I'm okay."
Those sea blue eyes seemed to appraise him. Hutch took a swig of beer and
leaned forward across the table. His voice was gentle. "You were getting
ready to make a major lifestyle change, pal. And then you had it all yanked
away from you, without having any say-so about it."
If felt good, receiving sympathy from his partner, but his pride bristled
against the fact that the sympathy was a bit misplaced. Starsky shrugged
again and muttered, "Wasn't the first time."
"Yeah." Hutch bowed his head.
Starsky could see the bald spot revealed at the crown. It made him think of
time and aging, of how things in life could never be as they once were. He
and Hutch would never be the devil-may-care hellraisers they once were,
because caring had extracted a high price, and now their work had the aura
of simply clinging to stay alive. Only, whereas they used to cling to each
other, Starsky wasn't sure if that were true anymore, and he wondered if
that, too, had something to do with the frown his partner wore so often. But
Starsky found it difficult to feel melancholy after a great dinner and,
after all these years, still great-- if somewhat reticent-- companionship.
"Thanks," he said simply.
Hutch looked up, lips moving to form a partial smile.
Starsky grinned without opening his eyes as he felt the boat rock gently.
They were out in a motor boat on a small lake that was closer to their cabin
than Lake Tahoe was. The motor had long since been turned off, as they were
now supposed to be fishing. Starsky had decided a nap was in order, and he
was pleasantly surprised when Hutch hadn't badgered him about it. So, he'd
drifted in and out of a genuine sleep while being rocked by the boat, the
sun warming his face, and listening to the sounds of his partner going about
the activity of fishing.
After a while, Starsky realized that the only interruption of his peace was
the occasional creaking of the boat. Wondering if Hutch may have chosen a
nap, as well, he squinted his eyes open.
Hutch was sitting on a wooden seat, his fishing pole hanging off the side of
the boat. His attention was on something in the distance in the other
direction. After studying him a lengthy moment, Starsky realized his partner
was focused completely inward. And he was frowning.
Starsky lazily lifted a foot and tapped at Hutch's tackle box, which was
against his leg.
Hutch looked at him sharply.
"Hey," Starsky said, still lying down and not wanting to get up unless he
had to, "whatsamatter?"
Hutch had the grace to look sheepish. "Just thinking." He suddenly became
very interested in his fishing pole.
"Thinking about what?" Starsky wondered. He finally hoisted himself into a
sitting position, as he had a feeling this might not be a casual
conversation. He was also aware that he had to take a leak.
Hutch had recast his line and, still standing, he turned to face his
partner, expression grave. "I didn't become a cop so I'd have to explain my
actions to IA every week."
Starsky took a deep breath. Despite all his nonchalance and innocent
exterior, the incident with Joe Beavers two days ago had left an impression
on his partner. A deep impression. Starsky knew it was his turn to be casual
to offset Hutch's seriousness. "Look, Hutch, I figure it's like being a
professional sports player. I mean, if you were a basketball coach, would
you want somebody on your team who never got called for a foul?"
Hutch stared at him, apparently considering the analogy.
Starsky went on. "If you're good at what you do, you bend the rules, play
close to the line. In football, if you're a great defensive linesman, you
get called for holding every now and then. If you're a great pass receiver,
you get called for offensive interference every once in a while. Players who
play it safe don't last very long in professional sports. In you're a great
cop, you're gonna have some explaining to do to IA every now and then. If
not, they wouldn't have jobs. And you wouldn't be doing yours."
Hutch sat down heavily. "It doesn't wash, partner. We've never had a very
good relationship with IA. But it seems they want to talk to us more often,
and we're less successful
at getting the bad guys than we used to be." He bowed his head. "It feels
like such an uphill battle. All the time." He looked sharply at Starsky.
"Don't you feel it?"
Starsky lowered his eyes, wondering how to answer. He'd been feeling that
things were an uphill battle lately, but mainly because of Hutch. It was
hard to separate what was the job itself, and what were his partner's
feelings merging into his own. He replied, "I never expected being a cop to
be easy. So... I guess... my expectations are less than yours. I wouldn't
expect not to
be questioned by IA every now and then." He grinned, trying to lighten the
mood. "I'd have to really wonder if we were doing a good job if they didn't
want to talk to us any more."
Hutch didn't reply, and Starsky found himself wondering if his partner's
recent brooding was centered around his choice of career. Genuinely curious,
Starsky asked, "What would you want to do if you weren't a cop?"
Hutch shrugged, staring at the edge of the boat. "I don't know," he replied
simply. Then, finally, his voice softened as he looked at his partner. "I
wouldn't leave the job unless you were leaving, too."
Starsky grinned, feeling a flush spread through his body. In a sense, it
made him feel responsible for Hutch's happiness, and that was a burden, but
one he didn't mind having. He just wished he were better at keeping his
partner happy. Just a few short years ago, it seemed so easy. Just be
himself, keep Hutch constantly in his sights, say something silly to make
him laugh, or say something stupid so Hutch could act superior and scold
him. Or, when the tough façade crumbled, hold him and hold him and hold him
until all the bad stuff went away.
Starsky studied Hutch, who was taking a swig of beer while looking off into
the distance again. He wondered about the holding part. Wondered if,
somehow, he'd been neglecting that aspect of their relationship and that was
the root of Hutch's problem. After all, Hutch's dissatisfaction with work--
life?-- had been a gradual thing. There hadn't been any particular recent
incidents that had prompted dramatic displays of affection from Starsky. But
maybe the building up of all those gradual things had created a need for
that affection, and Starsky had missed the signs. He smiled inwardly,
wondering if all Hutch really needed was to have the stuffing squeezed out
Hutch had turned his head to look at him. "What?" he demanded.
Starsky decided to keep his thoughts to himself for now, and observe his
partner a while longer. He got to his feet, wincing as his sleep-laden
muscles protested. "Anyone around? I gotta take a leak."
Hutch gestured to a boat in the distance. "They won't be able to see you."
Starsky turned to face the back of the boat and lowered his fly. While
carefully guiding the stream well away from the boat, he looked about the
forested countryside. He breathed deeply, drawing in lungfuls of the clean
Starsky turned sharply at his partner's urgent voice, trying to piss faster
as he looked around, but the stream was choking itself off as nature
intervened. "Where?" He was already tucking himself inside, having dribbled
on his jeans. He couldn't see anybody and looked at his partner as he zipped
up his fly.
Like the most wicked of little boys, Hutch clamped his hand over his mouth
and snickered so harshly than he had to pull it away and laugh uproarishly
"Dammit, Hutch," Starsky grumbled. His bladder wasn't completely empty, but
he couldn't imagine trying again, since now he was too afraid of whatever
else his partner might pull from his stock of juvenile stunts.
When he finally quit laughing enough to speak, Hutch pointed and seriously
asked, "What are those wet spots on the front of your jeans?"
Starsky gritted his teeth. "I swear, buddy, you're gonna get yours..." he
let the threat trail off. In fact, it occurred to him that there's nothing
he'd love to do more than push Hutch right out of the boat. But that would
be dangerous, even with a life preserver, since they were out in a deep part
of the lake. But maybe if they reached shallower water....
Starsky sat down and rummaged through their stuff, coming up with a Twinkie.
He decided to put the earlier incident behind them... at least for the time
being. Cheerfully, he asked, "Isn't anything biting?"
Hutch went over to his pole and flexed it. "Doesn't seem to be."
Of course, Starsky knew that Hutch wasn't really interested in the fishing.
He seemed to be more interested in questioning the point of continuing to be
Now Hutch picked up his pole and started to reel it in. He gestured to a
small inlet in the distance. "I'm ready for a break. Let's go over there and
It was a little early for lunch, but Starsky wasn't about to protest. He had
slapped together some sandwiches that morning while Hutch had gathered their
fishing gear. He took Hutch's pole from him while Hutch sat next to the
motor and started it up.
Starsky enjoyed the feel of the wind rushing through his hair as their boat
made its way toward land. Hutch slowed the motor while they approached
shallow water, and Starsky fantasized again about pushing Hutch out, but
decided that his big blond would be expecting some sort of retaliation. It
would be much better to wait until Hutch thought Starsky had forgotten about
Starsky got out the paddle as Hutch cut the motor and disposed of his life
preserver. He guided the boat to within a few years of the beach, and Hutch
jumped out and pulled it to shore.
Oh, what the hell, Starsky
decided. Hutch was already wet almost up to his cutoffs. He quickly pulled
off his own preserver and tossed it aside. Hutch was in front of the boat,
his back to him, and he would be an easy target to leap on top of. But
Starsky didn't want to risk injuring his friend's back.
Starsky jumped to the side of the boat, behind Hutch, and in the same motion
flung his arm around Hutch's chest, throwing him to one side. Hutch was
caught off guard and landed in the foot-deep water with a grunt. Starsky
rushed to capitalize his advantage, leaping on top of the other, straddling
him. He pushed Hutch's face beneath the surface, to get him good and wet as
adequate retaliation for throwing water in his face yesterday morning. The
bodily contact was welcome, and he was all the more pleased when Hutch was
pushing at his arm, trying to dislodge Starsky's grip from his face.
He'd got Hutch good and wet, and he'd gotten Hutch riled. For Starsky, that
was all the victory he needed, and he was willing to let Hutch take whatever
liberties with him that the big blond felt was necessary. Starsky let go.
Hutch rose up, eyes glaring, but not with anger. If anything, he seemed to
almost be grinning. "Why you-- "He grabbed Starsky by the shirtfront, and
struggled to his feet, dragging his prize up to the beach, which was
somewhat sandy, but also had a few rocks and scattered vegetation.
"Uh, oh," Starsky muttered in dread, wondering what Hutch had in mind for
him. He'd expected to end up as equally wet as his partner. Instead, his
somewhat wet jeans were being dragged along the sand, and he felt them
starting to lose their grip on his hips, and his butt crack was being
exposed. He grabbed at Hutch's arms now, hoping to stop from being dragged
and having his shorts pulled down farther.
Hutch did stop. He was looking down at his partner, his eyes such a clear
blue, his grin mischievous beneath the mustache.
Damn, Hutch was beautiful. Especially when he was happy like this. Starsky
decided that observation was no longer needed. He raised up a little and
threw his arms around the wet form, one hand going around Hutch's rib cage
and another around his neck. He laughed as he drew Hutch down to him.
He hadn't realized how badly he'd wanted the contact himself, until Hutch's
weight was on top of him, and Hutch's face tucked against the crook of his
neck and shoulder. It felt so good, even having the wetness against his
wetness. It seemed like old times, when they had been so adept at using the
physical to support each other when things were rough. Now, Starsky wasn't
sure how rough things were, but he did know that there was nothing quite
like having his arms full of Hutch. It was almost as good as being in
Hutch's arms... a memory that now seemed sadly ancient.
Hutch grunted and wriggled. Starsky eased his hold, and when Hutch pulled
back, Starsky found his partner looking down at him, the grin still lighting
his face. Starsky didn't feel any need to hold anything back. "You're the
most beautiful person on this earth when you're smilin'."
For a moment, Hutch seemed pleased. But then the smile went away and his
eyes narrowed, looking confused. Abruptly, he was up and off of Starsky,
slapping his hands together to brush off the sand. "Get the sandwiches."
Starsky struggled to his feet, disappointed that the contact hadn't lasted
longer, but grateful to have an opportunity to pull his jeans up around his
hips. As he did so, he was aware of pebbles of sand having worked their way
along his rear. It was going to make sitting down uncomfortable for the
remainder of the day. Unless he got a chance to lower his jeans behind a
tree and brush the sand off... not likely with Mr. Every-Chance-I-Get
Starsky picked up the spare tackle box that acted as a lunchbox and pulled
it out of the boat. As he did so, he noted how nice and private the inlet
seemed. Any boat could come upon them, as could any people residing in
cabins that were surely nearby; but, as with their own cabin, the illusion
of privacy was very strong.
As he turned away from the boat and back to the beach, Starsky wondered
where Hutch had disappeared to. Probably
takin' a leak behind a tree. As he set the tackle box on a good-sized
rock, he wondered why he'd never had the desire to play tricks on Hutch the
way his partner did on him. Somehow, he supposed, it wouldn't mean as much.
Hutch got so much pleasure out of tormenting him at times; he didn't think
he'd find it equally pleasurable if their roles were reversed. Hutch needed
the upper hand. It never bothered Starsky to let him pretend to have it.
Starsky opened up the box and picked up the first little bag of potato
He turned at the voice, but still didn't see his partner. "Yeah?" he said
suspiciously. Then, "Where are you?"
"Come 'ere a sec."
Starsky thought he saw the movement of an arm behind some bushes. Though he
had a feeling it was another trick-- Hutch probably going to trip him or
something--he immediately obeyed, leaving the food behind. "What's goin' on
over here, Blondie?" he asked as he parted the bushes, a plaid shirt coming
Hutch stood looking at him, his expression unusually soft. "I wanna show you
Starsky stepped closer, violating his partner's personal space. "Yeah?
Hutch gripped his chin with surprising force. And then that mustache shot
Starsky stood there limply as the softest lips pressed full-force against
his. He had to take a step back to keep his balance, and a firm hand gripped
his arm. He felt the softness, the wet saliva as Hutch's mouth covered his,
and was puzzled that he didn't want to pull back and wipe his mouth.
Instead, he felt he was an air-pressured chair, like in the dentist's
office, and his heart was being lowered in one gentle, fluttering move.
Hutch was going to have fun laughing at him later, but Starsky didn't care
that it was a trick. It was too good, and pride meant nothing in light of
what it felt like. He pressed back.
His shirt sleeves were tugged downward, and Starsky dropped to his knees,
Hutch following him. His hands were limp at his sides, and Hutch was
literally taking his breath away, leaving Starsky desperate to breathe. He
But Hutch followed him, lips clamping onto his chin as Starsky took a
breath. And Starsky realized he wanted those feelings back just as eagerly,
so he moved his head, allowing Hutch's lips to find his once again.
A hand was around his back, guiding him to the ground, and Starsky knew then
that this wasn't a trick. Hutch wanted this. Desperately. And everything
within Starsky said that Hutch must always be given whatever he wanted.
He was on his back now, on the ground, Hutch's lanky body straddling him.
Finally, his lips were released, but only so Hutch's could kiss down his
throat, into his chest, tearing the buttons of his shirt apart. And then his
tiny nipples were being lapped at and nuzzled, Hutch's breath sounding loud
and heavy to his ears.
A quiver went through Starsky, and his jeans tightened around his groin. He
knew that Hutch had to be feeling at least as eager... suffering at least as
much. He reached up and gripped the other man's arms, and was surprised when
Hutch easily collapsed to one side, allowing Starsky to now be on top.
Starsky tore at the flannel. As he did so, he allowed his eyes to open.
Hutch was lying on the ground, panting, his head thrown back, his eyes
squinted, his mouth open, his face incredibly soft... his whole being
completely vulnerable. He was giving of himself. Giving of himself
Starsky pushed the shirt flap aside, dived at the tiny protrusions revealed,
hungering for them. As he nuzzled, trying to get his lips around the left
one, some part of him marveled at what he had in his arms, at his disposal.
For so many months now, he'd been frustrated with the walls that Hutch had
put up. The way Hutch had used joking instead of directness as a way of
expressing his affection. The way Hutch had been so grumpy and dissatisfied
with the job... which fed over into every other aspect of their lives. The
way Hutch deflected any attempts to cheer him up or speak positively.
Now, like magic, those walls were all gone.
That realization fueled Starsky on, for he didn't know how long Hutch would
allow his soul to be so bare. He drooled heavily on the tiny pap, then moved
to the left one, lapping at it a moment, then gently pinching it. He moved
up Hutch's neck, desperate to seal their lips together once again.
Hutch seemed just as eager, and when they were joined, Starsky thought he
knew how the Wicked Witch felt in the Wizard
of Oz when she slowly melted.
Neither he nor Hutch had had water thrown on them, but the sensation of
physical existence disintegrating was just as powerful. He didn't want to
ever pull back, ever let go, ever separate their lips for fear of breaking
Except there was one part of his body that was still very much a part of the
physical world. Not knowing how else to satisfy it, Starsky lunged against
Hutch, the sensations rippling through him as he met a twin hardness beneath
Starsky petted Hutch's hair in apology, then pulled back, his lips numb from
the contact. He felt for the snap of Hutch's wet jeans, then lowered his
gaze so he could see what he was doing. He had to tug hard, for there was so
little room, but finally the fly was lowered. The firm cylinder was there,
outlined by white cotton. Starsky tugged at the waistband, and the pale
flesh snaked out, leaking fluid at the tip. He tugged at both jeans and
underwear now, trying to lower them, to allow more room, deliberately not
touching it... prolonging the anticipation.
And then hands were at his own jeans. Starsky moved his hips in any way
necessary to assist in the unveiling, and when his pants and underwear were
pushed halfway down his ass, an eager hand gripped his maleness and pulled
Starsky felt as though he were drifting in and out of consciousness, for now
his hardness was against the nakedness of its twin, and Hutch's hand was
gripping them both, stroking them together. They both were gasping,
thrusting against each other within the cocoon of Hutch's big hand, and
Starsky was catapulted to another time....
He was enjoying her from behind, whatever her name was. She was so drunk
that she wasn't participating much, so he had to hump aggressively to keep
the friction at an adequate level. But this was unlike any coupling, anal or
otherwise, he'd ever had before. For he could feel some semblance of Hutch's
erection, which was also inside her body. His hardness against Hutch's
hardness, only a thin membrane of flesh separating them....
And then he'd ejaculated, nuzzling against her shoulder as the wonderful
sensation of release washed over him. Hutch said, "She's passed out," and
Starsky felt a flash of guilt and humiliation like he'd never known before.
He'd never believed in having sex with someone who wasn't conscious. It was
too much like rape, whatever her giggling intentions initially.
And then, when he'd come out of the shower, the look on Hutch's face, which
he knew must match his own. But Starsky was more to blame for their mutual
self-disgust, for he was the one who had talked his just-divorced partner
into doing this, because he'd thought it would make him feel better.
What a joke.
But surely, this time, their erections rubbing desperately together, the
result would be much more positive and wonderful, for it was something Hutch
had sought on his own... something Hutch had asked for, had wanted.
Nothing was more important than fulfilling that request.
The hips beneath him arched up high, and Starsky opened his eyes. Hutch
still had his head thrown back, and now he groaned deeply, and his hips
Starsky still thrust, against Hutch's stomach now, and when he felt the
spurting stream lower down, he shivered at the knowledge of what they could
do for each other, and his own release was triggered.
He held onto Hutch's shoulders as it overtook him, loving that his fluid was
bathing the tender skin of his partner's belly.
Starsky relaxed then, not minding the stickiness between them, letting the
sun beat down on his cheek as they both lay there, catching their breath.
After a time, he felt shifting beneath him, and he started to pull back. But
hands gently held his cheeks, and before he could open his eyes, lips were
upon his near-numb ones, and he knew then that this hadn't been a
once-in-a-lifetime interlude. Hutch was still hungry.
A bird chirped and Starsky abruptly realized that they were hardly in a
private place. Anyone could run into them... from land or sea. "Not here,"
he muttered around the devouring mouth.
Hutch lowered his head, the full lips slipping away. For a long moment there
was only panting. Then the bowed head nodded.
Starsky was reluctant to move, for fear of breaking whatever spell had been
cast over them. But move he did, though without looking at Hutch. He quickly
pulled his jeans up and fastened them. His shirt couldn't be buttoned, since
it was ripped, so he moved back into the beach of the inlet and went to the
rock where the food was. He shut the tackle box and trotted out into the
water, getting into the boat. Hutch was just a few steps behind.
He sat on the bench nearest the motor while Hutch started it up. Starsky
kept his gaze on the dock in the far distance, not daring to look at his
partner, but wanting to sit as close as possible to prevent the puzzling
spell from dissipating. It had been too special, having Hutch so giving to
him, and he was greedy to have as much of it as he possibly could.
The motor was at full speed as they headed for shore where the rentals were
kept. Starsky tried to not to think about what was going to happen when they
got back to their cabin, for it would be embarrassing being exposed to
passersby in his current condition. He, instead, sat hunched over on the
bench, and wondered why what happened had happened in this foreign place.
Had Hutch planned it?
Hutch had told him yesterday that this trip was to give Starsky a break
after the stress of Nancy's pregnancy. But, this morning, Hutch had been
wrapped up in his own thoughts, not caring at all about having success at
fishing or trying to cajole his partner into bouncing feelings off of him.
But nor had those thoughts been about what had just taken place at the
inlet. Hutch had been churning his life as a cop over in his mind,
questioning the interference of IA... on a grander level, questioning the
worth of it all.
Then how did he get from that point to this point...?
The dock was coming closer. Or,
was it--maybe-- a misinterpretation on his part when I was hugging him?
There was a moment that he looked so confused. But we've hugged before
The motor was cut as the boat was lulled by the waves next to a short pier.
Starsky got out and focused on wrapping the rope around the tie there. Hutch
was lifting their equipment onto the pier.
An employee of the dock came up. "Back already?" he asked with concern.
Starsky had his shirt hanging open--and he was sure Hutch's was, too-- and
he hoped the man wouldn't notice the lack of buttons. He nodded without
meeting the man's eye, now trying to gather up the gear that Hutch was
unloading onto the pier. "We decided we wanted to do some other things
today," he muttered.
With his hands full and already walking away, Starsky was glad that the man
was forced to talk to Hutch. "She run okay for you?" he heard the man ask.
"Yeah, great. Like my friend said, we just wanted to do something else."
"Let me sign your rental slip so you can get your deposit back."
"Uh..." Starsky heard Hutch fumbling around, "we'll bring it back tomorrow.
We might take her out again tomorrow."
"I won't be here tomorrow," the man said. "So, I need to sign the slip to
verify that you brought her back okay."
Starsky was walking quickly ahead, not hearing the rest of conversation.
There was a five minute walk through a trail in the woods before they could
reach the cabin. Early that morning, Starsky had wanted to drive to the
dock, but Hutch had insisted on walking. Now, he was grateful they didn't
have to sit in a car together.
It wasn't long until there was the soft sound of footsteps traveling a few
yards behind him. For a moment, Starsky had the sensation of being pursued.
Of being watched. He could see the cabin through the trees. His was heart
was beating faster, and he became aware of a stickiness in his crotch as
organs rearranged themselves.
Starsky heard his own breath as the trees parted, revealing the dirt walkway
leading to the cabin door.
Hutch strode past him, keys in hand, along with a tackle box, and was
unlocking the door. Starsky had all their other equipment, and they now felt
very heavy as he anticipated being free of their burden soon. Just another
Hutch pushed the door open.
Starsky stepped across the threshold and let all the gear crash to the
floor. Hutch had already abandoned the tackle box, and he was upon Starsky,
pushing him back against the wall, next to the open door.
While yielding to those lips that latched onto his own, Starsky carefully
reached out and pushed at the door. It closed with a satisfying noise,
sealing their privacy.
The sinking feelings were upon Starsky full force, making him weak in the
knees. Hutch was pressing his whole body against him while sucking at his
lips, chewing at them, pressing against them.
When Starsky was released a moment--as Hutch moved down to his neck-- he let
out a groan.
And then he went to work.
Starsky pushed Hutch back a step, then grabbed him by the arms -- the flesh,
bone and muscle firm but yielding beneath his fingers-- and beckoned him
sideways, and then forced him back against the wall.
Now it was Starsky who was upon Hutch full force. His lips made loud sucking
noises as he worked on various parts of Hutch's face, frequently coming back
to the beckoning mouth. He wanted Hutch to know how delightful it felt to be
hungered for... a privilege he himself had experienced in just the past
hour. Now Starsky was anxious to return what he'd been given.
He brought his hands up and pressed them against the fleshy cheeks, holding
Hutch still while he now tongued at the brief hairs of the mustache. But
then he realized they could be doing so much more, so moved his hands
instead to Hutch's shoulders... and rubbed vigorously.
The shirt was still hanging open, so Starsky pushed it off his partner's
shoulders in one impatient move. He bent his head and licked at the pale
smoothness revealed, stray hairs tickling his tongue. He drew a wet line
between the pectorals, then attacked the left nipple, sucking in the small
pap and surrounding flesh. That produced a whimper of delight. Starsky let
go with a loud smacking sound. He then stuck out his tongue and slowly ran
the very tip of it against the small erection
Hutch drew in a breath and held it.
The saliva along Starsky's tongue thickened in the silence, and he let it
drool upon the tiny nub. Then, for contrast, he took his dry fingers and
massaged the neglected one on the right.
Hutch's deep exhalation was accompanied by a groan.
Starsky straightened. With one hand he pulled Hutch in the direction of the
double bed that dominated the room. With the other, he started pushing
Hutch's shirt the rest of the way off. While doing so, he reconnected their
lips, amazed at how delicious the contact still felt, even after numerous
The shirt slipped away. Slowly, brushing against each other with each
sideways step, they moved closer to the bed. Starsky's shirt was tugged at
from the sleeves, and he felt it fall past his shoulders. More tugging and
it was making a gentle descent to the floor.
It had felt so good just a little while ago, when they were bare chest to
bare chest. Starsky turned his face away to rest it on Hutch's shoulder,
their lips separating with a reluctant noise. He put his arms around Hutch's
bare back, hugging him against himself, Hutch's own arms coming around him.
Bare flesh to bare flesh. This, with or without clothing, was well-known
territory. It was how they had been together in the past... healing,
nurturing, loving, sympathizing, supporting. Starsky felt his heart swell up
at the rightness of the contact. But something else was happening, too. The
flesh at the center of his body was hesitating, its growth stilted.
As they clung to each other, swaying gently back and fourth, Starsky felt a
puzzlement that had been absent up to now in this new frontier. It was as
though this particular closeness was something sacred, and feelings of lust
were not allowed.
Hutch must have experienced that change, too. He eased his hold and Starsky
felt hands on his cheeks. But the touch was light, and butterfly-soft lips
touched briefly against his own. When his face was released, Starsky
collapsed against Hutch's chest, loving the comfort of its tender strength.
When Starsky let his eyes open while looking up, he found Hutch's eyes
looking down at him.
Finally, they had to face each other. But it was apparent that neither
wanted to speak, for fear of breaking whatever spell had been cast.
Hutch's eyes deer-soft, his expression so open, some mixture of confusion
and warmth and desire reveled there. Starsky was certain is own expression
One of them had to make the first move, to get them back on track. Starsky
tilted his head back and puckered his lips, showing he wished them to
continue losing their innocence.
Hutch must have agreed with the suggestion, for his lips--soft now--pressed
on top of Starsky's.
"Mm," Starsky made his first noise. He pushed at Hutch, and was rewarded
when the lanky form collapsed back to the bed, bringing Starsky with him.
Starsky writhed against the malleable flesh, the ache at his center having
returned full-force. He pushed at Hutch's cutoffs, fumbling for the snap
between their bodies while locking their lips back together.
Both pairs of hands were working, fingers grasping, both breathing through
their noses as they sought air, hot breath against hot skin.
Their snaps parted simultaneously. Now they'd have to find some way to
separate enough to get the rest of their clothes off. Starsky felt fingers
against his lower belly. He arched up, still maintaining contact at their
mouths, wondering why in all these years he'd never sampled how delicious
His pants and underwear were gripped in impatient hands and pushed down his
hips. Starsky wished he didn't wear such tight clothing, for it was a battle
getting it past his rump. But finally Hutch's hands were successful and they
both rolled onto their sides so that, after more wrestling, the cloth was
down his legs enough that Starsky could kick them off.
He wasn't going to take that long with Hutch's pants. Starsky jumped to his
feet, forcing an abrupt separation, and pulled at the ragged edges of the
cut-offs, where they slipped easily off the slender, powerful legs, leaving
Pale skin against even paler hair. Only the thatch at his pubic region had
any darkness, in contrast to the smooth barrel that bobbed against it.
Starsky looked up from where he stood, and Hutch was regarding him with yet
another open expression, which contained a hint of concern at what Starsky
Starsky felt an affectionate grin break out on his face, wondering how Hutch
could even think that he might be displeased with what he saw. It occurred
to him that his partner also had a full view of his nude, erect self... a
rare thing that the other had not been privy to before.
Hutch held out his arms, his expression blatantly vulnerable.
The affection lodged itself in Starsky's heart as he collapsed on top of
Hutch, fitting nicely between the legs that spread for him. Their groins
were together once again, hands grasping each other's sides. Starsky kissed
up Hutch's throat to his chin, but the action was more deliberate this time.
They were both fully conscious now, and what they were doing together was no
longer an act of lust, but of love.
They opened their eyes at the same time. Starsky undulated, feeling his
inner hardness and outer smoothness create friction against a similar
texture. Hutch's face softened with pleasure, and Starsky was having a
difficult time deciding whether to keep watching or to resume kissing. But
as the next undulation shot through him, and he automatically closed his
eyes and dipped his head.
The kiss was gentle this time. Deliberate. His hips lunged more purposely,
encouraging the building inferno, but his mouth licked at the swollen lips
beneath his own.
Suddenly, Hutch jerked his head away. His hips arched up, and he made a
noise of effort that Starsky recognized as one of release.
Starsky raised off and looked down at their bodies, watching the white
stream emerge from Hutch's body. There wasn't much to it, but his big blond
exhaled slowly, creating a very satisfying noise.
Starsky grinned at him, despite the throb of frustration between his legs.
Hutch grinned back. Then he reached out and gripped his partner's shaft. He
dipped the head in the sparse pool of droplets.
Starsky felt his testicles tighten, and he questioned whether this was still
reality when Hutch's grip beckoned him forward at the same time he shifted
to lie back against the headboard. Starsky rose up to his knees as he moved
closer, watching in fascination as his partner's hand guided him toward his
It was the rich, pink, outstretched tongue that touched him first, and a
bolt went through him--so powerful that he collapsed on his side on the bed,
questioning whether Hutch had really done that. And then he couldn't wonder
anymore, because Hutch had shifted too, and now was bending to him, taking
the top portion of Starsky's shaft into his mouth.
Starsky groaned from disbelief... and the sensation that engulfed him. But
the feeling shifted, changed, as Hutch experimented with his tongue...
feeling along Starsky's length, pressing against various portions of it.
Shit, Starsky thought in
amazement as his eyes drifted open. His cock in Hutch's mouth. He would have
Hutch was sucking hard... almost too hard... but then he groaned lustfully
and the vibration from his throat transmitted along Starsky's length.
"Oh, God," he gasped as the crescendo was reached. His spurted, hips arching
up, feeling Hutch try to keep his teeth away, and then releasing him
It was beautiful when he came, knowing how it had come about. That Hutch had
made him do that.
He groaned airily this time while opening his eyes, the most wonderful
sluggish sensation drifting through him. Hutch was looking at him... almost
bashful now... sparse droplets of white on his shoulder and neck.
Though he had little energy, Starsky held out his arms.
Hutch seemed to melt while still retaining his shape. He collapsed into
those arms, and then he was kissing Starsky. It was a different texture this
time. Their lips were firmly together, but there was a softness about the
contact. A contact that said, "Hello again"... and "Thank you."
Not only their lips, but Hutch's nakedness felt that way, too... all soft
and fuzzy and heavy.
Starsky had his hands loosely around Hutch's back, and he now reached down
and squeezed the twin buttocks affectionately. They felt both firm and
Their lips parted and Hutch chuckled softly.
Starsky had no energy left. He pressed Hutch's head against his shoulder and
closed his eyes.
But Hutch moved almost right away. "Cold," he whispered.
Oh, yes. There was such a thing as blankets and sheets and quilts. But
Starsky couldn't think about that. He just let Hutch turn him this way and
that while keeping his eyes closed. He was vaguely aware of being covered
up... first by cloth, then by warm flesh. And then he was unconscious.
It was the loud squawk of a bird that woke him. Beside him, Hutch shifted,
coming to rest with his back to Starsky.
Starsky guessed it was maybe two in the afternoon. Many hours later they
would seek sleep again. Many hours to face each other and wonder how this
He looked at the back turned to him. He knew Hutch was awake. One of them
had to make the first move. "Hey there," he offered as an opener.
Hutch rolled over, and sat up a little, looking at him. His face was
inquisitive and open... and shy.
Starsky felt a mouth corner twitch. "I don't know what the hell happened
this morning, buddy, but I think we took a trip to Mars." His grin widened.
Hutch ducked his head. "But we made it back." The statement was in the tone
of a question, as though asking if things were normal now.
Starsky wasn't sure if he could handle that just yet. He rearranged the
pillow behind him, also attempting to sit up... though, damn,
it felt good to just be lying here, in bed on a weekend, in the middle of
the afternoon. With Hutch.
Somebody's stomach rumbled. "Was that you or me?" he asked.
Hutch placed a hand against his middle. "Me."
"We missed lunch, you know."
Now a bashful snort. "Yeah," Hutch searched the bedclothes and found his
underwear. He slipped them on as he stood.
Starsky watched him, hands folded behind his head. Hutch reached to the back
of a chair for his robe. After putting it on, he pulled the sash tight.
Starsky frowned. "You sorry about it?"
Hutch sat down, but his face was hard. "Don't you ever think
I'm sorry about it."
That was a relief. Starsky took a deep breath, but kept his tone casual.
"Just hard not to notice that you just now moved as far away from me as you
"Of course, I moved away from you." Hutch was pulling socks onto his feet.
"Because if I don't, it'll start all over again." He straightened. "And we
have some talking to do."
Starsky let out a sigh of relief. Hutch was right... about all the things he
said. Since the mood was broken, he reached for his shirt. "Maybe we can go
get an early dinner? And talk?"
The blond head nodded, but wouldn't meet his eye.
They were silent in the car, other than swearing at a truck that pulled out
in front of them. Starsky felt they should start a conversation, but it
seemed any topic would seem to be an obvious attempt to pretend things were
as they always had been. And then he wondered why they should bother with
the pretense. But upon deciding they shouldn't, he could not bring himself
to mention outright what they'd done back at the cabin. There was something
precious about their mutual silence... for it would be broken in the very
near future, if Hutch were serious about talking.
He wondered what his big blond would say that would explain it all. And felt
another pang of regret, of losing something sacred and fragile, for perhaps
this was one of those things in life that shouldn't be discussed at all.
"This okay?" Hutch asked as he turned the LTD into a parking lot.
The sign out front said Hillock's Tavern and Bar. "Sure," Starsky replied,
getting out. They'd parked almost directly in front of the entrance. As they
came together from their respective sides of the LTD, Starsky felt the urge
to place his hand on Hutch's back, or brush against him arm. A gesture that
had been natural throughout their partnership. But now nothing seemed
natural anymore and he squelched the instinct. And felt as though life now
had one less beautiful thing to offer.
He tried not to feel sad about it.
"Non-smoking," Hutch told the waitress who appeared with a couple of menus.
"We'd prefer a booth, as private as possible."
"This way," she said as she turned.
Since it was the middle of the afternoon, the tavern had few customers. She
stopped beside the last booth on the far side of tavern, next to a window.
"Will this do?"
"Yes, thank you." Hutch took the seat that faced the entrance, and Starsky
sat down opposite.
"What can I bring you to drink?"
"A Miller, draft," Hutch said.
Starsky held up a pair of fingers. "Two."
She turned away. Starsky picked up his menu, determined to make a decision
before things got heavy. But he did glance over the top to see his partner's
eyes race quickly over the words and pictures in front of him, too fast for
any of it to register. Then Hutch looked up at him.
Starsky grinned as their eyes met. He dropped his menu and shifted in the
booth, determined to get comfortable. "Guess I'll have whatever the special
Hutch smiled at him, a shy, hesitant expression. But his gaze didn't waver
as seconds passed.
Starsky couldn't stand the distance between them. He decided one of them
should say something. "You look like you're waiting for me to say
something," he accused good-naturedly. But he didn't quite want to lay
everything on the other man's shoulders. "Not that I objected to anything
that happened, but you are the
one who started this thing."
A snort of amusement answered him, as though Hutch thought it was a typical
Starsky defense mechanism. It made Starsky feel good to know that he could
still behave predictably, for it surely put his partner more at ease.
The waitress appeared with their beers. After placing them on the table, she
took out her pad. "Ready to order?"
"What's the special?" Starsky asked.
"Country fried steak with mashed potatoes and biscuit."
"I'll have that."
Hutch held up a pair of fingers. "Two."
After writing on her pad, she picked up the menus and moved away.
Leaning back against the side of the booth, Starsky watched his partner
twiddle his thumbs. Then he decided to be bold. "So," he said as casually as
he could, picking up a salt shaker so he could twirl it around on the table,
"is it like you're going through some sort of premature midlife crisis and
questioning your whole life, and part of that includes trying the other side
of the fence?"
That caught his attention. Hutch's expression was just shy of hard. "How can
anything I do with my partner of eight years be considered 'the other side
of the fence'?" he challenged.
Their conversation was now more serious. And more intimate. Starsky knew it
was necessary, and welcomed it, but that didn't make this foreign territory
any easier. "Not exactly an every day thing," Starsky reminded in a low
voice, "even for the best of longtime friends."
Hutch blinked at him, then said, "Starsky, I didn't plan this, if that's
what you're thinking."
He made a half-hearted shrug. "I wasn't sure what to think. Not the kind of
thing I was expecting." Then, realizing how that might sound, he quickly
reminded, "Not that I disagreed with anything that happened." His voice
softened. "Just took me by surprise, is all."
Now a gentle snort as Hutch picked up his beer. "Yeah, I guess it did." He
took a long swig, eye on his partner.
It wasn't until the other man's glass was back on the table that Starsky
picked up his own glass and took an overly-long swallow. He was relieved
when Hutch spoke first this time.
Hutch's voice was intense, and his hand formed a partial fist to emphasize
his words. "Starsky, I-I-I just... just... sometimes... I think... I-I
Starsky put his beer down, knowing that Hutch's feelings were strongest when
he was stuttering. He waited.
It wasn't until Hutch closed his eyes that a full sentence came out. "I just
feel, so much
sometimes, th-that I want to love somebody. Give
myself to somebody." The eyes
opened and now they were pained as his voice lowered with intensity.
"Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting time. Years keep going by, and I," he
gestured toward his chest, "want to give what's inside of me to somebody
else. I want to share what I am with somebody else."
Starsky knew what Hutch was talking about. There were times when he felt the
same urge to be making a life with someone whom shared all of him as he
shared them. But the instinct was tempered by the supreme satisfaction he
got from being a good cop. It wasn't until Nancy got pregnant that he
thought he was forced to choose between one or the other. And then the
choice had been taken away, and he'd been enormously relieved. Not just
because he wouldn't have a family to interfere with his job, but because he
wouldn't have had to hurt Hutch out of a sense of martyrdom and doing what
was right for the innocent life which didn't have choices.
What he hadn't considered in all the turmoil of the Nancy situation, he just
now realized, was that making Hutch less than Number One in his life would
have been just as hurtful to himself as it would have been to Hutch.
He wondered how he could have ever even considered it... placing Nancy and
his child ahead of Hutch. It was the right attitude to have; but would it,
truly, have been realistic?
He looked across at the man who was watching him. Though he knew Hutch would
know he was only joking, he felt it necessary to stall for time, to give
himself a chance to consider what had been said and the feelings that were
between them. "Oh," he said with exaggerated casualness, "so I'm just a
convenience until somebody else comes along whom you can give yourself to."
Though Hutch had to know he was only teasing, his voice was once again hard
and challenging. "Why not you? Why shouldn't I
give myself one hundred percent to you? Why shouldn't you be the target of
everything I'm capable of feeling?"
Those blue eyes were ablaze with emotion. Hutch giving all of himself.
Wanting to give even more, if Starsky would only accept it. Accept him.
Starsky lowered his eyes, his heart beating rapidly in his chest. All the
warmth they'd shared earlier today, all those cozy feelings, the ease of
being naked together, loving each other. It had only been the tip of the
iceberg, Starsky realized now. For, beneath that tip, was a whole dimension
of love just waiting for an outlet. Waiting to be allowed to express itself,
to make itself known, to give itself to its target. And Hutch was saying
that target should be Starsky.
What would it be like? It was difficult to imagine Hutch loving him any more
than he already did, than he already had. Hutch was the most affectionate
person Starsky had ever known, bar none. But that was the affection that was
acceptable in public, acceptable for two who had faced death together. It
had an intensity about it that few human beings ever got to experience. It
was something beautiful and vibrant and Starsky knew his life would be a
shell of what it had been if he'd never known Hutch's love.
And here was Hutch... offering even more. All of himself.
The longing was strong, and Starsky had to shift in his seat again, sitting
up as he stared at the salt shaker he twirled about. He had urges, too. He
could put his arms around Hutch and not stop there. Hold Hutch and not stop
there. Pet and fondle him and not just have it be a passing contact. If he
allowed it--and it seemed Hutch was only waiting for his agreement-- then
he'd be able to throw himself back at Hutch just as completely. Give Hutch
everything that he was. He'd already shown Hutch all parts of himself... but
even Hutch did not know just how deep Starsky's passions were capable of
running, for he'd never made love to a Starsky in love.
Starsky let out a heavy breath and looked up.
Hutch was watching him, waiting.
The waitress appeared. "Here you go." She set a plate before each of them,
then took out her pad. "Is there anything else I can get you?"
They both shook there heads.
She tore of the ticket and left it on the table. "Thanks, fellas. Be sure
and visit us again."
"Thank you," Starsky told her retreating back. He reached to the salt but
Hutch grabbed it first. Starsky pouted, then took the pepper instead. After
sprinkling everything on his plate, he looked up to see Hutch salting his
mashed potatoes intently, a distant look on his face.
"They taste that bland?" Starsky offered, knowing that, like himself, Hutch
hadn't taken a bite yet.
Hutch looked up, then quickly put the shaker aside. He squirmed in the
booth, then looked at Starsky squarely. "I want us to spend two or three
months discovering everything wonderful that two human beings can possibly
do to each other."
Starsky had to remember to breathe. Here Hutch was, as open as he'd been
earlier today when they'd been making love with each other. That same
openness that had been sorely missed in recent months. Now Hutch was
offering all of himself.
What had David Michael Starsky ever done to be worth that?
No, dumb question. He was worth
it. He was the only person on Earth who deserved that from Hutch, who
deserved all of Hutch. That was his right. They'd been through so much
together that their souls had been sealed together by sheer caring and
concern for each other. Hutch belonged to him as much as any one person
could ever belong to another.
Just as he had belonged to Hutch. And he had violated that sacred unity when
he had been determined to marry Nancy. If he gave Hutch what he was asking
for, Hutch would never have to worry about any such thing again.
And neither would Starsky.
Starsky took a bite of the potatoes, which was indeed rather bland. He
swallowed, then asked, "So, what happens after we've tried everything
wonderful that two people can possibly do together?" He began to cut up his
meat with his fork.
Hutch had put his silverware down and was resting his arms on the table. "We
repeat over and over the things we enjoyed most."
Ah, Hutch. Starsky
swallowed a piece of steak and felt it go all the way down to the pit of his
stomach. Without looking up, he asked, "What happens at the next LAPD
barbeque when everyone expects us to show up with dates?"
"We go without. Or we don't go at all. Or we go with female friends who
understand about us and are willing to be dates." A pause, then, mildly,
"Dammit, Starsky, we'll figure that all out when we have to. But that's a
damn sorry excuse to not... " He didn't finish, but breathed deeply instead.
Starsky looked up while chewing another bite. Before swallowing, he
muttered, "We always have been rebels against the system." And he grinned,
trying to tell himself that Hutch was right, and the good times they could
have together would get them past the bad times.
Hutch settled back against the side of the booth, with his beer in hand.
Though he liked seeing Hutch finally relax, Starsky nodded toward his full
plate. "You're not eating."
"I'm not hungry."
"Eat anyway." He wriggled his eyebrows, feeling he was closing one door and
opening another... There was something heady about the idea of an adventure.
"You're gonna need the energy."
Hutch laughed. Then blushed.
"I'll just be a minute." Hutch got out of the LTD.
Starsky released a quiet breath. It was dark now, and they were parked in
front of Freddy's Drug Store.
Hutch was going inside. Hutch hadn't mentioned anything about stopping here
before pulling into the parking lot. But Starsky could pretty much
Ironically, their conversation had turned to everyday topics while eating at
the tavern. It seemed to be a respite from the discovery of their situation
that they both had needed. They hadn't talked much after leaving the tavern,
though Starsky knew what they'd do once returning to the cabin. Obviously,
Hutch had, too; hence the stop at the drug store.
He had to admire how brave Hutch was, because he himself wouldn't have had
the nerve to walk into the drugstore, even by himself, even if the clerk had
no way of knowing that the things he purchased didn't have anything to do
with sharing female companionship.
But there Hutch was... through the front glass Starsky could see the blond
head making its way down the aisles, stopping, pausing, looking, picking
Starsky squirmed. It didn't relieve the pressure, so he unsnapped his jeans
and opened the fly a little ways. His flesh was as hard as steel. He stroked
the exposed portion with his fingertips, soothing it, and felt the ache in
Man, when they got back to the cabin....
He wondered who would do whom first. Maybe he'd get to fuck Hutch tonight.
Insert himself between those muscular, well-toned cheeks, see the pale aura
in the darkness. Push himself up into that tight, dry opening....
Starsky ran his thumb over the fluid oozing from himself and spread it
around the straining corona.
The opening would be very tight, but it wouldn't be dry. There would be a
thick coat of vaseline that he'd be pushing through. And when penetration
was successful, even if by just a small part of himself, Hutch would make a
Starsky stroked himself. His zipper had lowered more because his erection
had grown even thicker and was pointing skyward. He spread his legs,
slinking down into the seat, glad the LTD was out of the way of the street
The noise from Hutch would be like a grunt. A deep grunt. Starsky's flesh
would hurt him, but Hutch wouldn't fight against it; for he wanted it so
badly. Starsky would wait, let his prick slip almost all the way out, until
tight muscles relaxed. He'd feel the yielding, the acceptance. Then he'd
thrust firmly, driving himself in deeper. "Yes," Hutch
Damn it. Starsky quickly pulled his shirt tail out of his jeans and
tossed it over his erection. He aimed the head against his covered stomach
as the familiar explosion burst through his body.
"Wow," he muttered a moment later, releasing a heavy sigh. Thankfully, the
fluid was minimal, because he'd already come twice today. With lassitude
washing through him, he struggled to straighten in the seat. He spent a
moment tucking himself away, then sighed heavily again while pressing a hand
against his shirt, over the drying fluid.
Hutch would never know.
The big blond was at the counter now, smiling at the sales clerk, mouth
moving, making casual conversation.
What a charmer.
Starsky's cheeks billowed as he let out another breath. Physically, he felt
completely drained. He would be no good to Hutch now.
Hutch was approaching the exit.
Starsky swallowed. And wondered if he was
going to get fucked tonight instead.
They didn't speak as they drove the short ways in the darkness to the little
dirt lane that lead to their cabin. The opening and closing of doors sounded
loud in the still air.
Hutch entered first, sack in hand, and Starsky was right behind him. As soon
as the threshold was crossed. Hutch turned to him, and with one hand on
Starsky's cheek lifted his face up to him, with the other holding the sack,
Hutch pushed the door shut, enclosing them in darkness once again, while
lowering his lips.
That mustache felt powerful, as did his partner's breath. Starsky guiltily
realized he'd subconsciously pulled back, for he knew he was spent, and it
seemed pointless to lead the other on.
It took a moment for Hutch to get the message, but he finally straightened.
"Cold feet?" he whispered gently, though his tone was disbelieving.
"Nah," Starsky quickly shook his head, realizing that, despite their
situation, he didn't want that warm breath to move too far away. And how
foolish it now seemed that he thought he could keep his little secret from
Hutch. "I, uh..." He was thankful it was dark, though Starsky realized with
some surprise that he wasn't blushing. "I came in the car."
A beat, then a soft, "What?" Genuinely not understanding.
God, he loved it when Hutch whispered. The sound was so lulling and
comforting. "Just now, when you were in the store. I was all turned on
thinking about us, and I came all over myself." It seemed so instinctive to
exaggerate his masculine attributes.
Still soft, "You're kidding." But with amusement this time.
"No, honest." Starsky took a deep breath and got to the point. "I'm
worthless. I haven't come this many times in a few hours since I was a
rookie in blue."
Now a soft chuckle.
He was grateful for the humor, but Starsky still didn't want to disappoint
this man. "But, you know, you can still..." now he truly felt bashful, and
he shrugged, "you know, enjoy me. You know, play with me or whatever." He
decided he may as well be straightforward. "Use me." He deliberately
softened his tone and let amusement slip in. "I promise I won't mind if
things are... sorta one-sided." In the silence that followed, save his
partner's heavy breathing, Starsky realized what he'd just given permission
His heart beat faster.
Familiar hands touched his face, skimmed down his nose and mouth. They
paused beneath his chin, and Starsky sensed hesitation. "What?"
A noise of amusement, then, "I want to carry you to bed, but I know my back
won't be able to handle it."
Starsky reached to put his arm around the waist of the silhouette in the
darkness, drawing the other closer. "Then why don't we take ourselves to
bed and... continue from there."
They walked, taking small steps, Starsky thinking that this physical
closeness now had new meaning for them, and he was sure that Hutch was
thinking the same.
There was the crinkling of the sack as it was placed on the nightstand.
"Uh..." Starsky wondered where his sudden bundle of nerves came from, "maybe
I ought to shower up." Be nice and clean for Hutch.
He sensed a shrug. "Doesn't matter to me," a soft voice replied. Then, "I
haven't decided for sure yet what I'm going to do to you."
Did that mean if he took a shower it would encourage Hutch to be bolder?
Starsky listened to the sound of his own breathing, wondering if he really
wanted to get fucked. It would happen eventually, of course, but did it need
to be tonight? If they waited, then perhaps it would be he who would do
Hutch first. Not that it mattered all that much, but he'd feel more secure
being on top the first time. In control.
Starsky began unbuttoning his shirt as he headed for the tiny bathroom. It
would be different, doing it with a guy, even with a guy who really wanted
it. The act required a certain delicacy in any circumstance, but this would
have many far reaching consequences for he and Hutch both. If it didn't work
out--if it was too awkward or too painful-- it could put a real damper on
their intentions for the future.
Starsky closed the bathroom door behind him. He wanted to be on the bottom
first. No question. Because then he could take anything Hutch did wrong and
correct all those mistakes when it was Hutch's turn to be on the bottom.
He'd let himself be the guinea pig this first time. So that Hutch would know
only pleasure when it was his turn
Starsky started the water for the shower, determination overtaking his
Naked, Hutch slipped between the sheets. He removed his watch from his wrist
and stared at the glow-in-the-dark numerals. They didn't register, but the
sound of a weak shower from the bathroom did.
He'd as good as promised that they would do everything two people could
possibly do to each other. Inadvertently, he'd placed a lot of expectation
on himself. Not that Starsky would be keeping a tally. But the thought of
disappointing the other....
Hutch took a deep, relaxing breath. Surely, that was impossible tonight.
Starsky was spent.
He now shook his head, snorting with amusement. Jerked
off in the car. Then sobered
abruptly. Thinking about us.
He laid the watch on the nightstand, then rested his hands over his covered
lap, feeling the hardening beneath. He was aware that his heart was
pounding-- not with arousal, but with disbelief. That this had all come
about so simply. Almost as though it were the most natural thing in the
world. And all because he'd acted on a whim this morning. No thought, no
anticipation, no time to consider the consequences. And it was so easy.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, he cautioned. It wouldn't always be
that easy. Couldn't be. There had to be many stumbling blocks ahead.
But, for now, Starsky was all his. And would continue to be if they worked
through those stumbling blocks.
Ah, buddy, he closed his
eyes, leaning back against the headboard, I
want to take such good care of you. So that you never question that this is
right, that we're the best each other can ever have.
Perhaps the first step in that direction should be to not press for anything
tonight. Just curl up together and sleep.
Hutch reached under the covers and gave himself a sympathetic stroke.
But Starsky had seemed so eager to please, wanting Hutch to have anything he
Maybe that'll be our undoing, he considered fatalistically. Maybe
our wanting to please each other so much will only cause us nothing but
Okay. Decision made. He
wasn't going to worry about second-guessing and was going to take what he
wanted. It was up to Starsky to tell him "No."
Starsky emerged from the shower with a towel around his waist. Hutch was
sitting up in bed with his hand beneath the covers. "Stop playing with
yourself," he scolded.
A grunt of amusement. "Like you did in the car?"
Starsky moved around to the other side of the bed, tossing the towel to one
side. "Ha, ha." He felt for the mattress, then got beneath the covers. So
odd... getting into bed with Hutch, this time knowing what they were going
to do. A part of him was tempted to act as casual as possible, to not try to
let things get too heavy. But he had to ask: "How ya doin'?" voice tender.
"How do you think?" Hutch countered in the same soft tone while opening his
arm to invite his partner to snuggle against his side. "The person I've
loved most in my life has given me permission to do with him as I please."
The gentle tone also carried a veiled threat.
Humor was easy. "Hey, don't go thinkin' it's always gonna be like that. Just
consider this a special treat. Like... a reward for havin' such a bright
Hutch squeezed him closer. "It wasn't an idea. Just pure feeling."
"Ah, ya big softie." Starsky rubbed his cheek against the smooth skin.
"But you wouldn't have me any other way, right?"
"Right." Starsky tilted his face up.
He wasn't disappointed, for soft, luscious lips pressed against his own, the
texture gentle and sweet.
They pulled back too soon. "Sure you want to do anything?" Hutch asked.
Starsky was sure of his answer. "Yeah. As long as... you know, you don't
take it personal if I don't get a hard-on again." But he was feeling
something... from the sheer sweetness of it all. His hand moved along
Hutch's thigh, felt the damp tip of the burgeoning hardness.
Hutch groaned and covered Starsky's mouth once more.
"Know something?" Hutch whispered when he pulled back.
"What?" Starsky felt his heart beat faster.
"I think I love you."
He feigned offense. "You think?" And
then wondered if he, too, should feel a difference now that this had
Hutch straightened. "Hm. Maybe it's that I've been wanting to make love
to you for a long time, and I wasn't able to put it into words until now."
Starsky swallowed, not wanting an intellectual partner on his hands right
now. "We don't have to analyze it right this minute, do we?" he asked
hopefully. Then jutted his chin out pointedly.
"You imp," Hutch chuckled, taking the chin in hand, and then the lips were
upon Starsky's once again.
As it continued, Starsky shifted, and eventually lay back, bringing Hutch on
top of himself. There wasn't the stimulation between his legs to encourage
the passion to build, and he was more interested in getting to the main
event. What he was aware
of between his legs was the stout hardness of the other, the undulation, the
trembling in the other's arms. When his lips were finally released, Starsky
reminded, "Don't worry about a lot of foreplay on my account."
The other's breath was heavy and strong above him. Seriously, Hutch said,
"What if I want to fuck?"
Asking, Starsky knew. He shrugged. "Figured you did."
Now tenderness. "You aren't afraid?"
"Of course, I am. You're not exactly a midget, you know."
"Maybe we should spend a while getting to know each other a little better
Starsky snorted, even though he knew what Hutch meant. "I don't think there
is any such thing, when it comes to us." His voice softened. "'Sides, what's
good sex without a good fuck?"
"Sex can be lots of good things without any fucking."
Starsky thought about that, trying to figure out if Hutch was being
superior, or if the other had truly had many fuckless, romantic encounters.
He decided to stick with his own experience. "Couldn't prove it by me." Then
he realized that was a lie, and choked out," 'Cept... 'cept today."
Hutch grinned; Starsky could see the white teeth in the darkness. It was a
genuine smile--warm and approving. He wanted all the more to give this man
what he wanted. "So... now that you've been proven right, let's finish the
day out nice and proper."
He was rewarded for that, with sloppy kisses that went down his neck, into
his chest. His tiny nipples were lapped at while his shoulders were
affectionately squeezed in large hands.
Then Hutch paused. "You ever done anything like this before?"
Starsky was tempted to roll his eyes at the obvious answer. "Of course not.
At least... not with being on the bottom." Then he tapped the broad forehead
scoldingly. "You know I ain't never been in bed with a guy before."
"I didn't mean that you had," Hutch replied innocently. "Just wondered if...
you know, you'd ever had much activity back there. Dildoes and such."
He did roll his eyes this time. Where did his well-bred partner come up with
this stuff? "Never been in bed with a dildo, Hutch. And if you have, I don't
want to know about it." He wondered then if he'd hurt Hutch's feelings, for
the last line sounded judgmental. If there was ever anything Hutch wanted to
tell him, he didn't want to discourage his partner from doing so.
But Hutch seemed to take it in stride, for his voice carried a touch of
humor. "Deflowering virgins isn't my strong suit."
Starsky had to smile at the vulnerability. "Then any flaws in your technique
will be our little secret." He was aware of how soft Hutch's genitals had
And Hutch still wanted to talk... or whisper. "Never done any virgins
Starsky blinked, resigned to the conversation. "You mean deflowering young
ladies, or ass-fucking somebody?"
Well, all right, so Hutch had never swept any young maidens off their feet,
at least not to the point of deflowering them. He wondered why that seemed
important now. Then realized that made him Hutch's first deflowering of any
kind. "Well, now you've got your first virgin to spoil," he pointed out.
"So, enjoy yourself, 'cause you'll never get the chance again." As soon as
Starsky finished the sentence, he realized what he'd said and, more
importantly, what he'd meant. And then he wondered if Hutch had assumed the
same thing he had about a monogamous future. He decided to make his point,
while softening it with teasing, so there was no mistake. "Once you deflower
me, I own you, you know. You sleep with anybody else, you're a dead man."
There, that should lay it on strong enough.
A soft chuckle. And then those lips were upon his in earnest....
This is what is feels like, Starsky marveled as he melted into the
mattress, the flesh pressing against his so fuzzy that he wasn't sure where
one of them ended and the other began. To
be taken, to be devoured, to be swept off one's feet. To be claimed... By
someone who will never claim anyone else ever again.
He whimpered at the perfection of it, the noise escaping around the lips
sealed against his, even as he felt a growing wave of uncertainty at the
huge, steel hardness undulating against his lower thigh.
When next released, he muttered, "Don't make me do anything. Okay?" Now a
plea as those deep blue eyes met his in the darkness. "Just let me lie here
and be done over. Done over completely."
So selfish, but it was what he wanted most of all right now.
There was a glint from the orbs above, watching him. Then, with
satisfaction, the softest of whispers. "You own me. I own you."
Starsky nodded, loving the declaration. "Yeah. You own me. Show me how much
you own me, Hutch." Despite everything, he felt a stir at his center... yet
Heavy lips brushed against his. He was sinking, sinking... with no concern
for his safety. Just a puddle of goo. No responsibilities. Just a tool to be
used for another's pleasure. His partner's pleasure. His best friend's
pleasure. His... everything's...
No other instrument, alive or not, had a more important task. Nor a more
Hutch was breathing heavily when he released Starsky's lips. Then the
mattress creaked. A hand on Starsky's waist, gripping, applying pressure.
Starsky understood. He turned over and lay facedown. Spread his legs. The
strong sense of vulnerability, of being defenseless, was something he paid
attention to. So he could tend to it at some time in the future when it was
There was the piercing sound of a paper sack being handled. The one from the
drugstore. Who knew what was in there. Starsky could imagine in general, but
not specifics. Not sure what
Hutch would think is important.Certainly nothing to raise the eyebrow of
the drugstore clerk. Or maybe Hutch's charm had distracted her enough that
she hadn't paid attention to the details of his purchases, only the price.
The famous Hutchinson charm. It
had won Starsky over a million times. Guess
we're goin' for a million and one, huh, pal?
Pals. Is that what they still were? That simple word had such an innocent
connotation it. A part of him wanted very much not to lose it.
The mattress shifted again. Hutch's bare leg was against his own. There was
the sound of a lid or cap being loosened. Starsky felt a sudden need for
air, and he inhaled deeply, then released it.
A hand on his buttock. Squeezing. Oh,
yeah. A large hand.
Possessive. Appreciative. Smooth now. Feeling his roundness.
Now the other cheek. Squeezing again... testing. Gonna
get a hard-on... A light
scratch. Oh, jeesus god. A
fingernail catching on something. Must
be a pimple... ouch! He
Smoothness again, soothing. A pause. Soft creaking of the mattress. Then a
touch of wetness, near the fading pain. The quietist of kissing noises. Oh,
dear sweet god.
Now the other cheek, where there had been no pain. Take
me now, Lord. I have reached perfection. No reason to keep on living....
Except... Hutch wanted something. Have
to live long enough to give it.
His legs were pushed farther apart. For a moment, there was nothing. Then a
moist substance touched the lower end of his asscheek, an inch from the
crevice. Feeling around. Come
on, Hutch, find it.
The finger did. Moist bluntness against his opening. Harsher now.
Threatening to intrude, already feeling so large at the entrance. Gonna
hurt like a sonofabitch.
Starsky grunted as it pushed, then turned his face into the pillow,
smothering the sound. So damn
tight. He squeezed his eyes
shut and whimpered.
He hadn't intended to, then realized this was not something they should hide
from each other. Now is when
communication is most important. And
he had demanded that Hutch not ask anything of him. He had intended to
suffer any discomfort internally, to experience it all on some inner level
by himself. Now he decided to speak, starting with a snort of humor. "Even
your damn finger is a monster."
There was a pause, as though Hutch was trying to decide what to do with this
bit of information, and then the finger wriggled powerfully.
Starsky's body quivered involuntarily, and a wave of goosebumps developed
all across his skin. Wow.
Hutch made a noise that sounded like a grunt of approval. Then he pushed the
finger in deeper.
More invasion--almost violation--but not pain this time. The finger was
seeking ownership, claiming possession. Starsky realized after the fact that
he'd pushed himself back against it.
"Yeaahhh," Hutch drawled from deep within his throat. Definite approval this
time. The finger snaked back, then pushed forward. Fucking him.
Starsky grunted, wanting more. Wanted to be filled now with that massive
prick. Have Hutch surrounding him, inside of him, shamelessly using him for
his own pleasure.
"Like it at all?" Hutch asked in a serious whisper.
"Think I'm getting a hard-on," Starsky muttered in answer.
A brief laugh, probably of relief. The fingers snaked backwards... all the
way out. Fumbling. Soft noises. Then his asshole being stroked with a smooth
substance. The finger pushed in again, easier this time. Then the bluntness
of another fumbling around back there, searching, and then Starsky sucked in
a sharp breath when it forced its way past skin that didn't want to stretch.
"That part's not fun," Hutch stated, his tone carrying a distant question.
"Not so bad once they're in," Starsky replied, wanting to be encouraging.
It had the right effect, for Hutch pushed them in deeper. Man, it was heady,
knowing part of Hutch was inside of him. A physical part,
for they'd been sharing emotional and spiritual space for many years now. The
final piece of the puzzle. And we'll be complete.
A wave of... something--perhaps warmth--flushed through Starsky. It was
going to be a beautiful moment when they performed that final unity, even if
it hurt like the dickens.
But also just a beginning, he
reminded himself. Hutch wants
us to do 'anything and everything two people can possibly do to each other.'
Man... His on-again,
off-again erection once again had a new life.
The fingers were trying to move apart, stretching the opening. Such a
poignant sensation, having them messing around back there; the assumption
that they had a right to be there, that all parts of him belonged to Hutch.
Slowly, they withdrew, his asshole reverting back to its prior tightness.
There were more noises of Hutch handling something, the shifting of the bed.
Moist fingertips touched his shoulder as a hand settled there. "Turn on your
side," came his partner's breathless direction.
Starsky turned on his side, feeling the heat of Hutch's body, the other arm
that wrapped around his chest.
"Put your leg up." A firm knee bumped against the back of his thigh.
Starsky pulled his outer leg up toward his chest, exposing himself. He felt
Hutch settle more firmly against him, felt the moist phallus against his
A hand was there. Hutch's breath heavy and strong. Moist heat against his
asshole. Hutch shifting more up onto his side. Fingers feeling frantically.
A push. Pain. Starsky gasped, feeling it press against the side of his outer
asshole, pointing the wrong way.
It moved, was better centered. More pushing. More pain, this time from his
asshole being stretched. His gasp this time was more a cry, and he felt his
"Damn," Hutch whispered beneath his breath as Starsky felt him pull back.
Starsky sensed the utterance wasn't from his complaint, but because Hutch
had wanted it to go in without so much effort.
There was silence, other than both their thick breaths, for a few moments.
Then Hutch's arm tightened around Starsky's chest. "Gonna push real hard
this time," he warned.
Starsky swallowed, knew there was nothing he could do but let it happen. He
felt the blunt thickness against him once again. Felt Hutch's arm tighten
even more. Felt Hutch push off the bed with a leg. And then a huge thickness
forced its way past his tight sphincter.
"God!" he cried out. His
protest was vocal only, and he knew Hutch would keep on as long as he didn't
fight him. Knew that Hutch knew there was no avoiding the pain.
Hutch pushed again. It was huge, the thick cylinder filling him, forcing him
open. He felt the ripping of delicate tissues.
Hutch relaxed a moment, then thrust with a grunt when it threatened to slide
back out. This time he went deep enough that it wouldn't fall back out on
its own. He rested his damp forehead against the back of Starsky's shoulder,
gasping for breath. After a moment, he managed to ask, "Doin' okay,
It was such a stark contrast to Hutch's selfish actions, that Starsky had to
restrain a chuckle. "If you call having your asshole ripped open by Mr.
Monster Prick 'doing okay'."
There was another moment of Hutch regaining his breath, then he gasped,
"Guess losing one's cherry isn't all it's cracked up to be, huh?"
"Feels like you popped a thousand cherries."
A gruff chuckle, and Starsky felt Hutch relax behind him. Then there was
It felt better this time, not as piercing. Only deeper. He relaxed, too,
knowing the worst was over.
The hand that had been around him now moved up and patted at his cheek.
"Feel good to you?" Starsky asked.
"Yeah," Hutch gasped seriously. He let it fall back a little, and then he
pushed it back in. "Especially that," he groaned. He tried it again, pulling
back a little, then pushing in even deeper than before. "Ah, yeah. I like
that." He repeated the motion... again... and again.
Shit, it was damn stimulatin', having it move like that. Back and forth.
Searing the nerves in his sphincter. Awakening nerves behind his balls,
beneath his rectal tract. "Damn it, Hutchinson."
A chuckle of deep satisfaction answered him. Then the taunt, "You like that,
don't you, partner?" Hutch's breath was thick as he continued to move. "You
like that huge prick up your ass."
Starsky was only going to say it once. "I like your prick
up my ass." He shivered as the huge thickness moved over his prostate once
again. "Shit, that's making me crazy."
Hutch's arm suddenly wrapped around him, pinning him with the force of
sexual arousal... and need. Hutch was thrusting frantically now, gasping
with each stroke, tiny cries escaping his lips. "Dear, God," he finally
pleaded. "Dear God, I'm going to come. Come huge. Inside your ass. Oh, dear
He cried out above the bed, pushing himself in deeper than ever before,
gripping Starsky fiercely. And then the masculine yell gave way to short,
almost-sobs. Soft, incoherent words. And then he went slack against
Starsky's back. And then his prick slipped out.
In some ways it was a relief to be free of it, in others it seemed it hadn't
done quite enough -- though Starsky still thought there was no way he could
have come, despite all the stimulation. He lay still, listening to his
partner regaining his breath. Determined to fight the feeling that he should
run to the john, as he felt it was more mental need than a physical one.
Finally, the arm came back around, loose and gentle this time. A kiss was
planted at the back of his neck.
"You always get so religious when you're fucking?" Starsky teased.
"Why not?" Hutch asked, the bed shifting, a lamp coming on. "Fucking is a
beautiful gift. You going to turn over?"
It was flattering, that Hutch wanted him near, even though he would have had
every right to just roll over and fall asleep. A little warm spot developed
in the center of Starsky's chest, knowing that after all their years
together-- all the time they'd spent together--there were still things they
needed to say to each other. Nice things.
Starsky turned over, feeling the aches in his body. Hutch was resting back
against the headboard, golden locks damp against his forehead. He'd just
tossed a towel aside to the right of the bed, and now with his left hand he
reached out and Starsky wasted no time in snuggling up against him. Man, it
felt good. And now a new scent--or, one he'd smelled before but never taken
notice of in this particular way. Male sweat. Not his own, but his
partner's. It held new meaning now.
Quietly, Hutch said, "You're bleeding. We'd better give you some kind of
Starsky furrowed a brow. He wasn't feeling anything right now and, keeping
his weight against Hutch, he sent his finger down to explore. He still
didn't feel anything, but when he looked at it, he could see little red
Arm still around his partner, Hutch was sifting through the sack. He pulled
out a plastic tube. "Here. Use this."
Starsky took it and squeezed some out on his fingers. Then sent them back
down. As he rubbed it in, he felt he should say something to ease the
awkwardness of the moment. Except... he didn't feel awkward. "Guess havin'
gay sex means getting to know your own asshole." He put the lid back on the
tube and handed it back.
Hutch accepted it, his eyes with a mischievous glint. Those blue orbs looked
at Starsky without wavering, making Starsky feel that nothing else in the
world existed. "Before long, I'm going to know your asshole better than you
do yourself." He turned to place the tube on the nightstand.
Starsky's mouth fell open. He felt himself shiver. And then his groin was
begging for touch. He sent his hand down again, this time to soothe it.
Hutch grinned smugly, shifting on the bed while making a big show of
yawning. "I'm bushed." He reached to turn out the light.
Starsky slid back under the covers, grimacing at the condition he'd been
left in, though he knew there wasn't enough energy there to get anywhere.
Still, he was amazed at the affect Hutch had on him. Had had on him the
entire day. Such a short time
ago we were just... best friends. Partners. He
got settled, half a foot from his partner's turned back. With forced
casualness, he said, "You know, someday, you're gonna have to tell me what
was going through that little blond head of yours that caused us to end up
like this." He punched his pillow, then gratefully yielded to blissful
Hutch listened to Starsky settle. He wondered how he would ever be able to
answer that question, since he couldn't even answer to himself.
Love will have to conquer all, he
decided. It'll have to be all
that matters. It has to.
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