"God." Starsky said eyeing the bodies that were laying under their respective sheets. "I want a relationship like them."
I snapped my neck up so quickly that it popped in a few places and then stared at him dumbly for a moment.
It had finally happened. My partner of seven years, my lover for almost as long, had finally lost it. Here, at the site of a murder suicide, in an average looking apartment room, next to two covered bodies, and carpet covered in blood.
"But they killed each other-"
"I mean, romantically." He interrupted me, as if that explained everything.
Oh yeah, that explained everything. The two lovers lying dead on the floor were a stellar example of a healthy viable relationship. I mean who wouldn't be jealous of that romance? Not me that was for sure.
Starsky was already on making his way outside to the Torino just as I was peeling back my rubber gloves. I threw them in a trash can outside that apartment building and joined him in the car. My mind dizzy with what he had said.
Somewhere between the apartment and the car I had regained my voice. "Starsky, would you please mind telling me what is so romantic about two people fighting so violently that they end up dead?" I tried to keep the sarcasm out of my voice but failed miserably.
He grinned at me as he slipped his brown aviator sunglasses from his jacket pocket and placed them on his face. "Come on, Hutch, you got to admit. That amount of passion isn't at least a little bit of a turn on for you."
"I can't say that it is, pal."
"Oh, come on! Just think about it. Having someone be that crazy about you that they-"
"Crazy? Batshit crazy is more like it." I was exasperated. "Christ, Starsky, domestic violence isn't about love. It's a about power. You're a cop, you know that. I can't believe you are even saying this. Did you hit your head this morning?" This conversation was starting to make me more than a little pissed off.
"I mean the passion, Hutch." He said, well, passionately, one hand on the steering wheel the other moving about for effect. "Don't cha want passion like that? Without the violence I mean."
I stared at him, mouth open in surprise. Starsky kept his eyes on the road, as he drove, weaving in and out of traffic, a skill that was second nature to him.
"I thought we did have passion." I mumbled feeling my chest tighten a little.
Starsky and I had been sleeping together for almost as long as we'd been on the force; the first time wasn't long after Van and I had divorced. One drunken night I had wound up in his bed and it wasn't long until it became a habit.
Sure we would still have women on the side and sometimes, if the girl was really something special, we might try a real relationship. We never slept with each other when one of us was in a relationship with a chick. Both of us still yearning for a "real" future, complete with marriage, kids, and a picket fence. And you could get any of that by fucking your partner behind your girl's back.
I think I gave up on that dream after I lost Gillian. Starsky gave up sometime after Teri. 1976 was a hard year, for both of us and it wasn't long until I found him back in my bed.
Six months later, on a rainy night, while laying in my arms in bed, he had proclaimed that he didn't want anyone else. The only person he wanted was me. He wanted a real relationship. And no more women, for either of us. Exclusivity is what he called it and I poked fun at him for using that word.
Starsky silenced my laughter with a kiss and then pinned me down on the bed, threatening that he wasn't going to let me up until he got an answer. I kissed him back an agreed to be exclusive, even though there was a nagging thought in the back of my mind. This wouldn't last. Starsky was way too much of playboy to be held down by one person for a lengthy period of time. We both were.
Was this Starsky's way of saying he'd changed his mind?
"Awe, babe. I know but I am just saying." He said rubbing his hand across the 5 o'clock shadow that peppered his chin. I could tell he was regretting having said anything but I was none too eager to let him off the hook.
"Just saying what Starsky? Just exactly what are you trying to say?" I pressured, moving my own hand to smooth my newly grown mustache.
"Don't take this the wrong way," Starsky stopped, leaning his head over to give me the grin he knows I can't resist. He reached over and grabbed my hand and laced our fingers together, bringing them to his month for a quick kiss.
"Starsky." I said in warning. It was the wrong time of day to be advertising our relationship to the public and we were still on duty. Not to mention the black and whites that could be lurking on the side of the road trying to catch unsuspecting speeders.
"I'll I'm saying is," He made another painful pause before continuing, "Babe I love you with my whole heart, you know that-"
"But." I interrupted. He was starting to make me nervous and I wish he would just spit it out.
"But, babe, I think we've gone a little stale."
Stale? Stale? He has the nerve to call our relationship stale. Our sex life was the most colorful that either of us had ever had, what more could he possibly want? Christ, stale my ass.
"You can't be serious." I said. Clearly annoyed. "We are two guys who sleep together, who fuck each other and you think that we are stale-"
I thought I saw panic flash across his face before he interrupted me, "Whoa, babe. I am NOT talking about what we do in the bedroom. I mean the sex stuff that's great. No, I am talking about the rest of it."
I looked at him dumbly. "The rest of it." I repeated.
"Yeah, you know like the date nights, going out on the town. The glitz. You know the showing it off to the whole world. Remember, what it was like when you were dating a chick and you couldn't wait to go out with her and take her out dancing or to a fancy dinner, show her off to the world-"
I suddenly understood completely and it make me feel a sadness in my heart. We were two guys who loved each other. Two cops who loved each other, hell would freeze over before either of us could show our relationship off to the world.
Starsky wanted the passion and all the glitz of a straight relationship. Oh shit, he was breaking up with me.
"Blonde. Blonde?" His voice cut through my thoughts.
"I said, does that sound okay to you?"
"I didn't hear you." I admitted, my heart in the pit of my stomach.
He sighed and grabbed at my hand again, holding it in his own, he placed them both in the middle of the bucket seats.
"I said, I want to plan a long vacation to San Francisco."
"San Francisco? So you aren't breaking up with me?" I stated matter-of-factly, having trouble making the leap from us being stale to a vacationing to San Francisco.
"Breaking up with you. Who said anything about breaking up, dummy?" He said shocked.
"We're stale." I reminded, looking for some sort of reaction. I didn't get any, he just shook his head and continued to stare out the car windshield.
"I want to take a trip to San Francisco so that we can be less stale. We need some glitz and we certainly can't parade ourselves around here, now can we?" He kissed my hand again and gave me a wink from behind his glasses.
Well, that sounded a hell of a lot better than breaking up.
"Yeah, okay." I agreed.
After he parked the car in the parking garage at metro, Starsky turned in his seat to face me. "Hutch, when I told you I wanted to be exclusive I meant it. The way I see it is we've been together for so long now, we're practically an old married couple. We just need to mix things up a bit. " He winked at me and got out of the car.
When I made no move to get out of the car, Starsky rapped on the window. I opened it and he peered down at me. "Come on Romeo, why don't you show me how passionate you are about me by finishing the stack of reports on our desk?"
I wanted to make some smart remark at that but couldn't think of one, so I didn't. Instead I sat in the car for a moment longer, trying to decide if he was joking or serious. Either way it didn't matter.
Trip to San Francisco. Passion or no passion. There was NO way I was finishing Starsky's reports for him.