When Starsky came home he only wished for a cold beer and some time in front of the TV clicking through the channels. The day had been weird. They had found a dead woman in a garbage container. She reminded Hutch of his former girlfriend, Gillian. Strangely, Hutch hadn't said anything and Starsky wondered if his partner had realized the resemblance at all. Some cases really stunk! They had worked long hours in the past few months and when off duty; they hadn't had time to socialize a lot. Meeting at Huggy's to have dinner and playing some billiards was all they were up to. This day hadn't been different.
Starsky stopped in front of his apartment, reaching for the key above the door frame. It wasn't there.
Shit! He had put it there like Hutch always did. He tried to open the door, and was shocked. The door was open! Someone must have entered his apartment. Cop mode set in and Starsky tiptoed into the dark hall. He drew his weapon and moved along the wall listening for any noise. He peeked into the living room, it seemed as if his rocking chair was moving. From behind Starsky approached the chair; he had to catch the intruder by surprise.
"Hands up! I have a weapon!"
"Huh?" Someone toppled over with the chair and landed on the floor with a suppressed curse.
"Hutch? Is it you? Jeez! I almost shot you! What're you doing here sitting in the dark?"
Starsky looked for the light switch. He was unable to hide a smile, when he saw Hutch lying there like a beetle on his back, squinting against the brightness. Clumsily he tried to untangle himself from the chair to get up. Starsky saw the desperate efforts and reached down a hand to help his partner.
"You wanna sit on the couch? And is there any beer left for me, pal?" Starsky asked when he saw several beer cans spread over the floor.
"Sure, I've seen one more in the fridge. Oops, your room is swaying like - " Hutch groped for support, finding Starsky steady him, as he was led to the couch.
"I've got you, pal. Sit down and relax. Why are you drinking alone? That isn't the Hutch I know."
Starsky disappeared into the kitchen and came back with the last can of beer.
"C'mon, what's wrong?" Starsky slumped down onto the couch and nudged Hutch encouragingly.
Hutch said pensively, "Have a weird feeling. You remember the woman we found today? Reminded me of Gillian."
"I know, buddy, was the same with me. I thought it would bother you, but you didn't say anything about it. Brought memories back at you, right?" Starsky assumed and Hutch nodded.
Starsky sipped from his beer and glanced at his partner. Hutch seemed to be far away as if he was lost in his memories. Then he pulled himself together, smiled bashfully at Starsky and said:
"I had to think of the good times we had; though it was all over before it really began. It's still hard to believe that she worked for Grossman and that he..." his voice trailed off and Starsky felt a twinge of guilt.
He had seen Gillian in the parlor with a customer and had tried to persuade her to leave the city or to tell Hutch about her job as a hooker. Before she could speak with Hutch she had been killed. Starsky sighed.
Hutch misunderstood his reaction, and asked full of concern, "You're thinking of Terry, right? What's wrong with us, buddy, that the women we love get lost or are killed? "
"Dunno," Starsky said taking another sip from his beer. Thinking of Terry still gave him a hard time; though it had been two years now since her death. Since then Starsky had dated some nice women, but there had been a lack of understanding concerning his dangerous job and his close relationship with Hutch. The women had backed out and Starsky hadn't been mad at it. The awareness hit him that Hutch was the reason for their failure in women. "It's all your fault," Starsky said with determination.
Hutch looked at him not understanding at all what this was about.
"I know why the ladies get lost as you say. It's because they see they can't give us what we can give each other." Proud of himself, Starsky beamed at Hutch.
"Do I get this right, buddy? You're trying to tell me it's my fault that you didn't get laid the last few months?" Hutch asked sarcastically, emptying his beer. Then he went on, anger in his voice. "And you blame me for Jenny splitting up with you this summer? That's ridiculous, Starsky! Leave it!"
"Don't you remember, when you got hurt during the bust? Jenny insisted on being with me all the time, but I didn't care. It was more important to me being with you. Your arm was in a cast; you were barely able to get dressed by yourself. Then she left me. Not a great loss, if you ask me."
Starsky smiled and asked: Wanna share the last beer?"
Hutch nodded still confused. Thinking of his ladies he had to admit that they never understood how he could risk his life everyday in the streets of Bay City. They wanted Hutch to part company with his best friend, and that had never been an option.
"Okay, okay," Hutch gave in, "maybe the ladies can't understand what we feel for each other — "
"That we love each other," Starsky finished, suddenly deadly serious. He looked at Hutch, best friend for ages.He saw the beloved face in front of him. Hutch's nervousness as he fumbled with the can opener.
Starsky did what his heart told him. He leaned over, drew Hutch's face to him and kissed him on the mouth. He was mesmerized by the softness of Hutch's lips and couldn't let go. Instead of pushing him back, Hutch leaned against the cushions and Starsky followed the movement.
"Hey." Hutch mouthed against Starsky's lips. "What are you doing here? Shouldn't have drunk your beer. I'm dreaming now, right?"
Grinning like a Cheshire cat Starsky back warded a little to look at Hutch again. He traced a hand along Hutch's face and let his hand linger at the back of Hutch's neck.
"Yes and no," he said cryptically, leaving no space between Hutch's body and his when he made himself comfortable on the couch.
" Yes. That means you shouldn't have drunk most of my beers, and no you aren't dreaming."
"Can't believe it," Hutch said with a confused expression on his face, at the same time there was a longing in his glance that took Starsky by surprise.
"Well, when I'm thinking of those times when we - "
Starsky started but was stilled by Hutch's long finger that followed his upper lip. "C'me here," Hutch said in a husky voice, two strong arms encircled Starsky and he melted into his friend's embrace. Their lips met again. It was Hutch's turn now to explore the familiar features. Encouraged by his friend's willingness, Hutch let his tongue move along Starsky's lips and felt Starsky shiver. Hutch stopped but to his surprise Starsky parted his lips to welcome Hutch. Their kiss became more passionate. To taste each other, being united by their playing tongues was so overwhelming that they suddenly had to stop to take a breath.
"Wow," they both said sheepishly, leaning back and trying to compose themselves.
"We need to talk, don't we?" Hutch asked still feeling lightheaded and surreal.
"Don't know what to say though," Starsky muttered.
"Ya know, Hutch, I've always loved you. When we met at the academy, at first I couldn't stand you. Thought of you as a rich kid from the upper side who only had his good grades in mind."
Starsky smiled softly and Hutch gave the expected answer. "Same with me, pal. You were hanging around with your friends. At least I believed they were your friends, and you looked like the kid from one of the gangs I used to avoid in Duluth. Couldn't understand that you chose me to become your friend," Hutch said quietly.
"I needed you, simply said. Needed your kick in the ass when I wanted to give up with the exams; needed your patience when I was carried away by some stupid mates, just needed you to be with me," Starsky ended, trying to get a last drop from the empty beer can.
"Yeah, I remember. What were the names of the dudes at the precinct who called us "joined to the hip?" Hutch chuckled and Starsky had lively memories of the situation when he had pinned the other officer against the wall, while his friend had called for security.
Dobey, their superior, had stuck by them. He knew about the special bond his best detectives had.
"Can't tell you how much it meant to me when I met you at Gillian's apartment and you told me I was the best friend you had in the whole world, " Hutch began.
"After you had knocked me out," Starsky interrupted him.
"Sorry, I was out of my mind then, couldn't believe when you told me about her job," Hutch said apologetically, smoothing Starsky's sleeve absent-minded.
"I'll never forget when you helped me after Forrest had hooked me on... " Hutch hesitated and Starsky nodded, remembering the hard times when Hutch had turned into a bundle of despair craving for a shot.
"Never mind. What are partner's for," Starsky said, putting Hutch's hand on his chest.
"You know that I wouldn't be here if you hadn't come back to the hospital and I started breathing again?" Starsky reminded him of the Gunther assault one year ago.
Hutch looked at him and slowly he began unbuttoning Starsky's shirt. The scars on Starsky's chest were still highly visible. They crisscrossed the chest and it had taken a long time before Starsky was able to get used to them.
He tried to slap Hutch's hand away, but Hutch took no refusal. He laid his warm hand on Starsky's chest; immediately it had a calming effect on Starsky. He relaxed and gave a sigh.
Hutch bent over and started kissing the scars. " Don't, " Starsky mumbled, not knowing how to react to Hutch's ministrations. But Hutch didn't let go. His tender lips trailed along the scars and when they graced one nipple Starsky had the sensation of his body reacting in a way he couldn't allow.
"Hutch," he mumbled, carding his hands through the fine blond hair. "Don't."
Hutch looked up questioningly and Starsky mumbled, "What have we started?" and Hutch smiled. "You've started it, buddy, remember?"
Starsky blushed and was about to move away from Hutch but was held by strong arms.
"Let's talk about it, huh? You know I love you too and what's happening here is maybe, well, natural. I'm only sorry - " Hutch stopped.
Starsky asked worriedly, "What're you sorry for, Hutch? I never wanted to..."
"Shh, I'm sorry for telling you what a bad kisser you were," Hutch smiled and let Starsky blush only more. Starsky remembered Hutch's teasing in their car after John Blaine had been murdered and they were talking about how much time they spent together.
"We've always been close, weren't we, Hutch?" Starsky asked remembering that they had never needed the personal space people usually maintained.
"Sure," Hutch smiled and let his hand linger on Starsky's tense stomach.
"So what are you worrying about? Being close to you makes me feel cozy, and comfortable.
What about showing you how much I love you, huh?" Hutch asked and started massaging Starsky's cramped muscles.
Starsky leaned back and relaxed. There was nothing wrong being comforted by his best friend. How often had they helped each other with intimate tasks, especially after Gunther's assault. Hutch had moved in with Starsky and had been there for him every minute of his recovery. What was happening now was different. Hutch's warm hand on Starsky's stomach, their kissing before let Starsky think about his feelings toward Hutch. The only thing he knew for sure was his unshattered trust in his best friend. Hutch would never do anything that would betray his trust. Okay, there had been Kira, but she was a woman that had played her games with them.
Starsky jerked when Hutch's hand went further down and stroked the inner side of his thighs.
"It's okay," Hutch whispered and claimed Starsky's mouth again. Starsky responded by exploring the sensual delights Hutch offered him. He felt Hutch's hands on his erection fondling it through the fabric of his jeans.
"Hutch, let me feel you too." Starsky drew back a little and looked into his partner's eyes.
He saw the love there and had the overwhelming desire to pleasure Hutch as well.
He ran his hand down Hutch's chest to his stomach. He pulled Hutch's T-shirt free from his jeans and lifted it. Hutch moaned when Starsky caressed the soft skin, kissed a nipple that stood erect and kissed his way down to the waistband of Hutch's jeans.
"You don't mind?" Starsky smiled more convinced now that he did the right thing.
He unbuckled Hutch's jeans and unzipped them. Paying attention to the navel first he let his tongue explore it, leaving a wet trail. Hutch trembled when Starsky's mouth reached the most sensitive area.
Acting intuitively Starsky used his teeth to pull the underwear down. Hutch raised his hips to help Starsky getting better access. They both shifted till they were comfortable giving pleasure to each other. Hutch's stroking brought Starsky near the edge. He concentrated on Hutch's arousal and with tender kisses and an imaginative tongue he let Hutch's excitement grow.
Almost in synch they reached their climax, accompanied by soft moans. Satiated, they leaned back against the couch, heads touching.
"What was this all about?" Starsky asked drowsily.
"It's about love," Hutch said, dropping a kiss onto Starsky's forehead.