WARNING: The Starsky and Hutch fan fiction of Alexis Rogers is homoerotic in nature and theme, and often contains explicit descriptions of sexual acts between two or more men. If this adult content offends you, please go play some place else. If you are under the age of consent where you live, please go away. If you don't like the laws where you live, change them. Remember, one can make a difference. RATING: This story carries the rating of "PG-13."
This story is the type of fan story that has always irritated me as a reader: a short story that begs to be a novel. I thought for while I'd write the novel, but after ten years I knew it wasn't going to happen.
DISCLAIMERS: This story exists solely for the enjoyment of those of us who care, and is not intended to infringe on any copyright or other legality of "Starsky and Hutch", Aaron Spelling, Leonard Goldberg, David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, William Blinn, Michael Fisher or anydamnbody else that I might have overlooked. No money has been made from the story nor is there likely to be.
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He shifted the phone so that he could cradle it on his left shoulder. As he listened to a series of clicks, he ran a hand over his face. Christ, he was tired. All he wanted to do was go home, take a shower, consume an entire pitcher of vodka martinis and sleep for a week.
"Harold? John Blaine."
Dobey's breath escaped in a heavy sigh. He could feel the trouble vibrate the phone line. "Yes, John."
"Sorry to bother you so late. I think you should meet me at the Beverly Hilton. It's important."
A weariness settled over him. His eyes burned. He lit a cigarette he did not want. "Okay. Give me a few minutes."
"Room 1109. Don't flash your badge."
When the dial tone returned, he punched a familiar number. The phone rang three times. "Edith."
"Well, I guess I put your kept-warm dinner in the fridge."
"Sorry, hon. All I want to do is come home."
"I know." Soft. Understanding.
"Don't know how long I'll be." Dobey rubbed the back of his neck, trying to work out the stiffness.
"Yeah." Dobey replaced the receiver, then picked it up again. Punched three buttons. "This is Captain Dobey. Find me a driver. I want a car at the front entrance in five minutes." He did not wait for a reply. He drank cold coffee from a styrofoam cup. It tasted like stale cigarette smoke.
In the men's room he ran cold water over his wrists and splashed his face. It did not help. He was getting too old for eighteen-hour days. Maybe he could take a week off...
* * * * * *
John Blaine stood in the hallway, waiting, a grim expression on his face. "Why all the mystery?" Dobey asked him.
A hesitant whisper. "I'm going to give you a few minutes alone in this room. Then we'll talk."
The door clicked behind him. In the silent, softly lit room was one large bed on which lay two naked men. The closest to him was blond. Tiny curls clung to the damp neck. His long legs were intertwined with those of his companion. Dark springy curls screamed an identity Dobey refused to accept. An arm was draped around the blond's waist.
Dobey moved to the foot of the bed. Both faces were hidden from his view as the two men meshed together. His heart stopped. His mind refused to acknowledge what his eyes told him. Centuries passed before he realized that neither man was breathing.
Air burned his throat and tears stung his eyes. For one long moment he could not decide if he was more upset by their amorous position or by their deaths. Nonsense. He wiped at his eyes with one hand and tried to think like a cop.
He studied the darker man's back carefully. There should be scars...the hand was not quite right...the planes of the face were wrong. Dobey's heart wanted to sing. It was not Starsky and Hutch. When his heart stopped pounding, he took several deep breaths. The death or murder of two people, even a homosexual couple, was part of a cop's life. He surveyed the room but touched nothing. The remains of a lavish dinner lay on the table. An empty champagne bottle rested in a silver ice bucket. Crystal glasses sat on the nightstand. Wine and sex suggested an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity. The room did not contain the aura that usually accompanied death.
Nothing made sense.
Dobey was gazing out the window when he heard the door open. He turned slowly to face John Blaine. "It's not them."
Blaine closed the door. Lit a cigarette. Offered one to Dobey. "I know."
"Then why did you call me? Why not standard procedure?" The smoke burned his throat. He flipped ashes on the floor. A fleeting memory of Edith touched his mind. He rubbed the ashes into the carpet with the toe of his shoe.
"I'm not a rookie, Harold. I made a decision. I'll stand by it. Besides," quick nod towards the bed, "they won't be any deader two hours from now."
"What does this mean?" Dobey asked Blaine. "Is it some kind of cruel joke?"
Blaine stared at the dead men on the bed. "David Starsky's the son I never had."
"And you think he and Hutch are...?"
Gentle hand on his shoulder. "I know."
Dobey dropped into a chair. He hated the nausea that churned his stomach. "How?"
Blaine sighed. "I was here when David came home from Nam. I helped him put his head back together. I didn't think anyone could put his heart back together. The war was hard enough on someone like David. It could have destroyed him." Quiet. Exhaled smoke. "David went to Nam straight; came home gay. In between he found and lost a lover. Man's name was Nathan." Blaine paced the room twice, then turned to face Dobey. "When David gives his heart, he gives it all. Nathan's death nearly destroyed him."
"How'd it happen?" Dobey's pulse was still racing, and he was having trouble keeping his voice even.
"Don't know. David wouldn't -- or couldn't -- talk about it."
Dobey hated the question that slipped out. "How many other men?"
Blaine shrugged. Walked to the john, flushed their cigarettes away. "Don't know. Don't care. But I'll never forget the day David brought Ken home. David was happy for the first time in years. He wanted my approval. He got it."
Dobey thought his head was going to explode from the pain of the headache, and he longed for a drink. "How can you be so casual? It's unnatural." Dobey forced himself to study the bodies, trying desperately to understand. He could not.
How can one word speak so much? How can one word tell you a man's whole history? "But Maggie? You're married!"
"Before I say another word, you must promise me that David will never know. He mustn't. I don't think he could deal with it. He thinks he has the approval of someone straight. Don't you see?" Eyes searched his. "No, I guess you don't."
"I'm sorry, John. I've had several curves thrown at me tonight. More than I can handle." Dobey flinched at Blaine's touch.
"Relax. It's not contagious. David, Ken and I are just different. That's all."
"Maggie's a very special lady. She's known about me for years. Hell, to be honest, she knew before I did. Helped me through some of the worst of accepting what I am. She helped David, too. She loves me. What can I say?"
Dobey rubbed the back of his hand across his eyes. Nothing was making sense. Perhaps it was exhaustion. Maybe this was all just a bad dream. "But you...?"
"Yes, Harold. I have a lover. Name's Peter Whitlaw. I love Maggie in my own way, but what I feel for her is nothing compared to what I feel for Peter. He is the other half of what I am. Before I met the man, love was only a four letter word. Now...well, now I have what very few people have. I have two people who love me, who understand me. It may not last forever, but for now...it's more than enough."
Dobey tried to shake the cobwebs from his brain. Christ, what a mess. "Okay, I'll respect your privacy. But we've got two dead bodies and a situation that the newspapers will blow out of proportion."
"I'd prefer to stay out of this one, Harold. I'll back you if need be, but I'd rather not be up front. And I don't want to be here when Ken and David arrive."
Dobey shrugged, the weight of the world sitting squarely on his shoulders. "I understand. Please call Starsky and Hutch on your way out. I want them here five minutes ago."
Blaine held out his hand and Dobey accepted. The grip was firm, reassuring. Then Blaine placed his left hand over their handshake. "Thanks, Harold, for not condemning. Ken and David are gonna need your support. Can you give it?"
He pulled his hand away. "I don't have much choice."
Dobey was alone. He covered the dead men with a blanket from the closet. He found their embrace more unsettling than their death. He sat, his back to the bed, and shredded his empty cigarette package. There should be coherent thought, he chided himself, but none came. He tried to picture himself with another man, but the image always blurred to Edith. He loved her. Period. How a man could want another man? He did not understand the mechanics of the internal combustion engine, but that did not stop him from driving his car. He could not accept Starsky and Hutch as fags. Queers. Fairies. Queens. He pounded his fist on the chair arm. He hated the labels. They did not fit. He could not use them. Would not. Not for Starsky and Hutch.
Christ, I'm tired.
* * * * * *
A light tapping brought Dobey from his stupor. He struggled to his feet and opened the door. He ushered in the pair of men who looked as tired as he felt.
Hutch ran a hand through his hair. "Captain?" Surprise was evident. "We were sleeping. Dispatch said it was urgent."
"Messy would be a better word." Dobey reached for his cigarettes. Remembered he was out. Stared at his pile of paper on the desk. Shrugged. Behind him a match rasped. Sulfur singed the air. Starsky handed him a Marlboro. "Thanks."
He walked to the window and stared at the city through a filtering veil of beige nylon. "Suicide. Murder. Not sure of anything except that we have two corpses. Take a look. Pull the blanket off."
Dobey pulled smoke deep into his lungs. It burned. He blew it out slowly. Not quite ready to see his men accept what was on the bed, not quite ready to confront them with their secret, he listened to the hiss of indrawn breath. He could feel the electricity in the air. He turned, found the two men, their eyes locked together, one on each side of the bed.
"Comments?" Dobey asked.
Hutch looked at him, eyes hard and clear. "Two men. Caucasian. Early thirties. Middle to upper income bracket. Dead. I can't tell you much more without at least touching them."
Dobey looked from Hutch to Starsky. "Do you have any idea what I felt when I walked into this room?"
Starsky tried for a smile. It never reached his eyes. "You didn't think it was us? Why would you...?"
"Appearances, Starsky. Without close examination the resemblance is startling. Do either of you know of any reason why someone would set this up? Perhaps to compromise you?"
Starsky lit two cigarettes, handed one across to Hutch. The hands did not touch. Hutch studied his smoldering end. "It's always possible. But at the moment nothing comes to mind. Starsk?"
Starsky shook his head.
"This case is yours. I want everything as soon as possible. Newspapers are gonna..." He did not want to think about it. "As soon as you have the coroner and the crime lab here and working, I want you in my office."
"Captain, it's..." Starsky pulled the sleeve up on his right arm.
"I don't wanna know what time it is. I just want some answers."
At least I think I want answers. I love the two of you. Like sons. I think this is how I'd feel if I discovered Cal was gay. It shouldn't hurt but it does. Dobey rubbed the back of his hand across his eyes, pressed the wetness back. "Christ, I'm tired."
"Look, Captain," Starsky let his arm drop, "why don't you get some sleep. This will all take time. Tomorrow will be soon enough."
"I want the two of you in my office -- tonight." His words were sharper than he had intended, but Starsky's face registered the proper response.
These two were such a fine team. Why?
"Can I get someone to drive you back?" Hutch's voice was gentle.
"I've got a driver in the parking lot. You two make it fast." As he started toward the door, Starsky moved to stand next to Hutch, their heads in close proximity. Dobey wondered if they would kiss each other on duty.
As the door closed behind him, Dobey's mind filled with grotesque images of his two favorite detectives in bed together. Whips. Chains. Handcuffs. Pink frilly nightgowns. It was unnatural. It turned his stomach. He wondered if he could help them straighten out their lives. "I'll never forget the day he brought Ken home. David beamed..."
Men preferring men.
Well, maybe some men were not lucky enough to have someone like Edith. He thanked God for her on a regular basis.
Dobey's office was as stale and stuffy as when he had left. The coffee from the vending machine was bitter. He went looking for fresh. He settled for a coke in a can. It was too sweet. He waited, trying to form appropriate questions, wishing he did not have to confront the facts. He stared out the dirty window and waited.
A hand on each shoulder jostled him from a black stormy sea. The image was unclear but the drowning, surging surf was ready to pull him under, choke the breath from his lungs.
"Captain. C'mon. Wake up."
"Yeah, Captain. Why don't you go home."
"'Bout time you two showed up." Dobey stared at the bright red coke can. "Isn't there any coffee in this place?"
Starsky took the can. "Fresh coffee coming up." He disappeared into the squad room.
Hutch dropped into a chair. Lack of sleep marred the lines of his face and dulled his eyes. The eyes betrayed nothing.
"Well, Captain, it'll take time. No I.D. at all in the room or on either man. Reception Desk said the room was reserved by telephone by a Samuel Green. Records indicate Mr. Green uses the hotel when he's in town. Sometimes twice a month. Pays cash. He has a Chicago address."
"Just about. No luggage in the room. Only clothes seem to be what they were wearing. Each man wore a simple gold band on the third finger of the left hand. Initials engraved in both. If the M.E. can't give us an I.D., we'll start with the rings. Can't do much before morning."
"Any idea of what killed them?"
"Not yet. We should know by mid-morning. Christ, I hope it's nothing bizarre."
Starsky returned carrying three cups of aromatic coffee. Dobey cradled the warm styrofoam between his hands, letting the steam circle his face. Starsky sat in the chair next to his partner. On his partner's left, Dobey noted. It was part of a familiar pattern.
He looked first at Hutch, then at Starsky. He sipped his coffee. "There are a couple of things I have to know. Don't want to know, have to know. I don't believe in coincidence. I don't believe that two men who look remarkably like you were killed in a hotel room in a compromising position by accident. I believe you are being set up."
Starsky spoke around his cup. "I suppose it's possible. It's happened before. To us...to other cops. I'm sure somebody someplace would enjoy seeing us squirm."
Hutch picked up. "We do have some enemies with warped senses of humor. However, killing us would be a lot easier. And since we've never been known to frequent the Beverly Hilton, I don't think it's a case of mistaken identity."
Dobey put his palms flat on the table. He could not meet either pair of eyes. "I have to know. Is there a reason? I can't protect you if I don't know. Are you...? Are you...?" He could not finish. He could not bring himself to say the words. He looked at the ceiling. The silence in the room was explosive.
"The word you want, Captain, is gay." The calm quiet acceptance in Hutch's voice brought Dobey's attention back to the present. He met the blue eyes with his. Watched Hutch take Starsky's hand -- right hand -- in his left. The fingers curled together in a loving, familiar embrace. "However, we prefer partners."
They did not look at each other, only at Dobey. He tried to calm his stomach. What did I expect them to say? Did I really expect a denial? Why?
Before he could phrase a question, Starsky spoke. "We had hoped you would never have to know."
"Why what, Captain?" Hutch's fingers tightened on Starsky's. "Why had we hoped never to tell you or why are we gay?"
"You don't make it easy, do you?"
"We didn't bring it up."
"Okay. I deserve that." Dobey reached for another cigarette.
Starsky tossed him a book of matches. "Smoking too much. You really should quit."
"Yeah." Exchanged glances with both. "I only want to protect you."
Hutch sighed. "Okay. We don't want to make this rough on you. Starsky and I love each other. We've found a completeness in each other that we've never had before. I'm not about to give that up just because you -- or anybody else -- doesn't approve."
Dobey racked his brain, there was something -- ah, yes. "You were married, Hutchinson."
"Yeah. The best thing Van ever did for me was leave. Otherwise I might never have found Starsky." Hutch lifted Starsky's fingers to his lips and kissed them lightly.
The two men finally looked at each other. And suddenly Dobey felt he was alone. He watched as Starsky and Hutch shared a moment of remembered intimacy. But this was love. He had seen and felt it before. Maybe. "How long?"
Hutch smiled. "Three years."
Starsky beamed. "Well, something like that. Ya see, Cap'n, we disagree on our anniversary."
Dobey smiled. Somehow it was all right. Starsky infected people with happiness. You could not help but respond to that lopsided grin and the crinkle of those sparkling eyes. "Maybe someday you can share the story with me."
Starsky was somber. "Maybe. Someday."
Hutch was on his feet, Starsky's fingers slipping from his. "Captain. Go home. Make love to Edith. And try to remember that what Starsky and I have may not be the same, but it's really not all that different. We love each other."
Starsky stood beside his partner. "Accept that and the rest comes easily."
The two men walked out together, leaving Dobey with his thoughts. Accept it, Hutch had said. What other choice was there? This is what we are. "The other half of what I am." What was gay love? Hustlers? Bars? Queens? Starsky and Hutch? Whatever it was, it was not simple. Dobey leaned back in his chair and watched the dark sky fade to pink.
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