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They ended up in North Carolina. Kitty Hawk, to be exact. After spending the morning learning all about the Wright brothers at the various tourist attractions, they made an afternoon of strolling along the beach. Swimming was kept to a minimum, as Starsky wasn't up to fighting the waves for any length of time.
Starsky was about to suggest they head for an early dinner when he spotted something red, glinting from the beach. He reached down to pick it up, a shell with an unusually deep color. "Look at this," he said, holding it up.
Hutch, obviously sensing Starsky had reached the limit of his stamina for the day, was buttoning a light shirt over his tanning skin. He brushed next to Starsky and took the shell from him. "Hmm. What an odd color."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking." Starsky ran his fingertips along it. "Really a neat shell, huh?"
Hutch was examining it closer. "Yeah. Never seen one like that before. You going to keep it?"
Starsky took it a moment longer. It would be neat to have it at his apartment, but he found himself strangely sentimental. He heard giggling, and from the corner of his eye he could see two slender women lying on the beach, apparently talking about him and Hutch. He felt uncomfortable. "Not for me to take," he noted, dropping it to the sand.
Now the blond was scolding. "Everybody else does."
Starsky shrugged. "Then let somebody else enjoy it."
Hutch seemed distracted. Then he whispered, "I think we're being observed at four o'clock."
Such an old game. And played purely out of habit. Even Hutch's voice wasn't alive with enthusiasm, but sounded as though he was resigned to the status quo.
Starsky nudged him again, wanting to stop any further interest. Once they started talking to the girls it would be almost impossible to not let the old habits play themselves out. "Hutch," he said in a low, shy voice that carried the touch of a plea, "I'm... you know... not quite up to par." It wasn't a lie. But it also may not have been entirely the truth. He'd thought so little about sex since awakening, he wasn't exactly sure of what he was capable of.
Affection welled up within Starsky as he and Hutch started walking again, taking them away from the girls. But then he was overtaken by guilt as he realized Hutch had no physical limitations. The blond hadn't even had a date since Starsky had first taken ill. "Hey, uh, if you want to talk to them," he gestured awkwardly, "you know, I can find something to do for a few hours. There's lots of things to see around here."
Hutch looked at him, his tiny smile so sincere. "We came here for us, buddy. Other things can wait."
Starsky grinned. "Yeah." They hadn't really talked about anything yet, since there was no sense of urgency. Between Starsky's convalescence and Hutch's being on indefinite leave without pay, they could return home whenever they felt like it. And now, seeing how seriously Hutch was taking this time together, Starsky felt all the more determined that they were going to use this private time constructively, and make the right decisions for both of them.
* * *
They had flown into Raleigh the previous evening. The motel they'd selected was small and a little rundown, but it was near the beach and had a comfortable feel. After eating a seafood dinner in town, they retired to their room, Hutch leafing through the newspapers he'd purchased. Starsky tried some TV, but nothing was interesting, so he picked up the deck of cards he'd brought and laid out a game of solitaire on his bed.
After spending a couple of minutes placing cards on top of each other, he glanced at his partner. At that moment, the blond had also looked up from his reading, as though to see what his partner was doing.
Starsky shrugged his shoulders, trying to rid himself of a painful itch along his back, inside his shirt. "So, is there anything earth-shattering that's happened in the news?"
Hutch grunted. "Nancy Reagan's china set is causing a big uproar."
Starsky reached back and scratched along the material of his shirt. "Sounds serious."
Hutch chuckled softly, then folded the paper in half with an air of finality. "You get sunburned?"
"I dunno," Starsky replied truthfully, scratching harder. He was wearing a nylon shirt, and the material felt slightly coarse.
"Scratching isn't going to help," Hutch said, getting to his feet. The tall frame bent to a suitcase beside the bed, and a moment later he produced a tube of ointment.
Starsky put his cards down and removed his shirt. Ointment of any kind sounded very soothing. He focused on the game again while the mattress dipped with his partner's weight. He flinched at the persistent itch but was determined not to scratch again.
Fingertips brushed against his skin. "Yeah, all along here," Hutch said, tracing a line from his shoulder, down along his back, over to his other side. "It's really bad right here." He tapped a few inches below Starsky's neck, in the center of his back.
Starsky flinched while still placing cards. "Ouch."
Cool moistness touched the area, feeling ticklish for a moment. Then fingers were there, rubbing firmly, spreading the coolness. The motion was so strong that it caused a slight rocking of the bed, which in turn caused the cards to slip from where they'd been overlapped. "You're messin' up my game."
"Yeah, like you want me to stop," Hutch said with knowing affection.
Starsky giggled, because Hutch's point was so true. He gave up on the game and started scooping up the cards. Hutch was now spreading the cream along his right shoulder, which wasn't burned as badly as his back. "You get burned anywhere?" he asked, thinking he'd return the favor.
"Don't think so. I used plenty of sunscreen, goofball."
Starsky chose to let the superior tone pass. "Thought I did, too." The hands were feeling good, so he let his upper body plop forward onto the mattress. "Mm."
Hutch chuckled softly. After a moment, he said, "You've got some on the back of your legs, too."
Starsky fell silent while the hands ventured from his shoulders down to his legs. They were rubbing and squeezing, massaging more than doctoring. He became aware of a stir between his legs, and realized he must be healthier than he'd first thought. Being against a mattress, someone working with his legs, evoked old instincts....
He knew better than to fight it. Hutch didn't need to know about it, and even if he did, he would understand. They'd seen each other in every state imaginable in all their years together. And it wasn't just the number of years, but the intensity of their closeness during that time. A closeness Dobey had called "unnatural".
"You're being awfully quiet."
Starsky made a noise of agreement, but didn't want to share his thoughts. He turned his head so he was facing away, hoping Hutch wouldn't think the gesture a rejection.
The hands slowed, and Hutch teased, "Feeling too good?"
Starsky considered not responding, for he really did want to stay in the circle of his own thoughts, but he knew that was impossible with Hutch so near. Half-heartedly, he said, "Guess we coulda talked to the girls."
Hutch slapped him gently on the back of a thigh. "You say that with all the enthusiasm of a man going to the gallows."
Starsky turned his head back the other way. Hutch was putting the cap on the bottle of ointment. He and Hutch had come all this way to talk about their future. That meant holding nothing back. "Dobey said something to me those last few days I was in the hospital."
Hutch looked at him worriedly, for Starsky's tone was so serious.
"He said that we were `unnatural' together." It felt good to have it in the open, to see his partner's reaction, to talk about it.
Pale brows came together in puzzlement. "Dobey said that?"
"Yeah." Then Starsky assured, "He didn't mean it in a bad way. I mean, not in, like, a dirty way. It was more like he was concerned."
Hutch's tone hardened. "About what?"
Starsky hadn't expected the sudden defensiveness. He kept his tone calm and soothing while getting up on an elbow. "Concerned that we're so wrapped up in each other. That we don't have anybody else. You know, he was talking about families and all that. Always having people there for you."
More harshness. "He doesn't think we're family to each other?"
"'Course, he does." Starsky was all the more determined to keep a cheerful tone. "But we're really all the family each other has - you know, when it comes to having to lean on others. I think he meant it more that, since death is a part of life, if you have more family members in your life than just one other person, then you have more people around you when one of those important people die."
Hutch blinked and drew a deep breath. Then, still hard, "Well, sometimes life doesn't work out in such nice, neat little packages."
"I know that," Starsky soothed. "I'm sure he knows it, too. Like I said, he was just concerned. You know, wondering why we're still bachelors and all that. Gee, Hutch, it's not like I'm trying to say we should go out and get married and start families."
The blond head turned to look at him. The tone was softer, but still full of puzzlement. "Then why did you bring it up?"
Starsky realized it was a very good question, and he knew the answer, because he'd never been very good at pulling veils over his own eyes. He swallowed thickly and pulled himself up into a sitting position, while leaning one shoulder against the headboard. He had nothing to be embarrassed about now; for the conversation, and the need to soothe his partner, had his full attention and the other problem had vanished. "Well, I guess because since we're going to be talking about the future and stuff - this just falls right into that, doesn't it?"
Hutch snorted and his reply carried reluctant sarcastic. "Buddy, I thought we were going to talk about what we were going to do with our lives. Not plan our relationships - as if that's something we can map out in advance." He got up and went over to his own bed, bending to put the lotion back in the suitcase.
"Well...," Starsky reasoned, "a serious relationship would have a big effect on anything we decided. I mean, we'd be looking at things differently."
The shortness was present again in the other man's reply. "But neither of us is in a serious relationship, are we?" He had straightened and was looking at Starsky squarely.
Starsky bowed his head. He hadn't meant to upset Hutch. In fact, he didn't understand why his partner was so irritated. Nor why he himself felt so apologetic as he pointed out what seemed to him to be obvious. "Yeah." He looked up hesitantly. "You're right, and that's why I think it's important to talk about it. I mean, depending on what we decide for ourselves, it could... you know, make it difficult to form any relationships in the future." He shrugged, realizing that wasn't very clear. "You know, like say we live in some big house or something. It would be kind of odd for you to marry someone and then have me living there. And vice versa. I mean, it's not like you're gonna kick me out just because you found someone, right?"
Hutch sat looking at him, expression softening to one of vulnerability, as though he didn't know how to voice what was on his mind.
"I mean," Starsky went on, deciding to keep clarifying until he was interrupted, "we're talking about what we're gonna do as a one-package deal. You've been actin' like you're gonna share the money with me all the way down the line. So, it's not like you're gonna stop sharin' it with me if you happen to want to get married." His voice lowered timidly. "Could make for an awkward situation, tryin' to explain it to your lady friend why your things and her things don't belong to the both of you." He drew a deep breath. "And think of it the other way. What if I find someone and get married? How am I going to explain that everything I own is half yours?"
He saw enlightenment settle on the other's face. Softly, Hutch said, "I guess it's like we're already married. To each other."
Starsky drew another quick breath, for the statement caught him by surprise - surprise at its very truth. Yes, that's what he had really been trying to say when he'd started this conversation. Confident now, he grabbed a pillow, stretched out across the bed and rested his chin upon it. "Yeah, and we're gonna become even more so by planning our future together."
"So, what are you saying?" Hutch demanded in a quiet tone, eyelashes fluttering. "That we should find women now before we get so stuck together that we can't become unglued?"
Starsky grinned, for the mental image was funny. But he also knew his partner needed reassurance, and he made his tone gentle when he spoke. "No. What I'm saying is that we need to be aware of just exactly what it is we're doing. And consider the consequences, if you want to call it that." It occurred to him that maybe he needed to say something outright. "I wanna keep sharing my life with you, Hutch." The last emerged more bashfully than he'd intended.
Something in the other's face looked hopeful. "And I want to share mine with you, like we have all along." He made an ironic snort. "It's like we've already been married. In a lot of ways."
"Yeah," Starsky nodded, feeling they were finally getting somewhere.
Hutch was now staring at the floor thoughtfully. Those brows worked again, then he said, distantly, "We give each other everything we need. Except... sex." He looked up, as though amazed he'd said the word out loud. Or afraid that he'd said it.
Starsky swallowed. He felt his heart beat heavier in his chest, and in the back of his mind he wondered if it was good for him, considering his relatively fragile state. He wasn't sure whether to steer left or steer right; in fact, in seemed there were too many directions to choose from. He struggled to keep his voice calm as he admitted, "Seems like that's all we need women for, anymore. At least, that's how it's seemed the last few years."
Hutch blinked, his chest rising and falling, though he looked much calmer than Starsky felt. And was bolder. "Too bad you aren't better looking."
Starsky shrugged with feigned resignation. "Can't win `em all." He knew Hutch had only meant the knock as a gender statement, and not that he truly thought his partner was bad looking.
A hesitant grin, and Hutch carried the thought through. "Too bad I'm not better looking to you, huh?"
Making a joke, though he was aware it had deeper meaning, Starsky said, "I guess if we could just get past our looks, then we could have a really good thing going."
Hutch chuckled awkwardly.
Starsky was suddenly aware that he was, indeed, fully recovered from his bout with disease. And that it had been a terribly long time since he'd participated in any sexual activity, including self-indulgence. He pushed off the bed and made it to the door in two giant strides. "Goin' for a walk."
* * *
The early summer air was inviting, the scent of the Atlantic in the breeze. Starsky walked around the long block that encompassed the motel, hands in his pockets.
They'd been joking, but it was one of those things where you couldn't deny that what was being said in jest might have a touch of truth. Or more than a touch.
He didn't really consider Hutch bad-looking. In fact, not bad-looking at all. Handsome in a sophisticated way, not in a plastic, made-up way. But Hutch was missing soft breasts, smooth skin (though his was smoother than most guys'), a delicate frame, curves that Starsky could fit his hands around. And missing a particular place at his crotch that Starsky otherwise might like to breach. Of course, there's other places. When you're horny enough, any opening will do.
Or when you're in love enough.
Starsky winced, feeling a chill come over him as the breeze from the ocean blew more harshly across the shore. Hutch was right. They met each other's every need. Except the need to make love. And, with women anymore, that wasn't really the need that was being satisfied, but more the need of simple desire.
It had been a long, long time, Starsky realized, since he had made love to someone he was in love with.
And it seemed to have been a long time since the conquest held any real meaning. Once again, the truth was there: he and Hutch met each other's needs. Fitting together so perfectly, despite many differences. Knowing how to overcome the bad times. A long history of making their partnership work. They were as married as any two people who had marched down a church aisle. And now, with all the talk about a future together, even more so.
Starsky stopped and leaned against a street lamp. He realized that he could rationalize it a dozen different ways. That he could find all sorts of reasons why he and Hutch should cross that one remaining barrier to compete intimacy.
But reason had nothing to do with passion. Or desire.
If I were to run my hands down his bare sides..., he imagined himself doing so, would he feel ticklish? Would his skin quiver? Would he back away?
No, Hutch would never do that. Hutch might not be crazy about the idea, but he wouldn't reject anything Starsky wanted to try.
Starsky pushed away from the lamppost and moved to a bus bench a few yards away. He sat with his head in his hands.
Poor Hutch. Between Gunther's bullets and the Herpes virus, Hutch had played the part of doomed watcher way too long. Had had to bear it when doctors told him there was no hope. Had had to sit and wait, bearing his pain alone, while waiting for the end to come.
Almost wonder if he wished I woulda died either of those times; so it would have been over.
No. That was foolish. The waiting may have been over, but the most intense pain would have just begun. Maybe pain wasn't even the right word. But utter, utter loss. Complete emotional devastation. And desolation. Missing his partner every single moment of every single day. Starsky could feel it in his gut now - a phantom pain -- for he had had samplings of it in times when he thought Hutch might be lost to him.
They were so much to each other. Unnatural. Maybe so. But all the more precious and unique, for being so unusual. What was between them was something to be protected and cherished and nurtured.
They had been nurturing each other for forever, it seemed.
Starsky had heard it once said that friendship is a single soul in two bodies. He and Hutch had paid their dues in taking care of the two bodies. Now, perhaps it was time to nurture that third element between them. The single soul they had created together. It was time to turn their attention to that, to actively grow it, rather than just passively care for it.
Nothing about them was ordinary or natural. No, wait. Dobey had been wrong. He had confused what was natural with what was ordinary, basic, status quo. For what was between him and Hutch was natural. There was nothing more natural than two people loving each other and wanting to create something together with that love.
They were gifted in their receipt of each other. In their determination to survive. In their ability to love.
Those qualities belonged to them. It was time to stop expending them on others.
Starsky got up and headed back to the hotel. Drawing a deep breath, he was more conscious than ever before of himself and of the world around him. And now he was going to officially forfeit his individuality and give himself to another and in the process become part of something greater.
That thought was so exciting that he could hardly wait to tell Hutch about it.
* * *
The air conditioning had been turned on and Hutch was watching television while sitting up in bed, but Starsky doubted the blond was paying much attention to the program.
"Was it something I said?" Hutch asked as Starsky closed the door behind him. But the blond's tone wasn't one of feeling guilty or upset. Or even very puzzled.
"You're damn right it's something you said." Starsky switched off the television.
Hutch looked at him curiously, those blue eyes so bright.
Starsky reached and turned off the light, leaving them in darkness, save for the street lamp outside the window. They needed darkness to focus on what was being said. To focus on the soul they had created. Not to be distracted by exteriors. He was standing a few feet from Hutch's bed. Softly, which now seemed appropriate for the darkness, he said, "It's been a long, long time since I've made love to somebody."
Forced humor followed a snort. "Oh, great, guess that means I get to be a substitute." Apparently, Hutch was already accepting what was going happen. It seemed his thoughts had run similar to Starsky's while they were apart.
"No, Hutch. You've got it backwards." Starsky loved saying the words, revealing the truth between the two of them. "I think - for a long, long time - everyone else I've been in bed with has been the substitute." He realized, a moment later, how that might sound. Like he'd been lusting after Hutch for years and turning to others for an "acceptable" outlet. He took a step toward the bed, pulling off his shirt. "Like you said, the only thing married people do that we haven't done is have sex." No, that wasn't right, either. It sounded like fulfilling a quota. There was a more forceful point to be made. "I don't want to share you with anybody else."
So far, Hutch had feigned nonchalance. Or maybe it wasn't feigned. But now a release of a heavy breath was heard in the darkness, indicating that Starsky had said something that Hutch couldn't shrug off casually.
He couldn't be casual about the subject of being loved. That was his Hutch. Starsky stepped closer to the bed, his knees touching the edge of the mattress.
Now the evasive humor was back. "Does this mean we're on a honeymoon and a consummation is going to take place?"
"Right on, baby blue." Starsky reached out, felt an arm. There was the sound and feel of Hutch shifting away. Starsky slipped off his shorts and shoes and got beneath the covers, settling into the space provided. It did, indeed, seem natural when he rested his head against the bare chest exposed by the unbuttoned shirt, and felt perfect when an arm came around him.
Hutch finally said something deliberately serious. "I love you, buddy."
With that, it seemed safe to let his subconscious insecurities rise to the surface. "Guess that's why you aren't freakin' out that your partner's in bed with you with a hard-on."
A thoughtful "Mmm", and then Hutch said, "You're right, that's why I'm not freaking out. And also because I'm so horny I can hardly stand it."
Starsky could relate, but did not yet feel an urgency to move from his comfortable position. "Horny for me, or just horny in general?"
"What's this?" Hutch wondered. "Prove To Me You Love Me games before the honeymoon is even over?"
Starsky punched him in the ribs - with extreme gentleness. "Hey, I'm a guy, you know. I know how it is. Sex can be something totally separate from feelings. Especially when you've been without a long time - like you and I both have been."
"So, maybe in the morning," Hutch suggested, "we won't feel like we want to be married anymore."
Starsky felt himself grin. Broadly. "Not a chance." It seemed so natural, then, to shift just enough to tilt his face up.
Thankfully, the light from the street lamp was enough for Hutch to see what he was doing. Hutch looked down.
It was the most perfect of sensations when soft lips settled upon his.
"Mmmmmmm," they murmured in unison, the vibration between them all the more stimulating.
"Got a proposition," Starsky said with a heavy breath. He slipped back against the comfort of Hutch's shoulder. He didn't want anything to be rushed. This was too perfect.
"What's that?" Hutch whispered, the air from his lips brushing across Starsky's nose.
"I'll feel yours, if you feel mine."
Hutch took his hand within fingers as quivering as his own. Grasped by the wrist, Hutch pushed Starsky's hand down to the mound outlining Hutch's shorts.
Starsky felt movement beneath the cloth, an enlarging firmness. He closed his fingers around it.
Hutch closed his eyes and groaned, "Oh, God." He swallowed thickly, then said breathlessly, "I don't have any pride left, buddy."
"Pride has no place between us," Starsky pointed out. He felt along the mattress until he found Hutch's hand. Picking it up, he placed it against the front of his own briefs. His erection leapt against the pressure, and he pressed it harder against himself, not shy about voicing a deep groan of his own. "Feel inside," he demanded.
Delicious fumbling, an aching pause, then digits inside the slit, finally curling around him in a firm grip.
"Oh, Jesus, God." Starsky had risen to his knees. A part of him wanted very badly to bend down and suck on Hutch, pleasure him in a delicious way. But he'd never be able to stay focused. Not with his own groin throbbing so powerfully.
Hutch seemed to be ahead of him. "How about," with his free hand, Hutch was trying to push down his own shorts, "getting on top of me and rubbing against me?"
"Okay," Starsky said quickly. They let go of each other to remove the rest of their clothing. When Starsky was naked, he bent to the flesh being freed from confinement. Hutch's groin smelled of sweat and musk and salt from the sea. He licked at the jutting spear briefly -- an interesting, tangy flavor -- just to show that he was willing to do that. Then he maneuvered himself on top of Hutch, his excitement increasing.
Hutch had him in hand, stroking. Oh, God. The blond panted, "I'll hold us together, you push."
Starsky now felt himself against something equally hard, perhaps just a little wider, a touch longer. A tight hand enclosed both organs.
Starsky arched his rear up, then thrust forward. Hutch's hand was too tight, stilling the movement, but the grip eased before Starsky thrust a second time. This time he felt his flesh move along that beneath him. Such a teasing sensation....
He groaned, thrusting again, desperate to reach the peak. "Play with my nuts," he pleaded. To heck with going slow.
An awkward stretch of the body beneath his own, then digits were brushing against his scrotum. Now dancing, straining to get a grip. Starsky thrust again, and a finger found its way to the outer edge of his anus. He realized it was intentionally trying to remain there, and the fact that Hutch was willing to play with his asshole was too much to bear....
He ejaculated fiercely, yelling toward the ceiling. Distantly, he heard Hutch groaning in frustration.
Starsky collapsed beside his partner, the most wonderful feeling of lassitude settling in. But he was aware of Hutch jerking himself fiercely, and Starsky managed to lift a hand over Hutch's leg. He found his plump testicles and fondled them.
Hutch made a noise of agreement, and Starsky pressed more firmly, flattening them, fascinated by the feel of the light fur, the soft skin. He wanted to try tasting them with his tongue, but nor did he want to disrupt the rhythm to ecstasy.
Hutch reached the pinnacle a moment later. In the glow from the street lamp, Starsky watched as his partner's buttocks clenched, and he arched up slightly, and then fluid burst forth, and Hutch made a guttural sound of relief.
Starsky drew his hand back and relaxed against the mattress while listening to the sounds of his partner's recovery. He liked the thought that now both their emissions were resting on top of Hutch's smooth belly. Nevertheless, Starsky thought it would be polite to rouse himself and get a towel. He moved from the mattress ungracefully, feeling that wonderful wobbliness in his legs, and reached inside the bathroom to turn on the light. He took a towel from the rack, brushed it against his groin, then tossed it to the bed.
"Thanks," Hutch said lazily. He picked up the towel and wiped it along his belly, spreading his legs in the process.
With Hutch taking up most of the mattress, Starsky wasn't sure if he should return to his own bed. But he didn't want to. He decided to rest a hip on the edge of the bed near Hutch's head. The blond then shifted, and Starsky was able to relax against the back of the headboard.
With the bathroom light, Hutch's grin was easy to see as he looked up, tossing the towel aside. "That felt good."
"Mmm," Starsky agreed, and he had to lean down to that happy face. A moment later their lips connected, and Starsky decided that it felt just as good as when he was horny. When they drifted apart, he drew the covers up over his legs, and let his heart speak. "Can't wait until I know how to please you, Hutch. You know, make you feel really good by finding secret little places you don't even know about yet that'll drive you crazy."
Hutch was looking at him as though bowled over by the sentiment, then let out a heavy breath. "I'll get horny again with talk like that." He reached over the other side of the bed for his underwear.
"What a stud," Starsky remarked with amusement. "I think this is going to hold me for a good two weeks."
Hutch snorted, pulling the elastic band around his waist. "Ha, right."
"I'm serious," Starsky insisted, even though he wasn't. "My balls got drained good. Might take a while for them to recharge."
"Hope that doesn't mean I'm just a one night stand."
Starsky decided he was tired of the word games and curled closer to Hutch, resting his arm across his partner's lean stomach. He brushed his lips against Hutch's salty forehead and said, "No more one night stands. For either of us. This is where we ended up... to start a new beginning." He decided he liked that, as he said it. "And that's what we're gonna do."
Tender blue eyes looked at him, and Hutch's arm came around his waist, pulling him close. "Well, if you're going to put it that way...." The teasing voice began.
"That's how it is. Me and you and whatever life we create together."
"Mmm," Hutch said simply, then rested his forehead against the fur of Starsky's chest.
Starsky put his arms around him, enclosing him, feeling himself go soft all over. And realizing how very, very long it had been since he'd embraced Hutch. It seemed so ironic, for Hutch had suffered so much because of his love for his partner.
Partner. Now the word seemed to mean so much more than ever before.
Warm breath brushed across his sternum. "You know what I'd like to do?" Hutch whispered.
"Stay at a nice hotel tomorrow. One with all the amenities where we can lie in bed all the next day and not worry about being disturbed. And just... be together."
It was out of Starsky's mouth before he even thought about it. "You want to fuck, don't you?"
The blond head tilted up to look at him. "You love being romantic, don't you?"
Starsky squeezed him. "I just know what my buddy needs."
"W—" Hutch's mouth opened, then closed. After another moment, he said tenderly, "It's not like you have to be the one on the bottom."
Starsky grinned, squeezing Hutch closer. "S'okay. I'd even let you do it tonight, but...," he hesitated, wondering if it were true, "we don't have - you know - anything for grease."
Hutch took a deep breath and disentangled himself, sitting up. "I wish you wouldn't have started talking about this."
"Gettin' hard again?"
"What do you think?"
Starsky chuckled softly. Man, this is gonna be great. "Know any nice hotels in the area?"
Hutch was thoughtful now. "We pretty much covered all this area has to offer." He brightened. "Why don't we drive up to Virginia tomorrow. We can visit some Civil War battlefields and then stay in Richmond. I've always wanted to visit Virginia. There's so much history there."
Starsky didn't care what they did, as long as they did it together. He felt a warm glow as Hutch turned on the bedside lamp and reached to the floor for the atlas. He was muttering about interstates as he began studying it.
Starsky nodded and made appropriate noises to show his interest. But what was most on his mind was how exciting it was that tomorrow would be the first day of the rest of their lives.
* * *
He had to admit the battlefields were interesting, even though the afternoon ended up being interrupted by a sudden downpour. Hutch had called ahead and made reservations for a nice hotel in Richmond, and they were currently in rush hour traffic while making their way through water-logged streets. Starsky kept wondering if they should stop at a drug store, but he felt funny about bringing it up.
He also felt funny about not feeling funny about the whole idea. He wondered when he had gone from being appalled by the thought of two guys corn-holing each other, to eagerly anticipating having his asshole ripped open. And then he decided it wasn't what was going to happen to him that was exciting - in fact, it was a bit scary when it got down to it - but what he couldn't wait to do was give Hutch something that his partner needed very badly. Lots and lots of love and guiltless pleasure. That wasn't too much to ask for after all his months of worrying over and caring for his partner - first after Gunther, and then after the illness. He wanted Hutch to have the fuck of his life. Two or three times over, if they were up to it.
"Sure you know where we're goin'?" Starsky asked conversationally.
Hutch was hunched over the steering wheel. "Of course, I know where we're going," he replied testily. "We just need to get to Norwood Street, which is the second light past Blair Avenue. Blair should be the next street or two up. If this traffic would just get going...."
"Relax," Starsky soothed. "There's no hurry, ya know. " He reached over and rubbed a pair of fingers along the back of the tense neck. He suddenly felt odd doing it - like maybe it was too lovey-dovey. Carefully, he pulled his hand away.
Hutch looked at him, then managed a half-hearted grin. "Never have liked sitting in traffic."
"Then think about what we're going to be doin' tonight." It was the first time they'd talked about it, beyond calling the hotel for reservations.
Hutch looked at him again, the grin full-fledged this time. But his shook his head. "Uh-uh. That's hardly going to improve my mood, you know."
Starsky wiggled his eyebrows, enjoying the game. "I could take care of you here in the car."
Gritted teeth surrounded the reply. "Starsky, I swear, you have - "
"What?" he interrupted. "A way of gettin' to ya? I think I like that."
Hutch was suddenly turning. "Here we go. Blair Avenue. Finally. We're looking for Norwood."
Except, suddenly Hutch was turning into the parking lot of a shopette, and was out of the car in a flash. Starsky's instinct was to follow, but he decided not to upon reading the store sign: Richmond Drug Store. He'd feel too funny. Best to just let Hutch take care of the details.
Wonder how much he knows about ass-fucking, anyway. Not that he'd admit it if he doesn't know anything.
Starsky put his feet upon the dashboard, once again trying to get accustomed to the knowledge that this was going to be a regular part of their lives.
Fucking with Hutch. Fucking Hutch. Haven't really thought about that much....
And, beyond that, not yet knowing what they were going to be doing with their lives. So many roads to explore. Starsky had always been content in the past to keep the status quo and maintain the routine he'd established for his life. Now, it seemed they were on the most glorious and noble of adventures. Learning how to love each other even more, and deciding what the background is going to be for all that love.
Keep each other healthy and happy and content and excited. He had no doubt that he and Hutch were forever. May as well have walked down a church aisle....
* * *
It seemed like forever before they got rid of the bellhop, who had to know what they were to each other, because they had asked for a room with one bed. It was easy not to be self-conscious, so far from home. They were on the eighteenth floor of an expensive hotel and Hutch was fishing out change for a tip.
Starsky stood back, watching his partner. Hutch's mustache was a little droopy where it had gotten rained on. His bangs were plastered to his forehead. His shirttail was hanging partway out of his jeans.
Always loved him, Starsky affirmed to himself. Always thought he was good-looking. Always thought I'd rather be around him than anyone else. Even when he's bein' a prick. And now he looks like...
Having finally closed the door behind the bellhop, Hutch turned.
....like an angel from heaven. Starsky grinned, his chest getting heavy. "Hey, there."
Hutch sighed heavily and then tugged at his clothing. "We're here," he noted with a straight face. "Time to relax and watch some TV." He headed for the king-sized bed.
Starsky took two long steps and grabbed his partner around the waist, preventing further movement. "Not a chance," he said in as threatening a tone as he could muster.
Hutch blinked his eyes innocently. "Huh?"
Starsky giggled as he brushed himself against the long, damp form. "Big phony." He tilted his head up and puckered his lips, realizing he'd been wanting to do this all day.
His eyes were closed, and it was pure sensation when soft moistness pressed down upon his lips. Though the pressure was kind, Starsky felt weak in the knees and was afraid he might collapse, so he took a tighter grip on that tall, lanky body. But it didn't matter. He was sinking... sinking... felt his knees touch the carpet. He whimpered when gravity forced them to part.
"There," Hutch said breathlessly, voice heavy with passion. "You're right where I want you." He reached for his fly.
Starsky was about to scold him for being so insistent upon one-liners, but then decided that it didn't matter. He didn't know what it would be like to put his mouth on it; just knew that he wanted to make it so good for Hutch. He waited obediently while Hutch, after pausing as though he had only been kidding, now pushed his jeans and briefs down to just past his hips.
It sprang free, firm peach-colored flesh. Starsky put his mouth around it.
"God." It was a low, poignant cry of disbelief, accompanied by thick movement. Starsky swallowed while trying to keep his teeth clear of it, then undulated his tongue along the underside, feeling as though his mouth were stuffed. A hand came to the back of his head, pressing him closer while trying not to grip too hard.
It was tickling the roof of his mouth, filling the back so there was little air. He didn't think he was doing much good, and pulled back, looking up at Hutch for guidance.
Those intense blue eyes were looking down at him in wonder, as though Hutch were just now realizing that this was how it was going to be. And then he reached down and tugged insistently on Starsky's shirtfront. Starsky unsteadily rose to his feet. And then Hutch's hands gripped him and those so-soft lips crashed against his, teeth threatening to rake against his, arms coming around him, pulling tight, the stout erection poking at his cotton-clad pubic region.
He could feel Hutch trembling all over, and Starsky still had the weak-in-the-knees feeling. He wished Hutch would throw him to the bed and take what he wanted, what he so badly needed. Starsky finally got his wits about him enough to reach around and grab a bare buttock, squeezing firmly. He managed to gasp, "Do anything you want."
Hutch swung them both around - not an easy task with his pants bunched at his thighs - and pushed Starsky toward the bed. Starsky fell back on the mattress and watched as Hutch quickly divested himself of the rest of his clothing. And then the pale form was before him, its most needy member jutting forth. "Finish it," came the gentle command.
Starsky knew Hutch wouldn't be so blunt and demanding if he thought his partner had any doubts. But since there weren't any doubts, Starsky got on his elbows and strained toward it. But before his lips could touch it, he looked up and made a demand of his own, though his voice was softer. "Tell me how to make it good for you." He scooted a little farther forward on the mattress, then took the thick cylinder into his mouth once again.
Hutch took Starsky's hand, making him shift his weight onto his side. Hutch pushed on Starsky's hand. "Grip it."
Starsky held it tightly, pulling his mouth back, so only a few inches past the head was enclosed. It gave him more freedom to work, and he went at it enthusiastically, bobbing his head while continuing to run his tongue along the underside, bringing up his other hand now to increase his grip.
"Ah, that's beautiful," Hutch finally gasped. He thrust gently.
"Mmmm," Starsky groaned, wanting Hutch to know that he enjoyed pleasing him like this, that Hutch could demand anything of him.
Hutch released a tight, in-drawn breath, then said softly, "Allll-most there."
Starsky was amazed that he was that good -- or that Hutch was that horny for him. He kept up the motion of his tongue, the suction of his mouth, the grip of his hands. All the muscles in use started to complain, but Hutch was groaning now - deep and incoherent. So close....
It was fascinating to hear the cry that started deep within his lover's throat then. The throb of the thick barrel in his mouth. Then the release of ecstasy. The emission soaked his taste buds, and he waited until the shrinking flesh pulled back before he finally swallowed. Then he looked up.
Hutch's eyes were hooded, his face flushed, but there was a grateful smile as he gazed down at Starsky.
Starsky grinned and moved aside, and Hutch collapsed next to him.
Starsky was on the blond immediately, kissing his neck, tasting his sweat then kissing downward until settling upon the expanse of the smooth chest. He smacked his lips across it, then tongued at a nipple.
Hutch grunted and rolled, tipping them both over.
Such a different feeling, being covered by someone as strong as he. Masculine strength that matched his own. Now a wide, sweeping tongue moved across his own nipple through the open buttons of his shirt, tickling the surrounding hair.
Starsky thrust up. He didn't want to be impatient, but having Hutch on top of him, his beloved weight pressing against him, was stimulating in the extreme. "Ah, man, " he finally groaned.
Full lips released the nipple with a smacking noise. "Ah man what?" Hutch asked casually, clear blue eyes dancing with amusement.
Starsky couldn't figure out if he wanted to play around, get sucked, or get fucked. He finally decided to follow Hutch's lead. "Ah, man, I think we're gonna have a great time tonight."
He circled his arms around Hutch's back, loving the feel of that strong body. He wasn't certain exactly what pleasures awaited, but knew they were going to be new and special, because it would be between Hutch and him.
Those amused eyes were still dancing. "Just tonight?" Hutch teased further.
They were close enough that Starsky felt Hutch's warm breath across his face. He resisted the urge to thrust again. He wanted tonight to last forever. He supposed it qualified as a honeymoon of sorts. "Maybe," he suggested, "we should call room service, and shower up, and eat dinner, and then....," he shrugged.
Soft laughter, the kind that made Starsky want to keep Hutch happy forever. The blond grinned at him. "What do you mean, room service?" His voice was soft, enticing. "I'm having you for dinner."
Starsky rolled his eyes back and collapsed against the mattress. He was putty, pure putty, for Hutch to mold as he wished.
Another soft chuckle. Then Hutch's wide tongue lapped against his nipple again. "Mmm," he said, "you taste awfully good." He settled himself more fully on Starsky, wriggling to get comfortable.
When Starsky had the nerve to meet those loving eyes again, Hutch said, "Gonna get you boiling. Then I'm going to simmer you for a while." His lips moved closer, so that only a half inch separated them. "And then I'm going to swallow you down."
A little cry escaped Starsky's lips. "Oh." And then Hutch kissed him. It was so nice, Hutch's weight growing heavier as he melted against him, their lips blending into a single bit of flesh.
It was a few seconds after Hutch pulled back that Starsky was able to gather his wits enough to speak. "What about dessert?" he wanted to know.
A finger was placed against his lips in a scolding gesture. "Uh-uh. Dessert is for later. We don't talk about that now."
Starsky thought his heart might burst. He wanted Hutch to fuck him for dessert. He wanted Hutch to have that so much. And he knew Hutch didn't want to talk about it, because the mere thought was heavily arousing to the blond, and any discussion would cause everything to happen too quickly. Starsky released a heavy breath, making a deliberate effort to relax. But he announced, "I'm boiling right now." It was all he could do to not thrust up against Hutch again. He wanted tonight to last forever.
Brusque mustache hairs skimmed along Starsky's chin. Then Hutch planted a kiss there. "Then we'll have to cool you down to a simmer." Hutch kissed his nose as he moved aside.
Starsky missed that wonderful weight immediately. He watched as Hutch's nude body moved to the wall. He turned off the lights. It was dusk outside, and with the glow from the city the outline of furniture was easily seen. So was Hutch's pale form as it returned to the bed.
The blond pulled the covers back and fussed with the pillows, then reached for Starsky's arm. "Up here," he beckoned.
Starsky scooted back along the bedspread. Hutch reached for his sneakers and started to work them off.
Starsky put his hands on his shirt to unbutton it, but they were gently slapped away.
"Uh-uh," Hutch muttered.
Starsky understood then that Hutch wanted to do the undressing. Something seemed so heart warming about that. When his feet were bare, Hutch pushed back the covers and, still clothed, Starsky put his legs beneath them. Pillows were behind his back and head, supporting him.
"I love you," he whispered in the direction of that fair hair.
"Shhh." Hutch scolded gently as the mattress dipped to Starsky's right with his partner's weight.
Hutch couldn't even handle being told I love you? Or was it simply... "You sayin' you want me to shut up?" Starsky's tone was merely a request for information.
Hutch kissed him. So gentle. Warm breath blew across his upper lip. "Yes. Shut up." Stated so sweetly. Then, equally sweet, "I just want to... taste you for a while."
Starsky sank back into the pillows, fully aware of the blood pooling at his groin, the confinement of his tight jeans.....
Hutch's fingers were at his buttons, carefully pulling them apart, the patient motion making Starsky feel worshipped. Then Hutch pushed the flaps back, exposing Starsky's hairy chest. Hutch ducked his head....
Starsky closed his eyes, felt soft wetness move between his pectoral muscles, mixing with the hair there as a pointed tongue investigating downward. Then he placed a soft kiss just above his belly button. Hutch's warm breath then moved upward. His eager lips sucked at the skin of Starsky's throat.
Starsky shivered, groaning at the sensation of being possessed by some one so eager to have him.
Hutch made murmurs of love as his lips left him, then pressed butterfly-soft kisses against Starsky's eyelids. That sweet touch moved between his eyes... down to his nose... as his shirt was worked off his shoulders.
His upper body was left naked as Hutch shifted his arms so his clothing could be tossed aside. A moment later loving touches were covering him once again, Hutch's soft cheek nuzzling against his own stubby one. Starsky groaned, and when Hutch's lips started down his neck once more, he reached up and captured his partner's cheeks, then brought them to his lips.
It was a form of death, the incredible softness against his lips, the brusque mustache hairs below his nose. Then Hutch's soppy tongue wrestled against his own as they sucked each other....
Starsky couldn't wait any more. He felt for Hutch's hand, gripped the wrist and pressed it against the taut mound of his jeans. The contact sent shock waves through his veins, and he groaned loudly against the mouth his possessed, while arching up against the hand.
Hutch also groaned, but it was more a noise of disbelief at how good it was. When he finally managed to drag his lips away from Hutch's kiss, Starsky muttered, "You better get to the main course before it burns." As he said the words, he felt his hot breath bounce off his friend's face and drift back to him.
Hutch's gentle lips touched him high on his cheek as though in apology. Or perhaps reassurance. For now fingertips moved to the waistband of Starsky's jeans, tickling the sensitive flesh of his belly. His breath came faster as Hutch fumbled with his snap, and then it came undone. Starsky shifted on the mattress, begging for them to come off.
Sure hands gripped his clothing, dragged the jeans down, Starsky arching up to assist, gasping with relief as his desire was freed. It seemed a long wait until his pants and underwear were dragged down his legs and finally pulled free. He pushed the covers back and away, so that when his legs were bare, he was able to spread them wide.
Time seemed to stand still as the outline of his partner, smoky gray in the light of dusk outside the window, settled on his stomach on the mattress, between Starsky's legs.
Smoky gray... except for that pale cap of hair. A cap which now ducked down to Starsky's crotch.