Comments about this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org This is a sequel to my A New Year's Eve Tale
Happy Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day, 1980
Hutch knew Starsky had been staring unfocused at the form on his desk for several minutes. "Penny for your thoughts," he said softly.
Starsky looked up into Hutch's eyes, and gave him a rueful smile. "They're not even worth that," he answered quietly.
"They're worth a million to me," Hutch said, returning the sad smile.
Things had been strained between them since New Year's Day. There was no anger, just a sort of permeating sadness.
They had made love for the first—and only—time on New Year's Eve, at Starsky's urging. Hutch had been reluctant to take their relationship to the next level, but he could refuse Starsky nothing, not since the Gunther shooting. He woke up New Year's morning naked in Starsky's arms, with his new lover nuzzling his neck. The enjoyment lasted only a few moments.
"Starsky, no," he whispered, lightly gripping Starsky's shoulder.
"Mmm? What?" Starsky asked distractedly.
Hutch gently shook the shoulder. "Stop it," he said urgently.
"What'sa matter?" Starsky asked, pulling away from Hutch's neck with a look of concern.
"Starsk, this was a mistake," Hutch said in anguish.
"What? How can ya say that? It was the best blowjob I've ever had in my whole life! And you looked pretty pleased with yours, too," Starsky said with a satisfied smile.
"Starsky, I'm serious! We should never have done what we did."
"Hutch, what're ya talkin' about? It was beautiful. When we came together, it was the happiest moment of my life. And the second time was even better. Are ya tellin' me now I'm just a one-night stand?" Starsky asked, smirking.
"I'm not kidding, Starsky," Hutch said, agitated. He sat up against the headboard. Seeing the confusion now playing on his partner's face, he tried to calm himself down so he could explain his feelings to the man he loved. The man he knew he was going to hurt, even though that was the last thing he wanted to do.
"This is too dangerous, babe," he said, cupping Starsky's face in his large hand. "You know I love you more than anything. That's why we can't do this. What if IA gets wind of it? We'll lose our jobs, or at the least, be split up. What if you meet the 'right' woman? Starsk, it would kill me if I got used to this, and then it had to stop. I don't think I can live without you, as it is. If we start having sex, there'd be no turning back for me. I couldn't handle giving it up."
"Ah, Hutch, I'm never gonna leave you. Don'cha know that? I want you in my life, in my bed, forever. Me 'n' thee," Starsky said, then stretched forward and kissed Hutch's mouth.
Incapable of not responding to the exquisite feel of his lover's lips, Hutch returned the kiss. "That's what you say now, but you can't see the future. We're playing with fire here."
"Don'cha trust me, Blondie? When I say 'forever', I mean forever. Life is short. I know that—we both know that—better'n most. I wanna spend whatever time we have left, together. I hope it's fifty years, but even, maybe especially, if it's fifty months or fifty days, I wanna spend them with you. The man I love." He kissed Hutch again.
"You sound like you're proposing to me," Hutch said in an ironic tone.
"I guess I am. Will ya marry me, Hutch?" Starsky asked hopefully.
"I wish I could. I wish it were that easy, but it's not. Especially for cops." Hutch stroked Starsky's shoulder. "How I love you!" he said softly.
"Yeah? Well, show me," Starsky said, ducking down to lick, then suck on Hutch's right nipple.
"Starsky, stop it! You promised. You said last night, if either of us didn't like it, we'd never do it again. We'd forget it ever happened." He avoided Starsky's eyes. He couldn't look him in the eye and lie.
"But, Hutch...you didn't like it?" Starsky asked, with obvious hurt and surprise in his voice.
" I loved it, babe, but we can't do it again. Agreed?" Now Hutch stared into his lover's dark blue eyes.
"But, Hutch," Starsky pleaded.
"Agreed? Will you keep your word?" Hutch asked, squeezing Starsky's arms.
"'Course I will," Starsky replied, obviously crushed. "I'll do whatever you want. I love you."
"Thanks, buddy. I know how hard this is for you, too. But it's the right decision. You'll see," he soothed softly. "I'm so sorry," he added, as he slowly rubbed the bare shoulders.
"Yeah, well I guess I'll go take a cold shower," Starsky said with a hollow little laugh, pulling away and getting out of bed. Hutch could see Starsky was half-erect.
"Ah, Starsk," he sighed.
"It's okay, babe, you're not ready yet. I understand," Starsky turned back to say. As he started to head toward the bathroom, he stopped and added, "Promise you won't leave while I'm in the shower. Promise you'll spend New Year's Day with me."
"Of course, I will, if you still want me to," Hutch answered.
"I told you...I love you. I want you with me forever. If you won't make love with me now, I can accept that...as long as you stay my best friend. That won't change, will it Hutch?" Starsky stared intently at his friend.
In a flash, Hutch leapt out of bed and rushed to enfold Starsky in his arms. He was acutely conscious of their nakedness and of how that wasn't helping the situation, but what could he do? Starsky needed him.
"That'll never change, Starsk. Not as long as I live," he vowed into the ear peeking out from the unruly dark curls.
"Good," Starsky replied, warmly returning the embrace. "Then we'll be okay. Why don't you start breakfast while I shower?"
Hutch did just that, then took his turn in the shower while Starsky finished the meal preparations. After Hutch came out of the bathroom, they shared breakfast in front of the TV. In fact, they spent the day there, watching parades and ballgames, with little conversation. They went for a run in the park late in the afternoon, then ordered pizza for dinner. A fairly routine New Year's Day, except for the few calls wishing Starsky luck on his return to active duty the next day...and except for the slight residual sadness that hung in the air from the morning conversation, lingering like the faint smell of spilled champagne from the night before.
Seeing Starsky lost in thought, staring at his paperwork, made Hutch think back to New Year's. Not that it took much to make him do that. Almost everything made him think about the night when he felt the most loved in his life, and then the next morning, when he broke the heart of the lover who had made him feel so special. It was eating him up inside, the guilt he felt at hurting the person who meant more to him than life itself.
Starsky had kept his word—they never spoke of New Year's Eve again, and, on the surface, it was as if nothing had happened. They worked closely again, just as they had before the Gunther shooting, and still spent most of their time together. They even still touched each other all the time, consciously trying to keep things the way they used to be, but they both knew that that was an impossible mission. Things had changed, irrevocably, and not for the better.
Whenever Hutch caught a glimpse of his partner in an unguarded moment, he was overcome by guilt. He had extinguished Starsky's spark. Sure, the guy could still joke around with friends, especially ladies, but even then, there was sadness in his eyes. He had overcome incredible odds, with lots of hard work and sheer will, to come back to full duty as a detective, after nearly being murdered. It was an amazing achievement, yet he somehow seemed defeated. Seeing this nearly killed Hutch, because he knew that, right before New Year's, Starsky had been almost his old self again. Maybe a little more subdued and serious than before, but certainly not sad. So Hutch knew that it was his refusal to take his friend as a lover that had created the new Starsky. It was all his fault.
After several weeks, his guilt became overwhelming and he could live with it no longer. He knew he had to make the only decision he could. He had to beg Starsky's forgiveness, and tell him they could make love any way Starsky wanted, any time he wanted, for the next fifty days or the next fifty years. Forever. If they lost their jobs, so what? They'd manage somehow. All that mattered was that they'd be together...and that Starsky would be Starsky again. That he'd be happy.
Once the decision was made, all Hutch had to do was plan how and when to tell Starsky about it. Since Valentine's Day was approaching, it was easy to choose that as the date. The 'how' took a little more thinking.
"Ready to go now?" Hutch asked.
"Yeah, I'm sick of these forms, and I'm gettin' hungry," Starsky replied, putting on his jacket, and heading for the squadroom door.
"Me, too," said Hutch, as he also pulled on his coat. He followed a little behind Starsky, so he could watch his butt in motion. He felt a blush heating his face as he started thinking about seeing that butt naked again, feeling it in his hands again. He wanted to know what it would be like to lick it and bite it. To do things to it that he had never dreamed about before. He was glad when they reached the Torino, because his pants were becoming uncomfortably tight in the crotch as he walked.
"Huggy's?" Starsky asked when he got behind the wheel.
"Sounds good to me," Hutch answered. He had decided against a romantic dinner, figuring that he'd save the romance for later. He also didn't want to reveal his news in public, so a simple, quick meal was best; they'd get back to his place sooner.
As Hutch had hoped, the meal was quick. Huggy was too busy to spend more than a few minutes chatting with them, because the crowded restaurant needed his attention. Hutch tried to draw Starsky into a conversation about the Lakers, but Starsky didn't seem interested, so they concentrated on eating and were out of there in less than an hour.
When Starsky pulled the car up in front of Venice Place, he didn't cut the engine, apparently intending just to drop Hutch off.
"Come up for a beer, Starsk?" Hutch asked pleasantly.
"No, thanks, I think I'll just go home," Starsky replied.
"Nah," Starsky said, but then, when he turned to look at Hutch, something in the blond's expression must have made him reconsider. "Okay, if you want me to." He shut off the engine and got out.
Leading the way upstairs, Hutch wondered if Starsky was enjoying the rear view he was getting as much as Hutch had enjoyed his earlier. Hope so, he thought.
"Help yourself" Hutch said over his shoulder, as he headed for the bedroom, taking his jacket and holster off along the way. "Take off your coat and make yourself comfortable," he called out.
Emerging from the bedroom a few minutes later, he saw Starsky in his shirtsleeves, settled on the couch with a beer. He came around and sat close to him. Starsky seemed surprised, especially after he saw what Hutch was holding.
"I have something for you," Hutch said, handing his once-and-future lover a small box wrapped in red foil, topped by a shiny white bow.
Starsky stared at Hutch. "What is it?"
"Open it and see," Hutch laughed.
Starsky pulled off the bow and wrapping paper, then held the black velvet jewelry box in his hand, just looking at it a moment. Inhaling deeply, he opened the box to reveal a gold ring with a small but brilliant diamond. "Hutch!" he exhaled. "Geez, it's beautiful! But why?"
"Because I love you, dummy," Hutch responded. "It's inscribed," he added eagerly.
Starsky read aloud "S 2/14/80 H". He looked at Hutch quizzically.
"We never call each other by our first names, and it seemed funny to put last names on it, so I settled on initials," Hutch said, embarrassed. "Put it on?"
"They say the blood in the ring finger of your left hand goes straight to your heart. It's not true, but it's a nice thought," Hutch said, watching Starsky closely.
Starsky looked up into Hutch's eyes, smiled, then put the ring on the ring finger of his left hand. Before he could look up again, Hutch was holding out another present. "Now open this," he said with a smile.
"I feel so bad, babe. This is so much, and I don't have anything for you," Starsky said, but eagerly accepted the small rectangular box, which was also wrapped in red foil, and tied with a white ribbon.
"That's okay. Your love is all I need." Hutch immediately giggled. "I know, that's so soapy."
Starsky grinned up at him. "I don't mind soapy tonight." After fumbling with the ribbon, he finally got the box open. A look of wonder spread over his face. "Does this mean..." He looked up hopefully into Hutch's eyes, after taking the tube of K-Y Jelly out of the box.
"Happy Valentine's Day," Hutch only said, handing him a red envelope.
Starsky took it, and pulled out the card, white with a large red heart bearing the words "I Love You". He paused, then opened the card. The simple verse said, "Words can't say how much I love you." Below the printed verse, Hutch had written, "You own my heart. You inhabit my soul. If you want to claim my body now, too, I'm ready. Love, Hutch."
When Hutch saw Starsky's dark blue eyes gazing up at him again, they shone with joy.
"This is the happiest day of my life," Starsky said, leaning towards Hutch and kissing his lips tenderly.
"That's what I'd hoped you'd say. That's why today's date is on the ring," Hutch said, with a satisfied grin.
"Ah, Hutch, I love you," Starsky said, giving Hutch another kiss, then pulling away. "But I didn't get you anything."
"There's only one thing I want from you," Hutch said.
"Yeah? What's that?"
"For what?" Starsky seemed truly mystified.
"For pushing you away on New Year's Day. I was an ass."
"Nah, you just weren't ready. It's okay."
"But I hurt you."
"No, I wasn't hurt. Disappointed, sure, but I understood. Nothin' to forgive, Blintz." He took Hutch's mouth in a passionate kiss.
"Well, then, there's something else I want" Hutch said, when the long kiss was done and his breathing returned to normal.
"What?" Starsky asked, planting little kisses across Hutch's cheek, on a path to his ear.
"Guess" Hutch replied with a laugh, his large hand squeezing the prominent bulge in Starsky's pants.
Chuckling, Starsky said, "I guess it wants you, too," as the bulge hardened beneath Hutch's hand.
"Better not keep it waiting, then, huh, buddy?" Hutch asked with a lascivious grin, as he rose from the couch, pulling Starsky up with him.
"That's right. Let the honeymoon begin," Starsky announced, grabbing the lube tube as Hutch led him by the hand to the bedroom, where they consummated their new commitment to each other.