This is dedicated to Debbie, who knows the true meaning of Christmas.  Comments about this story can be sent to:


It was Christmas evening. Starsky and Hutch had spent the morning serving breakfast to the homeless at the mission and the afternoon at Kiko's house. Now they were winding up the day at Starsky's apartment.

Starsky had insisted that they lie on their stomachs on the floor, watching his trains go 'round and 'round underneath the Christmas tree, while they enjoyed some wine.

"Y'know, Hutch, I really thought you'd get me that caboose I wanted for Christmas," Starsky said in a peeved voice.

"What's the matter? Don't you like what I got you?" Hutch asked.

"The tree in the park? That's nice, Hutch. Really, it is. It's just..." Starsky trailed off.

"Not what you really wanted?" Hutch asked, giving his partner an intent look.

"Yeah. Don't be mad, Hutch. It's just...well, I knew you knew what I wanted, so I thought you'd get it for me. I know it's not the price, or the time and trouble, 'cause that tree must have cost you at least as much as the caboose would've, and, well, anyway, I just don't understand why you deliberately chose not to get me what I wanted," Starsky mumbled, as he shot his partner a sad-sack glance. He was disappointed with Hutch's gift, but wasn't sure if he should be mad at the blond or not.

"Oh, Starsky, don't you see why?" Hutch sighed, as he put his arm around Starsky's shoulders. "Because I think you need a lesson in what Christmas is really all about."

"You mean Jesus' birth?" Starsky asked with surprise, since he had never known Hutch to be religious.

"No, I don't mean it in a religious sense. Spiritual maybe. Or philosophical. I mean love. Christmas is about love," Hutch answered. "Love means knowing it's better to give than to receive."

"I thought love meant never having to say you're sorry" Starsky snickered, as he dropped a Hershey's kiss into one of the train cars going by.

"Turkey!" Hutch gave Starsky a light smack on the back of the head.

"Well, if you love me, why didn't you get me what I wanted?" Starsky asked, turning away from his trains to glance at Hutch.

Hutch laughed. "You're like a little kid, you know that? Do I need to give you the Christmas gift you wanted to prove that I love you?" A very fond look settled on his handsome face, the kind of expression you'd have when gazing at a young child.

"No, of course not," Starsky answered sheepishly, focusing on his trains again.

"Think about it. This tree is a living gift. For years, it'll be a home for birds. It'll provide shade for children to play in. It'll add beauty to the environment. It'll make the earth a better place. Kinda like you, right?" Hutch gave Starsky's shoulder a squeeze.

"Ah, Hutch, that's beautiful. Now I feel like an ungrateful jerk for the way I acted," Starsky said, as he finally turned his head toward his friend to look him full in the face.

"No, more like a spoiled brat," Hutch laughed, playfully giving Starsky a swat on the rear.

"Hey!" Starsky exclaimed.

"You don't need a new caboose anyway. The one you've got looks fine to me." Hutch added.

"I'm glad you appreciate it, my big blond beauty." Starsky wiggled his eyebrows at Hutch, whose face turned pink. Suddenly the dark-haired man grew serious. "You're not mad at me for what I gave you, are ya?" he asked.

"The ant farm? No, but why don't you tell me why you decided on that?" Hutch replied, turning to lie on his side facing his friend, and propping his head on his elbow.

Starsky shrugged. "I saw it and I thought you'd like it. You being the nature boy and all. And we shouldn't have pets, what with our schedules, but you've got that mothering side to you, so I thought this was kinda like the closest thing to a pet you could have," Starsky rambled a bit nervously. Now he was beginning to think his gift paled in comparison to what Hutch had given him.

"That was really sweet, Starsk," Hutch said, stroking Starsky's neck.

"You really like it?" Starsky asked uncertainly.

"Sure I do. It's so you. And I like you, don't I?" Hutch asked, squeezing his pal's shoulder again.

"I dunno. Do ya? Sometimes I wonder," Starsky said quietly.

"Oh, for Chrissakes, Starsk! Of course I like you. Maybe not everything about you, but on the whole, I like you. You're my best friend, buddy. I love you," Hutch said, grinning.

"Well, what don't ya like about me?" Starsky asked, pursuing his insecurities.

"Starsky!" Hutch said, raising a forefinger in warning.

"I'm just curious, that's all. What don't ya like about me?" Starsky asked again, not willing to let the matter drop.

"Jesus, Starsky, I hate it when you're stubborn like this. That's something I don't like about you."

"You think I'm stubborn?" Starsky asked, unmistakable hurt in his voice.

"For crying out loud, Starsky!" Hutch said, exasperated.

"Well, do ya?" Starsky asked.

Hutch looked at his partner a moment. Then he shook his head, leaned over, pushing Starsky onto his back, and kissed him on the lips.

"Hutch! Starsky exclaimed. "What? Why?" He was so surprised, he was stumbling over his words.

"Because it seems to be the only way to shut you up!" Hutch replied. He remained partially on top of Starsky, chest to chest, with his left hand holding the back of Starsky's neck and most of his weight resting on his right elbow and forearm, next to Starsky's left arm.

Starsky just stared at him. Absentmindedly, he noticed how the reds and greens of the Christmas tree lights were reflected in Hutch's pale yellow hair.

"See?" Hutch laughed. "It worked. You're speechless."

Starsky laughed, too, then impulsively lifted his head and kissed Hutch's mouth.

"Hey! What's your excuse?" Hutch asked, with an obviously delighted smile.

"Seemed like a good idea at the time?" Starsky asked with a grin.

"Yeah, it was," Hutch agreed, chuckling. "But you know, I was right. You're not a good kisser."

"What?" Starsky spluttered. "I'm a great kisser!"

"Well, you couldn't prove it by me," Hutch said.

"Oh, yeah? C'mere!" Starsky said, grabbing Hutch's neck and pulling him down, to kiss him again. This kiss was slower and much more sensuous. He finally released Hutch, then looked at him smugly.

"That was better...but I wouldn't call it great," Hutch opined.

"It's sure better than yours was," Starsky said, a challenge in his voice.

"Oh, come on, Gordo!" Hutch said, laughing. "You know I'm the best kisser."

"Sez who?" said Starsky, using the age-old playground taunt.

"Sez me!" Hutch replied, and suddenly his warm mouth covered Starsky's and his tongue was feeling its way past his friend's lips. Starsky momentarily pulled back, then decided to join in the fun, as their tongues got acquainted with each other.

After a few minutes they separated. "Damn, you're good!" Starsky sighed, looking deeply into his partner's eyes.

"So are you. I was just teasing before," Hutch admitted.

"I know, babe" Starsky grinned, suddenly rising up, and in the process rolling Hutch over onto his back, then lying on top of his surprised pal. "You were right, Hutch. Christmas is about love," he said warmly, quickly kissing Hutch's lips, then nuzzling his neck. His heart was overflowing with love for his best friend.

"Course I'm right," Hutch said, tightening his arms which encircled his partner's back. "I love you," he whispered into Starsky's ear.

"Love you, too, Blondie" Starsky said, when his mouth reached Hutch's ear, after leaving a trail of little kisses up his neck. "Got any other lessons you want to teach me tonight?" he asked, provocatively sticking his tongue in Hutch's ear.

After a sharp intake of breath, Hutch replied suggestively "Hmmm. Do you still have The Kama Sutra in your bookcase? I might be able to teach you a few things from that."

"You are trying to seduce me, Mr. Hutchinson. Aren't you?" Starsky laughed, sliding partially off Hutch, but remaining pressed against his side, right arm across his chest, hand resting on the blond's shoulder.

Hutch giggled and bent his leg at the knee in the classic Mrs. Robinson pose. "Why, no. I hadn't thought of it," he said with feigned innocence.

"No?" Starsky smiled. "Well, I have a lesson for you. It's called the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." His right hand slid under Hutch's black shirt and felt the muscles of his chest. He liked the smooth hardness that greeted him. "I'll teach you," he said excitedly, as he pulled away from Hutch and sat up. "C'mon, get up."

No sooner had the blond obliged, than Starsky pulled off his friend's shirt. He thought about how the Christmas tree lights now reflected on Hutch's pale skin. "You're beautiful, babe. You always reflect the beauty around you," he said, gently stroking the colored spots on Hutch's ribcage.

"Oh, Starsk! You're the beauty around me," Hutch said with a sappy look, cupping Starsky's face in his large right palm.

"That's right, Blintz," Starsky chuckled. "But you're not learning your lesson. Do as I do!" He raised his arms to give a hint.

With a laugh, Hutch grabbed Starsky's shirt and pulled it off. "I know I can learn this lesson real well," he said.

"Oh, you will. 'Cause you'll have the best teacher in the whole world," Starsky replied, gliding his hands down Hutch's sides.

"The best teacher, huh?" Hutch asked, playing with Starsky's chest hair. When Starsky grinned and nodded, Hutch said, "Okay, buddy, you'll be my best teacher and I'll be your best pupil. Then, when you're done, I'll be your best teacher and you'll be my best pupil. Deal?"

"Deal" Starsky answered. "'It's the most wonderful time of the year...'" he sang, a tad off-key, and reached down to start unbuckling Hutch's belt.

Hutch quickly covered Starsky's mouth with his own for a forceful kiss. "No singing! We've got lessons to learn." And so they spent Christmas evening eagerly applying themselves to the lessons of love.

The End.