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New Year's Eve, 1979

"'Exciting new adventure lies ahead,'" Starsky read aloud. I sure hope so, he thought happily.

"You are coming back to work in a couple of days," Hutch offered.

"I told you fortune cookies are always right on New Year's Eve," Starsky said. "What's yours say?"

"'Old love become new love.' Kind of cryptic. Think an old girlfriend will come back into my life?" Hutch asked with a chuckle.

"Who knows? But it'll come true, you watch!" Starsky insisted, hoping that his secret interpretation was the one predicted. Unbeknownst to Hutch, Starsky had big plans for them for the last evening of the Seventies.

In the past, on New Year's Eve, they had always gone out partying with a couple of hot dates -- ensuring that they started the new year doing their favorite thing: making it with a willing babe.

But things were different now. Starsky had just finished rehab for his injuries from the Gunther shooting and would return to active duty as of January 1. He wanted to celebrate, but not like in the old days. He just wanted to share the evening with Hutch, suggesting dinner for two at the Imperial Palace. They should be treated like kings before they went back to being warriors again, he reasoned.

"Let's go back to my place now," Starsky said, patting Hutch's hand as he took the check from the restaurant table.. He had insisted that everything be his treat. Hutch had argued against it, for a change, but Starsky prevailed, pointing out that he had been collecting disability pay all the time he was out, but Hutch had had to take some unpaid leave to be with him through most of his recovery period.

They drove to Starsky's apartment in the Torino, laughing at some of the crazier merrymakers they saw in the streets.

Soon they were lounging on the big cushions of Starsky's sofa, watching TV and drinking champagne, instead of their usual beer, to mark the special occasion.

As it drew near to midnight and the countdown began, they sat upright to watch. At the stroke of twelve, they clinked their glasses together, both said "Happy New Year!" and took a sip of their wine. They watched a tape of Dick Clark ringing in the New Year at Times Square, then all the craziness of the crowd, cheering and shouting, and hugging and kissing each other.

Starsky stole a glance at Hutch. Such a serious expression on his beautiful face! He reached up with his left hand and stroked the back of Hutch's neck.

"A new year! A new decade!" he said softly, optimistically. He smiled and raised his eyebrows when Hutch looked at him.

"I'm so glad you're still here to see it" Hutch said warmly.

"Me too, babe," Starsky said, quickly putting his glass down, turning back to Hutch and kissing him full on the mouth.

"Starsk!" Hutch exclaimed, "What the...? Look what you made me do!" Starsky's sudden movement had bumped Hutch's hand and spilled wine on both their shirts.

He doesn't really seem mad. Just surprised. "Better take off your shirt, Blondie," Starsky said as he started to unbutton it for Hutch. "Went right through," he said as he pulled it open, then bent his head to lick Hutch's chest.

"Starsky! Are you drunk? Cut that out!" Hutch said, pushing Starsky's shoulder away.

Starsky resisted. "You know I'm not drunk," he said, as he started to suck on Hutch's right nipple.

"God, Starsk! Why are you doing this?" Hutch gasped, clutching the shoulder now.

"Because I love you," Starsky answered, as he licked and kissed his way across to the other nipple and started sucking on that one, after giving it a little nip.

"I love you, too, but..."

Starsky could feel Hutch's heart pounding. "But what?"

"But we shouldn't be doing this," Hutch gasped.

"Why not?" Starsky asked, as he raised his head. He shifted closer to Hutch on the sofa, pressing up against him and nuzzling his neck.

Hutch was breathing heavily now. "Because."

"Because what?" Starsky breathed into Hutch's ear. Then he licked around its edge, eliciting a sharp intake of breath from the tortured blond.

"Because we're not gay," Hutch answered, almost panting.

"No." Starsky stopped licking and turned full face to his partner. "I don't know what I am, Hutch. I just know that I love you more than anything or anybody, and I wanna show you how much." He took Hutch's mouth in a passionate kiss, shoving his tongue into the not-quite-welcoming orifice.

After a few long moments Hutch's tongue started to respond to its visitor, tentatively at first, then with gusto.

Meanwhile, Starsky slid his hand over Hutch's chest and pinched a nipple. Hutch squeezed Starsky's shoulder harder.

When they finally pulled apart, Starsky started to pull off Hutch's shirt.

"No, Starsk," Hutch said, pulling it together again.

"C'mon, Hutch, it's wet," Starsky said, letting go. "So's mine," he added, and proceeded to unbutton his own shirt and remove it.

Hutch watched him with a strange expression. Doubt and worry, along with an unmistakable longing, Starsky thought. "C'mon," he said, again trying to slide Hutch's shirt over his shoulders. This time the blond let him, then leaned forward and finished taking it off.

Immediately, Starsky pulled him into an embrace. I knew it would feel this good, he thought as he rubbed his naked chest against his partner's. He heard a little moan escape Hutch's mouth, and took that as an encouraging sign. He covered Hutch's face with little kisses, until Hutch finally grabbed Starsky's chin with his big hand, held his face still, and ravaged his mouth.

When he was done, Hutch pulled back and whispered "I'm sorry, Starsk. I'm sorry."

"Why, babe? That was wonderful!" Starsky said, as he moved his hand slowly across Hutch's pecs.

"Stop it!" Hutch grabbed Starsky's hands.

"Why? Hutch, do you love me?" Starsky asked, though he knew the answer.


"Why do you touch me all the time?" Starsky asked.

"What?" Hutch was clearly taken aback.

"You can't keep your hands offa me. You never could. You're always pattin' my back, squeezin' my arm, sittin' right up against me. Why?"

"I...I don't know." Hutch actually looked scared.

Could he never even have realized he was doing it? Starsky thought. He hasn't thought about his feelings for me.

"Why do you think I always look at your mouth?" Starsky asked.

"My mouth? I don't know what you're talking about" Hutch said, looking even more scared now.

"You really don't?" Starsky asked with a smile. "I look at your mouth because I want to kiss it. Like this" he said, as he demonstrated what he had in mind, tenderly kissing Hutch's lips.

"No!" Hutch cried, pushing him away.

"Are you scared, Hutch?" Starsky asked, gripping his shoulders and looking into the teary blue eyes.

"Yes!" Hutch answered. "Yes." He shook his head.

Well, there are conflicting emotions, if ever I've seen them. "Don't be afraid. You don't think I'd ever hurt ya, do ya?"

"No, no. Of course not."

"Well, what then? Tell me."

The words came tumbling out. "You've worked so hard to come back from rehab. We could get fired for this kind of thing. Not technically, but they'd find a way. Or at least make our lives so miserable that we'd have to quit. Partners shouldn't be sexually involved with each other. Especially two male partners. At the least they'd split us up. And what if we don't like this? Or worse, what if one of us doesn't like it, but the other does? What will that do to our relationship? I don't want anything to ruin what we have."

"Ah, you always make sense, Hutch. You were always the smart one," Starsky grinned, loosening his hold on Hutch's shoulders and rubbing them lightly. "But tonight, for the New Year, for me, don't follow your head. Follow your heart. Let me love you this one time. If you don't like it, we'll chalk it up to a wild New Year's Eve stunt. Maybe I was drunk. It'll never happen again. Nothing will change between us. Whadda ya say?" He slowly traced the outline of Hutch's lips with his left index finger.

Hutch kissed the finger, then grasped the hand and brought it down to his lap. "I don't know, Starsk. Suppose I like it too much?" He was obviously worried.

Starsky stared at his partner, wondering what it would take to loosen him up enough to let them love each other in a new way. In the silence, the music from the concert on TV now was heard loud and clear. It was Olivia Newton-John singing:

"I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable.
I'm not trying to make you anything at all.
But this feeling doesn't come along every day,
And you shouldn't blow the chance, when you've got the chance to say
I love you. I love you. I honestly love you."

Starsky sang the last couple of lines along with her, then kissed Hutch's mouth softly. Then he licked the blond's full lips and started sucking on the lower one. Hutch kissed him back just as gently.

After a few minutes, Starsky said "Well, are ya ready now to really celebrate New Year's Eve?" He gave a gentle tug on the waistband of Hutch's jeans.

Hutch nodded slowly.

"Okay, c'mon then," Starsky said, getting up and turning off the TV. He took Hutch by the hand and led him into the bedroom, where he stopped at the foot of the bed and kissed Hutch again, stroking the broad bare back the whole time. Finally releasing him, he said "Get undressed," and did just that himself.

Hutch hesitated a moment, then complied.

Starsky pulled back the covers, got in, then patted the spot next to him. "C'mon, partner. C'mere where you belong."

Hutch climbed in, and was instantly enfolded in Starsky's arms and smothered with kisses. He was helpless to resist as the dark curly head made its way from his neck to his chest and then proceeded farther south.

They never heard the city's fireworks in the sky while they enjoyed their own explosions in Starsky's big bed. It was a New Year's Eve they'd never forget and an anniversary they'd celebrate the rest of their lives.

The End.

Sequel: Happy Valentine's Day