A dark street, a heavy Californian rain and the approaching quiet of
2:00 a.m. seemed to reflect the dark and foreboding mood of Detective David
Starsky. He and Hutch had pulled another over-night stake-out, and what
had started as an boring job watching a two-bit hood had turned into a
too-quiet evening with his withdrawn partner.
It should have been like any other stakeout. The joking, jostling,
debate and story-telling companionship Starsky had come to expect from
the many years of partnership was no longer there. Something had changed
between him and his partner, and David Starsky was afraid that he know,
deep down, what it was his partner was dealing with.
It can't be, Starsky had thought with uneasiness. It just
be! Not Hutch! But David Starsky knew his partner too well not to have
seen the signals, not to have instinctively known what all the signs had
been telling him for months now. No matter how Starsky had tried to disclaim
the thought, no matter how many times he had written off the signs as his
own miss-understandings, he kept coming back to the same, deep-seated certainty.
I just can't believe it. Hutch just isn't that way, never has
Starsky had argued over and over with himself, surprised at his own feelings
on the subject. It scared Starsky a little, realizing there were aspects
to his dearest friend that he had not seen, that areas that he felt he
knew well were changing before his very eyes. It was too uncomfortable
for Starsky to contemplate, for if his friend could change in this basic,
fundamental way, then his own world wasn't as reliable as he had once believed.
Starsky had vowed to be strong and supportive, if his fears held truth.
Hutch had been withdrawn and quiet for weeks now. He carried about
the look of a man with a secret, a burden that was too great for him to
carry. A secret that he didn't want, and couldn't handle. A man dealing
with the devil, and losing.
Starsky had first written it down to Hutch's mourning for Gillian.
he had seemed to come out of the ordeal with his soul intact. It had taken
awhile for his partner to put Gillian behind him. Her love and her lies
had been hard for his friend to unwind from his being, but Starsky had
been there for him. Hutch had slowly come back to life.
Later, after the storm had passed, Starsky had begun to notice his
quietness as they continued working the streets. Gone were the jokes, the
mock nastiness, the name-calling-all-in-fun, the rantings and the ravings
that let off steam. Instead came the silence, the red-faced flush when
Starsky caught him looking with a softness that spoke of love.
It can't be! Starsky had pushed the thought to the back of
his mind. Not
But Starsky could no longer ignore what his own mind was telling
Not after today. Starsky had driven up to Venice Place, to pick his partner
up for the over-night stakeout. He had parked the Torino, beeping the horn
to let Hutch know he had arrived. It was then that Starsky had seen the
blond in the upper window, and Starsky knew.
He doesn't know I'm watching. Starsky gasped in shock. Hutch
there, at the window, looking down at the Torino. The look on his face
spoke the man's heart. The look of love and desire came near to breaking
Starsky's heart while scaring him speechless. At that moment, Starsky knew
without a doubt what Hutch wanted. His friend wanted what he didn't think
he could have, what his pride was forcing him to deny.
The evening had gone slowly.
Starsky had not said a word to his friend of what he had seen. He
vowed to himself that if it was true, Hutch would have to be the one to
bring it up. Starsky would not embarrass him. The man would talk about
it when he was ready, when he could.
And now, at 2:00 a.m., Starsky knew without a doubt that Hutch was
to confessing. He could see the emotions work themselves out in Hutch's
profile, his body and his silence. They pretended to work. They pretended
to talk. But Hutch had something he needed to say, and Starsky would let
him do it in his own time.
That time was finally at hand.
It started with a loving glance, a tell-tale shift of body, a slow,
sensuous movement. Hutch's long, slim fingers reaching out to caress when
he thought Starsky wasn't looking, only to be pulled back with a look of
embarrassment. A heavy sigh followed as Hutch turned to stare out into
the dark, rain-filled night, pretending to concentrate on their suspect's
Starsky waited in silence.
"Starsk?" Hutch asked in a whisper. "I think I've got
something to tell you." His whisper floated by, almost unheard.
Starsky turned toward his friend, not saying anything, not wanting
scare him away from his need to confess.
"I've... I've changed in these last few months." Hutch
his voice gaining strength with his inner conviction. "I've changed
in ways I'm not comfortable with, ways that have taken me totally by surprise.
I'm sure you've probably noticed." Hutch flashed Starsky an embarrassed
smile. "And I would have never, never said anything about it, but..."
Hutch trailed off, looking again out into the dark silence of the night.
"Say it, Hutch," Starsky whispered. "It'll be okay.
know that I won't think any less of you." Just get it out, Hutch,
Starsky thought with sympathy. I'll be here to help you deal with it.
It's not so bad, really....
"I love..." Hutch began, forcing himself to look at his
encouraged by the look of understanding he saw there. "I desire..."
Hutch took a big breath and spat the words out, as if disgusted by his
new-found state, "...the Torino!" He hid his head in his hands
shamefully, having disgorged the cancer of his soul.
"I know, babe," Starsky whispered quietly, reaching over
lay a comforting hand on his friend's back, rubbing solace into his tense
muscles. "I've known for awhile, Hutch. But it's nothing to be ashamed
of. It's just something you can't help."
"You've known!" Hutch reacted to the thought with deeply
shame. He refused to meet Starsky's eyes. "I've tried to keep it from
you! You don't know what it's been like! I've tried to hide it, tried to
get interested in some other car, some other model, but it's just no
good. I can't ignore the truth anymore. The stripe did it, and now nothing
else will do for me." Hutch sighed, tired down to his soul. "I've
just been too close for too long. It had to happen sooner or later. And
now I don't know how to control it."
"It's okay, Babe," Starsky soothed. "It's not that
a surprise. I can deal with the change. Just..." Starsky hesitated,
not sure how Hutch would take this, "...take it slow. Don't move too
fast on this. I'm sure we can work something out..."
"No, Starsk," Hutch replied, certainty in his voice.
not fair to you. You didn't plan on this. There is just no place for the
two of us, not like this." Hutch gave his friend a weak smile. "Just
let me work it out on my own, buddy. Just give me time. I'll learn to live
with it, to made do with what I have." Hutch sighed, seemingly at
peace now that he had swallowed his pride and revealed the truth.
"I'm here, Hutch," Starsky replied. "We'll see what
can do tomorrow. Maybe even talk to Merl..." Starsky gave his friend
one more pat on the back. He's one of us now, Starsky thought, not
without a certain sense of loss. The money, the time, the wax... Starsky
knew full well what this type of confession meant to Hutch.
Starsky vowed that he would give Hutch all the time he needed, all
time in the world. His partner was probably right, though. Hutch would
need to work it out on his own, decide what he could and couldn't live
with. Whether a replacement for his one, true desire would ultimately satisfy,
or just fuel the flame, there just wasn't room in the world for two candy-apple
red Torinos with white stripes. The world just wasn't ready. Maybe it never