Disclaimers: The faces are familiar and so are the names, but the setting seems a little strange? I kidnapped a few cuties from television land. I accept that they never did and never will belong to me, but I am having oh so much fun while I have them.
Notes: This is part five of a planned series of stories in "The Coming Home Series". For parts one through three please see "He Comes Home To Me", "Going Home" (formally titled "Coming Home"), "Home Invasion" and "Symbols of Home". This one is a little different because I intended it to be a short vignette like the others, but the damn thing kept growing and demanded to be lengthened.
Comments on this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEVER ASKED FOR A HOME BEFORE
"Well I've decided to take you up on your offer, Starsk."Hutch looked squarely at his partner just daring the other man to challenge him.
Starsky narrowed his eyes and glared back at Hutch like he'd grown another head."What does that--" he motioned to the large canvas heap on the floor, "--have to with my offer?"
"Well, you did say you wanted to spend more time together."
The blond interrupted, "You said we could do whatever I wanted to do and I want to do this."
"Starsk, you said--"
Starsky held up his hands in exasperation and paced around the kitchen. He leaned against the counter and fingered a nearby plant. "I know what I said, but if I remember correctly...I wasn't exactly coherent at the time."
Hutch moved behind Starsky and rubbed his full body against the smaller man. His left hand snaked around Starsky's waist and settled in his belt loops. "Oh come on, you know it's going to be fun."
Starsky turned his head and looked into those blue eyes he loved so much. He knew he had lost the argument before it was even over. "Famous last words," he muttered.
A stunning smile flashed across Hutch's face and he pressed his body even closer. "That means you'll do it!"
"Only if you're sure you really want to," Starsky tried to back out of it one last time.
"Of course I do," Hutch's smile turned dangerous. "It was only a matter of convincing you." The tall blond moved away and began to play with his new acquisitions on the living room floor.
"I know you say I buy bizarre stuff, but Hutch, this monstrosity is far stranger than anything I've managed to drag home," he stopped when his partner looked at him questionably. "Guinea pig not withstanding, of course."
"This is just what I need...what we need. Just think of the adventure, babe," Hutch babbled on, but then stopped momentarily when Starsky snorted. "I'm not making you do this you know."
Hutch looked hurt and Starsky felt like such a putz for making him feel that way. The man only wanted to spend more time alone with him after all. "Of course, I wanna go," was the immediate reply. Hutch smiled and went back to work satisfied. A few seconds later Starsky mumbled under his breath, "I'm so whipped."
"What was that, Starsk?" Hutch asked half distracted.
So here they were in the great outdoors. Hutch claimed it was a legitimate campground, but Starsky just thought it looked most uncivilized.
"Hutch, did you know the damn toilet is just a hole in the ground?"
Hutch looked up from his position next to the fire and smiled at his partner. "Come on, Starsk. I think you're over exaggerating again. It's called an outhouse. What do you think people used before they had flush toilets? Hell, I had to use one of those when I visited my grandparents on the farm as a kid..."
Starsky groaned inwardly and tuned out most of the speech. Hutch was parading around the campsite shirtless and in a tight pair of jean cut-offs. As he crouched next to the flickering flames, light from the fire and approaching sunset played off his golden skin. This Hutchinson sensory overload was playing havoc with Starsky's libido. He'd been half hard all day.
Starsky managed to tune back in to the conversation somewhere around goats. "Goats, Hutch? You certainly are real farm boy material alright, but you shouldn't drag us poor city boys out God-knows-where in the deep, dark woods."
Hutch sighed and threw another piece of wood onto the fire. He got up and moved toward his partner who was skulking near the picnic table. The taller man backed Starsky against the picnic table, trapping him between his arms.
"Don't think I haven't noticed, Starsk?" he leered.
"Noticed what?" was the cracked reply.
Hutch's hand snaked down to grasp at Starsky's crotch. "You've been hard all day. It's good to know that I still have that effect on you."
"Oh fuck, you have no idea. You never did."
Hutch picked up the serious tone and his hand moved away as if burned. His eyes shifted downwards in a common self-conscious motion. "I know I'm getting older..."
"Ah, Hutch..." Starsky cupped the blond's cheek. "You have no idea how beautiful you are. From the very minute I met you, I knew I wanted you."
"...and you got me."
Their eyes locked, but Starsky could still see the uncertainty haunting the other's blue depths. He shifted his weight and sat on the wooden table. Starsky pulled the still standing Hutch between his open legs and encircled his waist with an iron grip.
"You've never known how beautiful you are inside and outside. You have a beautiful soul, Hutch and you put up with so much. We're finally alone and I want to put it to good use, babe. I'm going to ask a question and I want a truthful answer."
"Go ahead, I can take it."
"Would you have been with me all these years?"
Hutch looked up apprehensively, "What do you mean?"
"When we first met, if I'd been willing to commit... just you and me. Would you have done it?"
With no hesitation Hutch answered, "Yes."
Starsky nodded because he already knew what the answer would be. "Would you have left Vanessa for me?"
"If that was true, why were there always girls coming between us?" Starsky demanded in a low angry whisper.
Hutch closed his eyes. "Because you never asked."
Hutch's eyes snapped open and he pulled away from Starsky's grasp. "You never asked, Starsk. In all our years together, you never asked for that commitment. You had to know I was willing to give it. I mean how long did I wait to date after Vanessa left me? I was waiting for you, but it never happened. I dated women to make you happy, to keep the image up," his voice broke off, "You just never asked."
Starsky jumped off the picnic table and began to pace angrily in front of Hutch who just stood there and watched. "That's what I mean, Hutch!" he growled, "You're just too fucking good. You don't say anything, you just take it. You did that with Vanessa and you do it with me. You take all the crap and hardly ever dish out any back. Why?"
"Because I love you."
"That's not a reason."
Hutch's voice was still quiet as Starsky raged. "It is to me."
Starsky stopped pacing and stared at the figure before him. "You love me that much, huh? You're willing to wait for as long as it takes, aren't you?"
Hutch took a deep breath and strode over to his lover. Wrapping his arms around Starsky, he pulled the man he loved in for a deep kiss. Hutch wanted to show him how he felt. When they finally parted, gasping for breath, Hutch murmured, "I love you more than you love yourself. You are my life. I'll wait forever if I have to."
Starsky nuzzled Hutch's neck. "You don't have to wait anymore, baby blue. I'm asking now. I'm asking for forever, just you and me."
Hutch rested his head against Starsky's shoulder. "You'd better mean it, Starsk."
Starsky snorted, "Of course I mean it. You belong to me and I was just too stupid to realize I belonged to you too. I've always been jealous when I saw you with someone else. I'm just not willing to share anymore. You are my life. We belong together."
Hutch tilted his head to the side and stared at his lover with a composed face. "This means you're going to be even more possessive now, aren't you?" Hutch's lips twitched and he cracked a wide smile.
"Oh, you bet."
"Fine by me."
Starsky grasped Hutch's hand and pulled him towards the tent. "Ya know, we gotta break in this new monstrously of yours, Hutch." Starsky was too busy trying to grope Hutch's ass that he didn't notice a misplaced tent peg. "Ow, damn it, this thing is trying to kill me," he complained as he rubbed his abused foot.
Hutch laughed and managed to grope Starsky's ass as he stumbled into the tent. "Just think of it as a home away from home, babe. Only the best for you."
"Sure, Hutch. But did it have to be orange like your damn bathrobe?"
"Yeah, it's my second favorite thing after you."
The blond did up the zipper and crawled next to his partner on the navy and red air mattress.
"This damn thing better not leak after I spent all morning blowing it up," Starsky grumbled.
"Between the foot pump and all of your hot air, I think we should be fine."
"Hey!" Starsky launched a pillow in Hutch's general direction.
Hutch dodged the offending airborne projectile and launched himself onto a grinning Starsky. He managed to pin Starsky after a brief struggle that his partner never really tried to win. Hutch sat on top of Starsky with his legs astride and holding his captive's hands over his head.
"Now I believe we have a lot of ground to cover if we're going to start forever," Hutch murmured.
"Then maybe you should stop talkn'," Starsky emphasized his point by pushing his hips up sharply.
"You shit," Hutch groaned. "Have you ever thought that maybe I should talk sometimes. Huh, Stask?" This time it was Hutch who ground against his partner. "I know how much you like to talk, but sometimes you should listen." Hutch lowered his head and ghosted over Starsky's lips with a quick teasing kiss. He trailed down the other's cheekbone, his moist breath dewy over chilled skin. Stopping next to a curl-covered ear, he whispered, "There are so many things I want to do to you..."
One of Hutch's hands moved to caress Starsky's torso, while the other held tight the wrists in his grasp. Eyes locked and Starsky shivered when he saw the playful gleam in his partner's blue depths.
"Just think about it, Starsk. Just think about the things I could do with my tongue... trace every inch of your body. Or what about my mouth? I know you always loved my mouth..."
"I can think of better things to do with your mouth besides talkin' dirty."
Hutch made a tsking sound at Starsky for interrupting his fun and nipped the closest body part near him, which just so happened to be a nipple. Starsky whimpered, but kept his mouth shut.
"That's better," Hutch grinned with approval. "I know you like my mouth, but I also noticed how much you love my hands." Hutch's free hand maneuvered until it grasped a familiar ass cheek. "I think the feeling's mutual. I love the idea that my hands are the only hands that will ever touch you again. There will never be anyone else. No more women..."
Starsky stiffened under Hutch at those last few words. Hutch's once playful eyes blinked momentarily in shock before they flashed in anger. "That doesn't make you a fag," he spat in a low voice.
Starsky ripped his hands out of Hutch's grip. "I didn't say that!" he snapped back.
"You didn't have to. I know how you think."
Hutch rolled off of and away from Starsky. He sat half sprawled, half sitting at the edge of the mattress with eyes squeezed shut, taking deep breaths. Their sharp silence was only marred by the sounds of the wilderness out their tent.
"I've always hated labels." Starsky was the first to speak.
Hutch sighed, pressing his forehead against his palms. "I know you do. But I also know that being called a fag bothers the shit out of you, no matter how much you deny it. If that's what people want to call me because I love you, then that's fine with me. I don't care. But I know how much this means to you, so I've always hidden what we have. If that's what you wanna keep doing, Starsk, then I'll live with it. Whatever you want, I'll live with it."
Starsky knew exactly what Hutch was referring to. If Starsky wanted to keep seeing women, Hutch would stay silent. Starsky's promises of forever would be set aside by Hutch, to make Starsky happy.
"You know I love ya, Hutch," Starsky sounded desperate. "We come pretty close to perfect, but we can't have what other people have. Men and women, I mean."
"I know that. If anyone knows that it's me," Hutch squeezed his eyes shut. "There's no such thing as happily ever after for me."
"Ah, Hutch. What in the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing's perfect. This weekend was supposed to be for us and I already screwed it up. Can't keep my mouth shut for my own good sometimes. Everyone has either left me or pushed me away. My parents. My wife. You're the only one who's ever been able to put up with me and you don't know how thankful I am for that. I mean I should be happy with what we have."
Starsky just looked at the miserable form of his partner in shock. It never really hit him before how much Hutch was willing to give up for him or how much he had hurt him. "Stop putting yourself down," Starsky commanded.
Hutch merely shook his head and smiled sadly. "I saw the look in your eyes when I said there'd be no more women. The words just came out. I wanted to turn you on, not frighten you off. I'd rather share you, than lose you or have you lie to me."
No matter how big and bad his partner appeared to be, Starsky knew the real Hutch. The real Hutch was self-conscious with a tendency to cave in to the desires of his partner. Hutch always seemed drawn into the orbit of someone with a strong personality. First there had been the domineering Hutchinson family who out shadowed his often muted partner. Vanessa was a mistake and a half who faded into the background when Hutch went supernova after meeting Starsky. It bothered Starsky how much it turned him on that Hutch put their relationship above anything else.
"You love too much, Hutch."
Hutch twitched a bit and actually laughed at Starsky's sincere statement. "Can't be done."
"Yeah, it can," was the quiet reply. "You do it all the time. You love too much and too hard. You can love too much when you put your needs above the needs of others."
"That is love, Starsky."
"No it's not, at least not the right kind of love. Love isn't supposed to make you miserable."
"Then what we have is deeper than love. I can't explain it. I would rather be miserable with you than happy without you. I would rather be dead than live without you."
"Don't say that!"
"Starsky, stop... it's the truth. How long do you think I would have lasted if you had died after the Gunther shooting?"
"I don't want to talk about this!"
Starsky started to get up, but stopped when he felt Hutch's hand on his shoulder. He sat down hard between Hutch's outstretched legs. Hutch wrapped his arms around the brunette and pulled him close to his chest.
"That's how much I you love you."
"You love too goddamn much," Starsky muttered softly.
"I wouldn't have any it other way, babe."
"I want forever, I really do."
"I never doubted that."
"Mmmmm." Hutch raised his head from where it was buried in a mass of dark curls, "What?"
"I guess all I can do is try instead of promise forever. Just me and thee."
"Yeah, me and thee, partner."
Tonight they would just hold each other. The closeness was so important and neither would let go to initiate anything else. It was more than enough. This was more than love.
Hutch opened his bleary eyes, greeted by the sun glowing through the orange canvas. He looked over at his sleeping partner and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.S tarsky was half on and half off the air mattress, with his head resting on a nearby duffel bag. However, that wasn't what caught Hutch's eye. While Hutch was still clad only in boxers after they'd fallen asleep in each others arms, Starsky was wearing a pair of skin tight, red long johns.
"What the hell?!"He muttered to himself, again rubbing his tired eyes. "When did he have a chance to change into those?"
Taking advantage of the situation, Hutch slinked closer to his sleeping lover. "Oh Starsk?" he whispered as his hand crept up the back of the cotton encased thighs.
Starsky's skin twitched and he mumbled something unintelligible, burying his head deeper into the open duffel bag.
"Wake-up." Hutch pinched the lovely ass in front of him.
Starsky jumped and sat up, with a pair of blue boxers half covering his rumpled head.
"Cute, Starsk." Hutch plucked the boxers away, to gaze at one very sleepy partner.
"Nothing, just thought it was a perfect time to get up and start a beautiful day."
"Remind me again why I'm in love with a morning person," Starsky whined.
"For the same reason I put up with a man who has the balls to crawl out of bed in the middle of night to change into long johns."
"I was cold."
"Where did you manage to find those things anyways? I thought you threw those out after Pine Lake?"
"Nah, wouldn't do that. I knew how much you liked'em."
"All I need is my orange bathrobe and we'll be a matched set."
"We already are." Starsky grinned as he pulled out a ratty orange bundle from the duffel bag. "But why don't you go for a run or whatever you freaky morning people do, while us normal folks get back to sleep."
"Sure, Starsk." Hutch got up and grabbed his bathrobe. "But it's going to be lonely down at the lake all by myself."
One open blue eye peeked out from the duffel bag Starsky had settled back into. "Swimming?!"
"Nah, that's too boring. Skinny dipping..."
And early that morning, one pair of red long johns kept a ratty, old orange bathrobe company on the shores of a mountain lake. They were a matched set, like their owners.