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The taxi deposited the two staggering figures on the curb. Starsky leaned heavily against a pole as Hutch fished in his pocket for cash. A wave of giggles washed over him when all he came out with was lint again and again. The cabby simply glared at them.

Starsky swayed, squinting to focus on Hutch's dilemma.

"Back pocket, schweetheart," he giggled, clutching the pole for support.

"Oops," Hutch smirked, tossing the first bill he laid his hand on through the window. The cabby grinned and sped away.

Hutch stood bobbing for a moment, trying to decide exactly where they were. His eyes took in the building swimming before him and the location registered. Starsky's place.

Burping loudly, he reached for Starsky's arm and missed. Snorting his pleasure at this, he slowed his movement, then closed his fingers around the hard bicep with measured deliberation.

Starsky looked startled at seeing him there, which fanned their giggles further.

"Comon, Romeo," Hutch slurred through a drunken grin as he began hauling his partner towards the steps.

Starsky slung his arm across Hutch's shoulders, nearly knocking him over in the process. The guffaw that exploded in the wake of this propelled them in the right direction. All at once a hard slam to Hutch's shoulder sent them staggering back, and they both glanced around to get the number of the truck that hit them.

"God damn fags," the voice snarled as the stranger made his way past.

Hutch grinned hugely at the retreating back, then turned back to face the momentous task of climbing the stairs--he couldn't seem to figure why they were swaying. Starsky's stark expression at the withdrawing stranger stopped him cold.

"Wassa matter?" Hutch hiccupped.

Starsky continued to stare down the street. A sharp jab to his shoulder startled him back. "Hey!" Starsky bellowed, spit flying from his mouth. Suddenly he looked confused again, dragging his sleeve across his lips. He noticed Hutch standing before him and smiled broadly. "Hi, Hutch!" he said happily.

Hutch rolled his eyes and shoved his partner towards the stairs.

Once inside, Hutch wrestled himself out of his leather jacket, throwing it on the floor in front of him. Then he tripped on it. Giggling, he gawked at the offending item.

"How'd that get there," he muttered before falling into the far cushion of the couch. It was then he noticed Starsky still leaning in the doorframe.

"Whatcha doin'?" Hutch asked, rubbing his hand over his face.

No reply.


Starsky twitched, glancing at Hutch before tripping into the room. He was mumbling as he waved his arms wildly to free himself from his jacket.

Hutch threw a bottle cap at him. Amazingly, it struck Starsky square between the eyes and he snorted as Starsky bat frantically at the air.

"Speak up, mush brain!" Hutch bellowed. Then he giggled at himself.

"I said," Starsky croaked, falling onto the cushion next to Hutch, "why's it always happen?"

Hutch watched distantly as Starsky shifted, throwing his legs on the other end of the couch and reaching for his feet, his back to Hutch. He began jerking awkwardly at his shoelaces.

Hutch tried to think of an intelligent response. "Huh?" he burped.

Starsky's hands were pulling frantically at his shoes now, aggravated at his lack of progress. "Ya know," he said, his voice tight with his struggle. "How come people always think . . . think we're . . . "

"Uhh . . . 'Fags'?" Hutch asked, his eyes crossing with the effort of focusing on Starsky's feet. He couldn't help it when the giggles claimed him again.

He stopped laughing when he saw Starsky's shoulders slump.

"Yeah," Starsky whispered.

Hutch stared at the back of the curly head, considering the question seriously. He smiled. "Cuz we care so much and we're not afraid to show it, Starsk," he said softly, running a hand down the curved back with affection.

Starsky thought about that a moment then grunted, returning to do battle with his shoes. Hutch took hold of his friend's collar and pulled hard, causing Starsky to fall backwards across his lap. He reached over the splayed body and yanked Starsky's shoes off, tossing each one towards the door with a loud thud. He tugged the red socks off as an afterthought. Then he turned to grin at his equally drunken partner.

"S'at better?" he slurred, smiling down at the form in his lap. His left hand came to rest on Starsky's chest, his right absently stroked back the dark curls.

Starsky's eyes had grown serious as he stared back. Suddenly Hutch felt gentle fingers come to rest on his temple before tracing a slow line down his face, falling lazily off his chin.

"Husssh?" Starsky slurred, still serious as their eyes locked on each other.


Hutch thought Starsky's eyes seemed to be shining in the near darkness. He laughed silently then, thinking himself more drunk than he originally supposed. His hand slipped beneath the buttons at Starsky's neck and rubbed absently at the tender throat. He felt Starsky swallow.

"I . . . I just . . . " Starsky blinked, his brows pressing in. "Didja ever . . . ya know . . . just for a second or two . . . "

Suddenly Hutch became acutely aware of his fingers stroking beneath his partner's shirt. His hand stilled. Squinting at Starsky, he watched as his partner wet his lips before trying to speak again.

"What?" Hutch asked, sobering slightly.

Something remarkably close to fear danced in those cobalt pools, and Hutch's eyes widened at seeing it there.

"Didja ever . . . wonder . . . ?" Starsky asked again, raising his eyebrows in hope that he wouldn't need to explain further.

Hutch stared at him, unblinking. A long moment passed as each set of eyes took their fill of the other. Then a slight smile curved Hutch's lips. His fingers began moving beneath the thin material again.

Starsky offered a sheepish grin, his face coloring. He blinked as the liquor in his blood threatened to cloud his vision further. He reached his arm up and snaked it around his partner's back, scooting himself higher into Hutch's lap.

Hutch simply watched him, his gaze intense, as if memorizing each tiny detail. With slow deliberation, he slipped his hand into the thick curls, toying with them. His left hand slid up Starsky's neck to cup a flushed cheek. Starsky closed his eyes, the trail of heat left by Hutch's touch registering across his skin. Swallowing, his lids opened lazily to consider the glimmer in his partner's eyes.

"Yer drunk," Starsky said, smiling.

Hutch shrugged. "So are you."

Snickering, Starsky nodded. "Yeah," he agreed. Then he smiled again, mischief dancing plainly behind the shimmering blue.

Starsky placed a hand against Hutch's chest, drinking in the warmth beneath his palm. He watched Hutch watching him as that hand slid slowly up the sternum, over a muscled shoulder. Pale eyes fluttered closed as the fingers glided up the neck, into the silken hair, then stopped. Hutch swallowed, daring himself to look at his partner. That devilish glint lighting Starsky's face was positively contagious.

The hand resting on the back of Hutch's neck tugged a little and Hutch swayed, the alcohol mixing with the promise in the eyes before him. Easily he gave into the pull of the moment, drawn by the love in those fiery eyes. Somewhere within him--in a place stirred only now as the world tipped on its axis--Hutch knew this would always be the purest love he would ever know. Leaning down, he closed his eyes.

The first touch of their lips was feather light. A whisper. Eyes met in a gentle caress, noses skimming. Not a moment passed before Hutch bent again for another taste, brushing his mouth slowly over Starsky's with deliberate softness, feeling slight pressure as Starsky leaned closer.

A sudden wave of lightheadedness washed over Hutch, while his partner felt as if he were levitating somehow. Lazy eyes smiled into each other once again.

The next contact was filled with tender purpose as Starsky gripped the fine hair and leaned into Hutch's waiting mouth. This time Starsky felt Hutch's lips moving lightly beneath his, offering kiss after feathery kiss. Returning the heartfelt gesture, Starsky softly smothered his partner's lips with his own sweetness. He felt a warm hand work its way under his shirt again, pulling the buttons open. Fingers slid gently over Starsky's chest, his ribs, coming to rest across a lean stomach. His own arm tightened around Hutch's waist.

All at once Starsky leaned close and slid his tongue slowly across Hutch's lower lip. He smiled at the gasp this drew from Hutch and he coaxed his partner deeper into the kiss, twisting his fingers into the golden hair. Hutch responded instantly, opening his mouth to probe the hot tongue seeking entrance, then doing some delicious exploring of his own. Arms tightened around each other as a tangle of hands sought and stroked flushed cheeks and necks, squeezing shoulders and simply touching each other with an aching hunger. And an unstoppable love.

At once they drew back, fighting for breath, blue locked on blue. Smiles gave way to soft chuckles, rolling rapidly into a fit of giggles. Their arms encircled each other and squeezed, laughter lost in each other's necks.

Hutch gripped a handful of curls and fondly tugged them. He reached up and cuffed his partner gently on the jaw, seeing his affection mirrored clearly from the depths of those shining eyes. Starsky ran a hand over Hutch's cheek, winking through an amused grin. He then let his shoulders sink back into Hutch's lap, enjoying the feel of the hand still casually circling his chest.

"Mmmm," he crooned. "Feels good."


"Mmm hmm."

Starsky leaned closer, resting his head against Hutch's chest. His eyes drifted closed, a sudden hiccup startling him. Hutch giggled, letting his chin rest in the mass of curls. He sighed.

"Stayin'?" Starsky asked lazily.

"You gotta ask?"

Starsky smiled. "Good. Let's turn in, Blondie." But he made no attempt to move off his partner, instead furrowing deeper into his lap.

"Yeah, okay," Hutch yawned, tilting his head so his cheek took up residence on Starsky's head.

Long moments passed. Then a gentle squeeze passed between them, neither aware who instigated the embrace. Hutch mumbled into the curls as Starsky pulled the blanket off the back of the couch and haphazardly tossed it over them.

"G'night, Hutch," he said softly, curling into the warmth of his friend.

Hutch rubbed Starsky's chest, grunting.

"Mmmm . . . 'night, yourself, buddy," he muttered, the smile shining through his whisper.

A warm hand closed around Starsky's, and Starsky grinned. Closing his eyes, his fingers pressed tightly. The brief squeeze punctuated the sigh that fell from Hutch's lips before each man settled further, then fell promptly into deep and comfortable sleep.

The End