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A Fairy Tale



Once upon a time, in a city by a bay, there lived two handsome knights. One was tall and fair of face, with straight, fine hair the color of the sun and eyes that matched the sky on a clear summer's day. He possessed a slim, athletic build. The other knight's curly hair was as dark as the first knight's was light, and his eyes were the color of that summer sky at night. He was not quite as tall as the golden-haired one, and his legs were slightly bowed, but his lithe body moved with unconscious grace.

With their courage, good deeds, and unorthodox ways, their fame spread throughout the city by the bay. Everyone knew their names: Sir Hutch, the fair one, and Sir Starsky, the dark-haired knight.

Fierce devotion to justice and to one another bound them together, as blood binds brother to brother. Their friendship was the subject of many tales. Nothing and no one could come between them. Until . . . .

A madman was slaying young maidens on their way home from dancing. Harold of Dobey, the knights' lord, selected a lovely young lady named Kira to assist the heroes in their search for the murderer.

Alas, Kira was a beautiful sorceress who rent the hitherto indestructible fabric of the knights' friendship. Before her selection, she had already seduced the dark knight and caused him to fall in love with her. He confessed his passion to his best friend Hutch. But the lovely Lady Kira cast her spell on the fair-haired knight as well. When Starsky came calling on his ladylove, he spied his dear friend emerging dishabille from her bedchamber. For the first time ever, Starsky set upon Hutch. The two knights fought over the beautiful damsel, which distressed her mightily. She cried for them to desist. They did, and Starsky left, full of fury and hurt. Hutch followed, but they went their separate ways.

Now a cloud hung over the once and future friends, and there was a great chill between them. They hated being in each other's very presence anymore, but had to continue working together till the murderer was caught. When they cornered the maniac and he threatened to kill himself and many others, the two knights worked flawlessly together, as they had always done before, to capture him and save the day. It was their usual, incredible timing and trust that was the key to their success in this incident. Yet they had come within seconds of being killed.

The shock of discovering what nearly was lost made them come to their senses, realize the cost—of lust, and pride, and unexamined needs. They knew they had to talk.

They decided to go to Hutch's chambers. Once they had settled in their chairs, Starsky spoke first.

"I told you I loved her, Hutch," he said, of Kira.

"I know," said Hutch quietly.

"Then why?" asked Starsky.

"She had been coming on to me," Hutch told Starsky, as he looked intently into the dark blue eyes. "I went to see her to find out how she really felt. She wasn't serious about you, the way you were about her. I knew she was gonna hurt you bad, buddy. I figured if you knew she had made love to me, too, you'd break up with her now, before you got hurt even worse."

"So you're telling me you screwed my girl so that I wouldn't get hurt?" Starsky asked incredulously.

"Yes," Hutch nodded, then added more softly, "and because I was jealous."

"You were jealous of me?" Starsky asked, with a trace of his usual cockiness.

"No," Hutch whispered wistfully. "I was jealous of her."

"Of her?" Starsky seemingly didn't comprehend what Hutch was telling him.

"You really loved her, Starsk. But she didn't love you like that. Not like I love you," said Hutch, bowing his head. This brave knight who never feared any villain, was afraid of how his comrade in arms would react to his declaration of love.

"I don't understand, Hutch. You know I love you, too. I've always loved you. Even more than my brother," Starsky said, referring to the knave Nicky, whom he loved because of blood, not compatibility.

"I don't mean it like that," Hutch said, daring to look into Starsky's eyes as he reached up and stroked his friend's cheek. "Don't you see? I wanted to make love to her because you had made love to her. It was the closest I could get to your making love to me."

Starsky backed away. "Hutch!"

"Starsk . . . ." Hutch reached for him again.

"No! I've got to think a minute," Starsky said, waving away Hutch's hand, as he got up and walked to the window.

Silence reigned for a few minutes while Hutch sat anxiously wondering to what conclusion his friend would come.

"So that's why you hurt me? Because you love me so much," Starsky said slowly, turning to face Hutch.

"Yes," said Hutch with a sigh, as he arose from his seat and approached Starsky. "I knew it would hurt you, but I didn't do it to hurt you. I really thought it was a way to help you, but I shoulda thought harder, huh?" He squeezed Starsky's arm. "I was blinded by jealousy and love. That's no excuse, I know. I'm so sorry, Starsk."

"I don't know what to say," Starsky said. "I was wrong about Kira. She's just a lady looking for a good time. But I was wrong about you, too."

Hutch held his breath, waiting to hear what his beloved meant. He felt his life hung in the balance, as much as it had when the madman had threatened them earlier that evening. If Starsky was ending their friendship, Hutch would die. Hutch could exist no more without the love of his life. He had slowly come to realize this since their fight. The physical blows Starsky had landed on him were nothing compared to the psychic ones. In the hours since it had happened, he had come to see that he had been wrong, that he had hurt Starsky unnecessarily. He had done a terrible deed and didn't know how to undo it. He knew that they'd have to talk, but was waiting for the right time, waiting for Starsky to show signs of getting over the bad feelings. How long could they last? Hadn't they been best friends for several years? That should count for something. Then they were almost killed that evening, and he realized he could wait no longer. And he could tell that Starsky was ready to listen to him. Now, Starsky had listened. This was the moment of truth. Hutch's heart almost stopped.

"You haven't been yourself lately, Hutch," Starsky said. "You've been moody, sometimes distant. Maybe I fell in love with Kira so easily because I was looking for a replacement for the old you. Someone warm and affectionate, always showing me love. I loved her because I missed you. But I thought you still loved me, that you were just going through a phase you'd eventually get over. Until I caught you with Kira. Do you know how I felt at that moment?" Starsky asked in anguish.

Hutch just shook his head. He thought he could feel his heart literally breaking in his chest.

"My girl cheated on me with my best friend! The woman I thought I really loved, with the man I actually loved more. Only I didn't realize that 'til now. At that moment, I only felt the worst pain of my life. I wanted to hurt you."

"God, Starsky! I'm so sorry." Hutch's voice broke.

"You hurt me real bad, Hutch, but now I see why. So it's okay. I forgive you. I wish this coulda happened a different way, less painfully," Starsky continued, grinning in his unique crooked way, "but at least now we know where we stand."

Hutch just stared hopefully at his love, but said nothing. Where, babe? he wondered.

"We love each other," Starsky went on. "We need each other. We want each other. Kira was just a substitute for you and me." He raised his left hand to run his fingers through Hutch's hair, then held the back of his head as he stepped closer to him. "Time for the real thing."

Now Hutch thought he could feel his heart bursting with joy. He gathered the man he loved into his arms and leaned down to accept and return Starsky's kiss. Their lips lingered lovingly, then their tongues took time to get acquainted. All their repressed love poured forth and they nearly devoured each other.

Finally, after several minutes of impassioned kisses, they separated and stood staring at one another.

"I love you," said Hutch.

"And I love you. So what do we do now?" asked Starsky with a smile.

"We explore the possibilities on my big brass bed," replied Hutch, giving Starsky a quick kiss, then taking him by the elbow and leading him to his haven from the world.

So they went into the bedroom and made love 'til near dawn, finally drifting into sleep with a kiss and a yawn. They awoke later in the morning of that fine day, spent yet content, knowing they'd live happily ever after in their city by the bay.