This story is an amateur publication and does not intend to infringe upon copyrights held by any party. No reproductions without permission. Originally published in the Starsky & Hutch zine Penal Code 2, in 1990. Sequel to Reprisal, in Penal Code. A longtime fan generously donated digital scanning, typing and proofreading for the archive. Enjoy! Comments about this story can be sent to Flamingo.

This story is a sequel to: Reprisal

Cheryl M.

"Oh, he's a lot prettier than the old man."

"Shut up, stupid."

"I want his ass, it looks so tight."

The clatter on the stairs and sound of a key turning in the lock told him Starsky had arrived; he thumbed the off button on the VCR and television simultaneously. Last thing he needs is to come in and find me watching that damn tape. Last thing I need is for him to catch me, especially in his apartment. Hastily he picked up the magazine lying beside him on the couch and was silently reading when Starsky entered, shuffling mail.

"Hey, Hutch! What're you doing here?"

Watching you get raped. "Waiting for you. How'd the session go, today?" He was amazed at how normal his voice sounded. But, I'll bet he can hear my heart pounding from over there.

Starsky's expression dampened and his eyes took on the haunted look they wore so often lately. "Okay, I guess. I finally told Dr. Richards about...ah...the..."

Say it, please say it, admit it happened, Hutch silently implored.

"...rape," finally uttered, voice low.

Hutch released the breath he'd been holding. "Are you all right?"

Instead of answering, Starsky came the rest of the way into the room, laid the mail on the table and plopped down next to Hutch. "You didn't tell him, did you?"

"Did you really think I had?"

"I guess not, but you set up the appointment. How?"

"I said you were depressed and couldn't seem to pull out of it, would he see you."

"Just like that, huh?"

"Not exactly. I had to convince him that I wasn't talking about me and then I had to convince him that you wanted to come."

Starsky let his head drop onto the couch back, slouching low so his legs stretched out stiff in front of him under the coffee table. "How'd you do it, Hutch?"

"I, just, well, described you to him, told him some of the tricks you've pulled..."

"Not the doctor." Starsky waved impatiently with his hands. "How'd you stop the nightmares...all the doubts...the fear..."

His voice trailed off and Hutch looked at him closely trying to read the unspoken, but without the benefit of seeing Starsky's eyes, it was almost impossible. Mirrors of the soul the Indians call the eyes and maybe they're right. "Well...through counseling, like you're doing..."

"You said you never told anyone until you told me!" Now Starsky's eyes were open and blazing.

The immediate anger didn't unnerve Hutch as much as the depth of hostility unleashed. He'd never lied to Starsky about anything really important, yet, here he was believing the worst instantly. Hutch had to concentrate to rein his own responsive anger. "I didn't tell anyone, Starsk. But I got so moody and withdrawn that my mother took me to a local child psychologist. She figured it had something to do with my age."

The fire left Starsky's eyes and he ran his hands through his hair. "Want a beer?"

"Sure." There was more to be said but his Starsky-sense told him to hold off, let Starsky set the pace. At least now he seemed willing to talk more about his feelings and not just the clinical aspects of the rape. He was beginning to allow himself to respond as the victim, not as the investigating officer.

"Hutch, hey, Hutch!" The cold of the can touching his bare arm made him jump and he caught the beer held out to him before it slipped from Starsky's hand. "I ordered pizza while you were gone."

"Gone? I didn't go anywhere, Starsk."

"In your head. You always do sooner or later when we have these talks. It's like your body's still here but you're gone." He tapped his left index finger against his temple.

"Oh. Sorry."

"You got anything planned for tonight?"

"No. Why? You want to do something?" I guess we're done talking for tonight. That's okay, buddy, take as long as you need...but don't take too long. I'm doing some strange things myself. Things I don't understand.

"I thought, maybe... well, talkin' to Dr. Richards musta opened a dam or somethin'. I...feel like talking and there are things I can tell you that I can't tell Dr. Richards."

Hutch glanced up to see Starsky's back as he moved to the other end of the sofa. "Telling me is great, Starsk, really. But sometime you're going to have to tell Dr. Richards."

"I will when I've figured it out." A stubborn look on his face, he folded his legs under him and dropped down on the floor between table and couch without disturbing either. He brought the beer to his mouth and took a long pull.

Exasperated by Starsky's attitude, Hutch stood abruptly, throwing out his hands, splashing beer everywhere. Ignoring both the mess and the warning look from Starsky, he plunged in, "That's what Dr. Richards is for! You're supposed to let him help you figure it out. If you could figure it out by yourself, you wouldn't need Dr. Richards."

"What'd you tell you your doctor?"

Right back at the beginning, like there'd been no other discussion; turn it on, turn it off, a particularly irksome Starsky trait and Hutch snapped back without thinking, "I told him I was a homosexual."

"You what?"

"I told him I was a homosexual. You gotta remember, I was only thirteen at the time and I...uh...hadn't made it with any girls yet, so I thought that since I responded to what the gardener did, I must have liked it therefore I must be a homosexual, so I was practicing to be a monk."

Starsky started laughing, hard, deep, gut-wrenching laughter that made him clutch his stomach and roll on the floor.

Stunned, Hutch just stared at him. "It's not funny."

The hilarity had slowed to a few hiccups and Starsky, still recovering, was able to gasp out a few words. "The picture of you in a monk's robe with a shaved head is."

Hutch had to smile and shake his head, before sobering. "Anyway the point is, I had to do something to hide my condition from my father, so he wouldn't be more disappointed in me than he already was."

"What'd your shrink say?"

He laughed, too. Or at least I think he did. He got this kind of odd look and left suddenly. When he returned, his eyes were red and watery. "He gave me the standard lecture on the birds and the bees."

"But what did he say?"



"Uh. You know, the same things fathers are supposed to tell their sons about sex and girls and where babies come from."

"Is that what they talk about?"

Why do I get the feeling that we're tap dancing around the real issue here? "Your father must've told you something along those lines."

"Unh-uh. My father was dead before he thought I was old enough and my Uncle Al caught me with Sadie something-or-other when I was thirteen, so he didn't figure I needed a talk. He just gave me a good tanning."

"I'll bet." Hutch sat down, right in the spilled beer. Shit, now I've got a wet spot on the back of my pants to match the one on the front. He put the damp feeling out of his mind and concentrated on the past, trying to remember what the psychologist had said. "All right, I can't remember exactly what he said, but the gist of it was that most about my age experiment with sex in different ways. From playing doctor with a girl friend to jacking off with a close buddy. He also said that just because my body responded to stimulation by another boy, it didn't mean that I enjoyed what he did or that I was homosexual."

Starsky sat very still, feet straight out in front of him, hands lying loosely at his sides, head down. Without looking up and so quietly that Hutch almost missed it, "Have you ever thought about makin' it with a man before?"

Danger! Danger! Danger! But Starsky hadn't changed positions. "Actually, no. Once I discovered girls, I didn't think anymore about it." Until now. Until I heard you call my name in climax, felt your response.

The room was suddenly hot and stuffy, closing in on him. Starsky was definitely too close for comfort. He had to get out of there. It's crazy. My partner gets raped and I... He doesn't need this now. Time enough to discuss it after he's got his head together.

"Uh, it's getting late, Starsk, I'd better be going."

"Sure. See ya later, Hutch." He sounded miles away and hadn't moved.

Coward. You've been after him for weeks to talk to you and when he does, you run. Hutch's conscience reviled him all the way home. He couldn't defend himself, he had run, but for a very good reason. Starsky needed him clear-headed and supportive; right now, Hutch wasn't any less confused than his friend. Once showered, he dropped gratefully onto the bed, thankful it was late enough that he'd go right to sleep.

The fire was building, moving him relentlessly toward climax and his world had narrowed to the all-engulfing flame and the writhing, bucking body into which he pounded.

"Harder, Hutch, harder... I'm coming...I'm...Huuuutch!"

At the sound of his name Hutch reached the pinnacle and fell over the top, ending in a boneless sprawl across his partner's sweat-sheened body "Oh, God, Starsk, that was...was..."

"Yeah, wasn't it?"

Hutch lay there pulling great lungfuls of air through his mouth. Finally, somewhat near normal but still weak, he pushed himself up and flopped over onto his back next to Starsky, who followed suit. Hutch turned to gather his partner into his arms but stopped at the sight of blank, sightless eyes in the milk-white face.

"Starsky? What?"

He looked around, they were no longer on his bed, but on the living room floor of Starsky's apartment. The coffee table lay on its side, glasses in fragments on the floor where they'd fallen. There was blood on his hands and when he looked back at his partner, Starsky's jeans were at his ankles and blood was everywhere.

"No, no, Starsky, I wouldn't hurt. I wouldn't..." Hutch whispered fiercely as he backed away. Finally freeing himself of the mesmerizing sight, he turned to flee, denial undulating from his lips, "Nooooooo."

And he was sitting up in his own bed. Hair plastered wetly against his scalp; sheet and shorts glued to his crotch. Sun streamed in through the window.

Morning. It was only a dream. What was it Starsky said? "It must be at least twenty years since I had a wet one... " "Yeah, that just about sums it up."

Unable to go back to sleep and afraid to try, glad that it was Saturday and they were off, Hutch crawled out of bed, showered and was changing the bed when the door banged open and Starsky charged in, mad as hell, waving a videotape at him.

"What the fuck was this doing in my VCR?"

Oh shit, the tape. I forgot the damn tape. His first instinct was to run, then counter attack, but he did neither. "Starsk, I..."

"You get your kicks outta watching this, huh?" Starsky tossed the tape onto the bed.

For a heartbeat Hutch was paralyzed, then movement caught his attention, Starsky turning towards the door, and he was galvanized into action. Planting himself between his partner and the exit, Hutch braced for a fight. "No, Starsky, no. It's not you I'm trying to understand. It's me."

Starsky stopped his advance, confusion on his face, in his eyes, "You? What does that tape have to do with you?"

Cautiously Hutch placed a hand on Starsky's shoulder and was encouraged when there was no move from his partner to distance himself. "C'mon, babe. Let's sit down and talk this out. That's what I should've done in the first place."

"Why didn't you?" Starsky was still wary but he allowed Hutch to steer him to the couch.

"I didn't want to add to your problems. Want some coffee?"

Shaking his head negatively, Starsky proceeded to sit on the end of the couch Indian style, full face to Hutch, "No coffee, I just wanta talk."

Hutch lowered himself onto the other end of the sofa in a mirror image of Starsky. Minutes of silence passed, neither able to start the discussion. Nervously, Hutch ran a hand through his hair, "I don't know what to say, Starsk. I never meant for you to find out."

"Just tell me why you were watching that damn tape."

Hutch heard the hurt and betrayal behind Starsky's words, saw it in his eyes, his hands held out to Hutch, palms up, pleading for an answer. And Hutch didn't have one, at least not one that made any sense. "I wanted to get the anger back."

Starsky's hands dropped into his lap. "What?"

"When I first saw that tape, I was so angry at what those men had done to you that all I wanted to do was kill them."


"But, Starsk, later, when they were out of the picture, all I could remember was what it felt like to hold you."

Silence again, thick and oppressive.

"It felt good with you holding me, Hutch. It felt safe," Starsky mumbled, his fingers picked at a string unraveling on his sneaker.

"It felt good to me, too. Too good. I started dreaming about us bed together and it felt great. The love was there and the caring, but it always turned ugly at the end. I thought if I could get the anger back, the dreams would stop."

Starsky's eyes looked up at Hutch. "But it didn't work?"

"No." It got worse. But he couldn't say it aloud. Not yet.

Starsky unfolded his legs and stood, moved to stand looking out, his back to Hutch. "I've been having dreams, too, Hutch. That's what made it so hard to talk to Dr. Richards. I love you. It doesn't make any sense. I'm not gay. Rape doesn't make you gay. But...I want you."

He stood there at the end of his confession; shoulders drooping, head bowed, back still towards Hutch.

"I want you too, Starsk. I've been afraid to tell you. Afraid to admit it to myself. The dreams always turn so ugly at the end and you didn't need anymore ugliness."

Starsky turned from the window and went to kneel in front of his friend, still seated on the couch. Claiming Hutch's hands, he started slowly. "It turns ugly because that's all either of us knows."

"Is there anything else?" Hutch pulled his hands free and moved them to cup the precious face tilted up to him. "We've wasted three weeks trying to protect each other. Want to try to make some multicolored memories to replace the ugly dreams?"

"Multicolored..." Starsky considered, then relaxed a bit, "...yeah. As long as there's no red. My dreams are always red." Starsky agreed, rising and pulling Hutch with him.

"Or black," Hutch agreed.

Starsky pulled Hutch closer, both satisfied with the closeness for now and a willingness to let time heal what it would. "Multicolored memories that'll last a lifetime." Hutch murmured as they returned to the couch to resume their discussion.