METAMORPHOSIS, PART 4
In the wee hours of the morning the gray Bentley slipped through the streets that gleamed wetly in the dim, taped headlights allowed by the blackout regulations. The tension in the automobile stretched almost visibly between the two occupants. Doyle felt an inordinate sense of relief as the heavy car pulled to a stop on the street outside the brick building that housed the headquarters of MI6.
Both men were startled as the ground shook from a nearby bomb. The building across the street shuddered as loose brickwork cascaded to the sidewalk. The night sky was lit up momentarily as antiaircraft batteries searched for a target in the heavens above.
Bodie reached for his cane and opened the driver's door, then without looking back he made his way down the steps to the oak door that barricaded the mundane world away from the headquarters of a secret war. Doyle slid out of his side and followed at a slower pace. He still wasn't sure if he should try to explain Hutch's disappearance or let the man...vampire! display his changed physique.
The unobtrusive operative that manned the basement door waited while Doyle negotiated the steps then closed it behind him. Bodie was waiting impatiently at the door to the lift. Miracle of miracles, it seemed it was working.
The two agents entered the wide door together and pushed the proper buttons for it to clank itself down into the lower realms of the MI6 headquarters. The silence between the two agents grew more frosty as the moments seemed to grow longer. Once on the proper floor, the lift wearily opened its doors for their egress. Side-by-side the two men went down the hall to their boss' haven.
Tapping lightly on the door, Bodie waited for the muffled signal to enter. Doyle crossed the threshold first followed by the sulking Bodie.
Cowley regarded his two agents through icy blue eyes that resembled two burnt holes in a blanket. He had been up so many nights or had his sleep interrupted so often that he thought he might never sleep an entire night through again.
"I see that our American pilot's luck didn't last. Too bad." He couldn't feel much sorrow at the loss of another young person; he had seen so many die so needlessly in the last few years.
"Not exactly," Doyle answered as he sat uninvited on the overstuffed chair in front of the desk. "I'll explain later."
Doyle removed his right boot then reached for the ornate, but razor sharp letter opener Cowley kept on his desk. He slid the blade between the stitching on the upper part of the boot. The salt water-weakened stitches gave easily under the assault.
"Did you make contact with our agent in Frankfurt?"
"Yeah, and what she had was worth all the effort, I think."
"So the plan worked out."
"Yeah, I let the rest of my contacts think I was taken by the Gestapo and killed trying to escape. It wasn't pleasant making my way back to France without their help, but I made it, unlike my predecessor."
By this time Doyle was pulling water stained papers from his now nearly disassembled boot. "His majesty owes me one pair of boots," Doyle commented wryly as he looked at his handiwork, knowing reimbursement might be long in coming.
Bodie had moved over to lean against the file cabinet in the corner. Unknown to Doyle he was hungrily caressing the slim body with his eyes.
"So," Cowley began, "You really do think that there's a leak in this organization?"
"Has to be."
"No one outside the operation, not even Bodie knew I was going into Germany. And I made the contact and got out." Doyle paused and ran his fingers through his straw-like hair. "Remember Anson went in as part of an operation put together upstairs. He made contact then both he and his contact were taken. They must not have talked, since Mary Lou is still in place, but she doesn't feel too safe. Better get her out if you can."
"Aye. I was afraid you might say that." Cowley thought it might just be impossible and the young woman would have to take her chances, especially if Doyle was right and there was a German agent within the organization of MI6. There were going to be a some quakes in the upper echelon in the rarefied air of the sixth floor.
Doyle spread the thin sheets of onion skin paper across the desk. "Here's what Mary Lou is so concerned about." The paper consisted of drawings, maps, and nearly microscopic writing. In heavy dark ink across the top were the German words, Operation Sea Lion. Doyle paused then continued as his companions studied the sketches. "Mary Lou thinks this is some sort of plan for some type of military operation." Bodie had moved to where he could lean over Doyle's shoulder and scan the drawings. The sulk and pout were gone as he became engrossed in the images depicted on the stained paper.
"Bloody hell, it's the invasion plans," Bodie snapped. "Look," he pointed his finger to a sketch on the map. "That's gotta be a map of the French coast although it's not labeled. Hum...this must be some type of aircraft and that's definitely a barge." Bodie shifted his finger to another diagram on the page.
"Yeah, that's what I thought too," Doyle said as he unconsciously leaned against Bodie's sturdy frame. "I think Hutch can fill us in on the aircraft. He was probably shot down by one of them."
"Thought you said that he didn't make it?" Cowley snapped. "The Chief of Flight Operations would like to speak to that young man. He wants to know what happened to a whole squadron." Studying the depictions in front of him, Cowley tapped the main illustration in front of him, "This could explain a lot."
The drawings of the aircraft were turned and studied by all three men. "Can't make head or tail of most of this, but it does seem to be some sort of revolutionary power plant," Bodie murmured as he shifted his arm over Doyle's shoulder. Doyle had felt the softening in his chosen mate and reveled in it for the moment. He supposed all could change as quickly as it had become right; he was going to enjoy it while he could.
"Now would ye care to explain about our American flyer?"
Cowley's question startled Doyle into remembering that there had ever been an American pilot. He kept putting the man out of his mind--probably because, he was still unable to reconcile the reality of the American's change to a vampire. Now he was really in it. Cowley and Bodie were both looking at him expectantly.
Stalling for time, he cleared his throat. Seeing that neither man was going to let him off the hook, he countered with a question of his own.
"Where's Dr. Starsky? Is he here in London or still out at the facility?"
"At our digs," Bodie answered promptly. "He wanted to be close so that there'd be no delay in gettin' the news, one way or the other."
"I imagine that Hutch would go there first."
"How the hell would he get there? You said that you left him at that cave. You haven't explained how you got off the boat and into a cave either?" Bodie questioned.
Doyle sighed and felt momentarily faint. He had had little rest in the last 24 hours and the only food had been a suspect pastie in a roadside cafe on the way into London. It had been hours ago, he thought.
"Ach, let's go see if our wayward pilot has made his way to London," Cowley snapped. His lack of sleep was making his voice harsh and his temper as uneven as either of his agents.
Doyle nodded and slid his foot into the remains of his boot and followed Cowley out of the room. Bodie followed suspiciously checking the Webley in his shoulder holster.
The gray Bentley was where the two agents had left it only a few hours ago. Now the day was making itself known. Doyle knew that Hutch was confined by the sunlight wherever he was. He hoped that he was right and that the pilot had rushed to find Starsky. Explaining another disappearance of Squadron Leader Hutchinson to Cowley wasn't something he relished.
The three men settled themselves in the Bentley with Cowley in the rear seat and the two agents in the front. Bodie started the motor with a lot more consideration than he had out on the moors last evening or was it this morning? Doyle was losing track of time in his exhaustion.
The powerful motor purred in contentment as Bodie directed the car away from the curb and down the nearly empty street. Early morning workers were hurrying away from the tube station entrances to their jobs. They were mostly women, walking with their heads down concentrating on getting where they were going.
It wasn't too long until Bodie was parking the Bentley outside their flat. Doyle hurriedly got out of the car and held the rear door for George Cowley. Gathering on the stoop, the three men turned and filed into the sparse lobby. There was no chatter as they walked up the flights of stairs then down the hall to the flat.
Bodie tapped on the door. All waited for a response. Bodie had a key and could have taken them on in, but there was an unspoken agreement between them which said if the Americans were in there together, they should have a few minutes to gather their thoughts and other things before they were invaded.
It wasn't long before Starsky answered the door. Definitely a rumpled man stood before them, but it could have been the normal disorder of someone who had just been woken up from a sound sleep. Doyle might have believed that except for the small wounds on the side of Starsky's neck and speck of blood on his collar that hadn't been gotten there by hasty shaving.
"He's here, isn't he?" Doyle asked.
* * *
Arriving over the city, Hutch hovered quietly beside a barrage balloon. He grasped the cable that was designed to wreak havoc on unsuspecting enemy bombers. Momentarily disoriented by the change in perspective offered by his aerial view, he began locating familiar landmarks. Finally distinguishing the area he wanted from the rest of the inner city rabbit warren, he swooped away from the balloon and flew toward his destination.
Hutch had absolutely no trouble finding the flat that they occasionally had shared with Bodie and Doyle, lately with Bodie only. He landed in the alley behind the building, flinching as the rumbling of planes overhead was punctuated by the sharper cracks of the flack batteries ringing the city. The shells exploding in the clouds gave an eerie illusion of Thor slamming his hammer at the aircraft invading his territory. A primitive man might indeed think this a display of the wrath of the Gods. Did puny humans really have the right to this much power over the environment?
A distant whine then a throaty boom signaled one of the bombers laying its eggs somewhere over the nearly helpless city. The pounding of the city lent credence to the speculations of Hutch and Doyle in France that the Third Reich was readying itself for the inevitable invasion. Hutch felt the earth itself tremble as another cluster of bombs invaded it. Perhaps he should be back at headquarters filling in the High Command on what he had observed of the new planes. Momentarily he felt a stab of guilt, then he shrugged it off. He would report after he had a short reunion with Starsky.
Exiting the alley, he stared up at the blank windows of the flat, wondering what kind of welcome awaited him behind the blackout curtains. A very human uncertainty plagued him as he walked up the steps, his shoes squelching slightly, and entered the building. As usual the lift wasn't working, but he didn't mind the necessary effort to walk up the ensuing flights of stairs. It gave him suddenly badly needed moments to marshal his skittering thoughts. How to break the news of his change? He couldn't see himself saying, "Hi Starsk, I'm home, but somehow I got changed into a vampire while I was gone. You don't mind, do you?"
Upon reaching the door of the flat, he tapped lightly on the heavy dark door then nearly lost his nerve and left to throw himself on the tender mercies of George Cowley and company. This opportunity was taken from him as the door opened to reveal Starsky standing there etched in the light from the sitting room behind him.
"My god!" Starsky exclaimed, "Hutch, is it really you?" Starsky reached out and grabbed him by the shoulders and tried to draw him into an embrace. Hutch easily resisted the human strength of his lover. "Hutch, what's the matter? Get in here, you bum!" Hutch could tell that Starsky sensed something wrong with the scenario, but he didn't know what to do about it.
Again the shorter human tried to move the immobile figure in the hall. This time Hutch allowed himself to be drawn into the flat. Any heart-to-heart chat would need at least this privacy. He followed Starsky into the sparsely furnished room. He watched as the scientist turned off the radio, softly playing Glen Miller music.
Turning abruptly, Starsky stared at the lean figure that remained where he had left him. He noted the lank hair, salt-stained clothing, and finally the pale complexion. But the expression on the normally mobile face stunned him. Hutch looked sad and frightened. He was home! What did he have to be frightened of at this point? Starsky was puzzled and he hated unsolved puzzles. It made him an excellent scientist. Right now, Hutch was the biggest puzzle he'd had lately. Why wasn't he with Bodie and Cowley? Bodie had mentioned before he left that morning that he might have a new lead on Hutch's whereabouts.
Putting his thoughts into words, Starsky said, "You look like hell." Hutch didn't answer, but his light blue eyes never left the figure standing in front of the table that held the radio. "Why don't you clean up and I'll fix us a bite to eat."
Hutch nodded. He was just noticing how stiff and filthy his clothes were. His skin itched from the dried salt adhering to his whole body. His scalp felt as though some Indians were readying it for removal.
"Good idea," Hutch finally said. It was a wonderful excuse to put off the discussion that he knew was upcoming. Hutch left a worried Starsky standing in the middle of the floor and went into their bedroom to sort out some clothes. It seemed as though it had been a century ago when he had last worn anything in this wardrobe. He found some civilian clothes he hadn't worn for a couple of years and went into the small cramped bathroom that separated the two bedrooms of the flat. The civilian clothes suited him since he was sure his tenure in the Royal Air Force was over. Hutch would miss his old squadron, but so many were now dead or captured. He had never joined the American Eagle squadron that had formed shortly after his enlistment. He had felt more comfortable with the English flyers he had trained with.
"Be careful. We don't have much hot water," Starsky called from the kitchen that boasted a small two burner cooker, a primitive icebox, and not much else.
"Right," Hutch answered as he stripped out of his borrowed clothes. He fingered his chin and decided he still didn't need a shave. Nic had mentioned one bonus of his physical state was the necessity of shaving was cut to once a week or perhaps even longer.
Hutch stepped into the shower and began soaping up his grimy body. It didn't look all that different, except that his complexion, normally a light honey was now closer to a pasty white, if he were honest. It was wonderful to get rid of the dirt, salt, and sand from his body and hair. The water quickly ran cold while he was rinsing his head and if the truth were known, he wasn't unhappy to get out of the shower. Water in any form made him uncomfortable; a shower was no exception.
The luxury of clean, dry clothes was almost orgasmic. Hutch smiled to himself at that metaphor. He didn't know if he could experience a true orgasm in this form. He hoped he would have an opportunity to find out in the very near future.
Walking into the sitting room, he found that Starsky had put out some sandwiches and a couple of bottles of beer. He longed for the taste of beer, but knew he wouldn't be able to keep it down.
Starsky took a sandwich from pile and chomped into it then grimaced slightly.
"Spam! The American contribution to the war effort. You know I once liked this stuff." Starsky knew he was trying hard to make small talk. This man sitting on the chair next to Bodie's settee wasn't the same man who had shared their last leave together. The gleaming blond hair was the same as were the blue eyes that seemed to be drinking in his own appearance. But something was wrong and he couldn't figure it out.
Hutch rose from his chair, reached over and took the forgotten sandwich from Starsky. It didn't take much effort to draw the scientist into his arms. They spent a long moment simply nuzzling each other, then Hutch nibbled at Starsky's neck. He stopped and froze as it dawned on him what he was parodying. He remembered that La Croix had used this gesture early in his interrogation.
Starsky waited without moving in his lover's arms. Something had frozen Hutch to the spot, his arms beginning to grip Starsky so hard it hurt. As the iron bands tightened even more, Starsky started to struggle. Looking up, he saw that his struggles made no difference to Hutch. His eyes were taking on a funny yellowish tinge. Starsky slammed his fists into Hutch's chest--nothing seemed to make any impression on the pilot. Starsky wiggled and was shocked as he noticed that not only were Hutch's eyes looking weird, but his mouth was opening to reveal long wicked looking fangs. He heard a throaty growl rumble in Hutch's chest. He increased his struggles which the vampire brushed aside as he would an annoying insect. With ease Hutch pushed Starsky back down on the couch and straddled the scientist, clamping those wicked looking fangs to Starsky's neck. All might have ended there if Starsky hadn't chosen that moment to make his distress known verbally.
"Please, Hutch. Stop! That hurts!" Starsky moaned and tried to thrash his head from side to side in a mockery of passion. The human side of Hutch heard the familiar and loved voice. With an effort of will he didn't know he possessed, Hutch suppressed the vampire side of his nature. His fangs receded as did the glazing of his eyes. Sadly, he pushed himself away from Starsky.
"Now you know!"
Rubbing his neck where two small spots of blood were just barely visible, Starsky stared at Hutch wondering what he was supposed to know. He thought for a moment that he had been hallucinating, but the distress revealed by Hutch in his face and the tension in his body made him think not.
"What the fuck do you mean?" Starsky nearly screamed the obscenity. "Just what am I suppose to know now?"
Hutch shook his head and continued pacing then he halted by the darkened window. "I should never have come here. It's too dangerous." His voice was so low that Starsky had to strain to hear the words. "I have to leave."
"You're not leaving...not until you explain what the hell happened to you a few minutes ago." Starsky stood up and his first instinct was to go to the blond and draw him into his arms. Then he remembered what had happened when he had followed that impulse a few minutes ago. He simply waited for the agitation to become less apparent in the pilot.
Hutch turned and began to go to the door, his intention plain.
"Oh, no you don't. You owe me some sort of explanation for that mauling you gave me a few minutes ago." Starsky planted himself in front of his friend.
"You don't know exactly what you're asking."
"No, I don't. But you'd better start explaining," Starsky paused and began to rally his mental faculties. "You owe me for all the things we've been to each other. Don't you think I'll understand? Don't you know that I want to help?"
"You can't," Hutch answered the last question.
"I won't know if I don't know what the problem is. And there's gotta be a problem or you wouldn't be acting this way. Tell me and I'll make it right...whatever it is."
Hutch tried to walk around Starsky and found that no matter which way he turned, Starsky was in front of him with his hands on his hips, waiting for an explanation. And short of resorting to his vampiric ways, he couldn't get away.
Wearily he walked over to the large overstuffed chair in the corner of the room as far from Starsky as he could get and sat down and wondered where to begin. Somewhere someone had told him that the best place to start is at the beginning. So that's what he would do. Starsky sat on the edge of the settee prepared to listen. Hutch leaned back dejectedly and studied the worn carpet.
"I was shot down over France on that last raid," he began in a dispirited voice.
"No kiddin'," Starsky quietly commented, shaking his head at the redundancy.
"I'll tell this my way," Hutch answered, but with little life to his voice.
"Aw right, but get on with it. You don't have to give me all the gory details. I just want an explanation for that little performance of a few minutes ago."
"It all started in France."
"I'm sure it did."
"Damn it, Starsk! Quit interrupting me!" Hutch looked up and glared at his companion.
Starsky smiled in return. He had gotten what he wanted. Hutch was acting more like himself and not a whipped puppy. Hutch saw the smile and answered it with a faint grin. He acknowledged the ploy and relaxed.
"If you don't know, but perhaps you do. Anyhow I bailed out of the Spitfire and was found by a French peasant. He obviously was caught or couldn't get help. Anyhow, in short, I was taken prisoner by the Luftwaffe. It should have been only a matter of time before I was sent to a prison camp in Germany. But..."
"Earlier in the week, Bodie told me, you were taken to Paris by the Gestapo."
"Will you quite interrupting, Starsk! Let me tell this my own way."
"Anyhow as you know, I was taken to Paris by the Gestapo and questioned." Hutch paused and then debated on how much to tell Starsky about that questioning session. Luckily, there wasn't much to remember. He remembered all the pain, but not his rescue.
"They seemed very interested in what squadron I was a member of."
Starsky understood Hutch's reluctance to elaborate on the questioning. He knew from very personal experience that the victim of such abuse feels guilty for allowing it to happen. It didn't matter that the victim wasn't at fault.
"Just how does this relate to what happened to your eyes and teeth a few minutes ago?"
"I'm getting to that." Hutch paused and gritted his teeth. "It seems that my reluctance to admit to anything caused the head interrogator to call in a specialist." Hutch remembered the platinum blond man only vaguely. Shaking his head to clear the cobwebs, he continued, "My memories get really shaky at this point."
"I can imagine," Starsky knew that often the mind repressed some of the most awful recollections simply to preserve sanity.
"Somehow I was rescued by an amazing being. He said later that I was, for all intents and purposes, dead when he got me out of the basement of Gestapo headquarters."
Starsky's head jerked up. "Of course, he was wrong since you're here."
"Actually he wasn't. He finished what La Croix, the interrogator, started."
Starsky leaned forward to the edge of his seat and murmured something indecipherable. Something important was being glossed over here. Starsky intended to get to the bottom of it, if he could.
"My next vivid memory is being in some sort of barn with this weird guy, trying to explain to me that I was now one of his kind. He finally convinced me." Hutch leaned back and didn't know what to say at this point.
"What exactly did he mean?"
"He said that he was a vampire and so was I." The words rested in the room quietly like an unexploded bomb.
"Naw!" burst from the scientist's mouth. "You were hurt and he was takin' advantage of you. You must have been seein' things."
"Were you seein' things a few minutes ago? It was real convincing to me when I followed his directions and enjoyed drinking the blood of that horse."
"No, I don't believe it," Starsky whispered into the charged atmosphere. He couldn't deny the evidence of his senses, but it just wasn't possible. Hutch had to be imagining things, but there were the funny eyes and unusual manifestation of canines that Hutch had never had before.
"Think about this." Hutch couldn't sit still any longer. He rose and watched uncomfortably as Starsky stared at him with wide eyes all the while knowing something of what was going through Starsky's mind. It had gone through his own mind only a few days ago.
"I can't eat or drink anything except the blood of mammals. Direct sunlight will burn me almost instantly. Running water makes me very uncomfortable. I don't know about crosses and holy water yet since I haven't experimented with those. There are some benefits. I was shot in the escape, but it was only a momentary pain. Later when I remembered it and looked, the wound had healed almost to invisibility," Hutch said in an almost rote fashion. He had rehearsed this speech so often that it came out with little emotion.
"Shit!" seemed to be the only comment that Starsky could utter.
Slowly and with iron control, Hutch allowed his vampire nature to come to the forefront. His yellow eyes gleamed in the artificial light then he opened his mouth to reveal the long amber fangs that protruded from behind his normal teeth. It took only a slight effort to levitate to the low ceiling of the sitting room.
"Convinced?" Hutch said as his eyes and teeth returned to normal while he dropped lightly to the floor.
"Yeah, but it just seems so impossible. I'm used to dealing with scientific laws not with myths and legends. Gonna take me a while to get used to this, ya know." Starsky rose from his place on the couch and went to stand in front of the troubled man--or whatever was standing in the middle of the floor. "Come on, sit down. We'll work this out somehow." Starsky wasn't exactly sure how anything like this could be worked out, but he loved Hutch and no matter his guise, he was going to support and care for him to the best of his ability.
Hutch shook his head, but allowed himself to be led to the couch and pushed gently down. He slumped to hold his head in hands and if it were possible he would have wept. Gingerly Starsky seated himself beside him. Taking his courage in hand, he put his arms around the now shaking shoulders of the alleged vampire. Instinctively, Hutch turned into Starsky's neck and rested his head on the broad shoulder. Starsky stiffened then made himself relax. He remembered that this was the sort of posture that had started the whole thing.
"Let me lick your neck. It's still bleeding and is spotting your collar." Starsky stiffened again. "That's all I'll do. There's something in my saliva that speeds the clotting of blood. You can believe me. When I give my word, it's given. In that I haven't changed." Hutch hoped against hope that he could keep his word. He wasn't especially hungry for sustenance, but he was hungry for contact with Starsky. The vampire part of him only knew that intimacy could be achieved with the taking of blood. The human part of him was offended at that thought and wanted another type of intimacy. He hoped he could resolve both sides of his nature and not destroy Starsky meanwhile.
"All right," Starsky conceded then lifted his chin and felt the rasping of an inhumanly rough tongue. He thought briefly of a large cat. As the tongue continued its job, he felt a tingle below the waist. The scientist pushed Hutch's head into his neck tighter and lifted his own head even higher, finally resting it on the back of the couch. His groin was definitely throbbing its approval of whatever Hutch was doing.
Hutch was stunned at the level of trust Starsky had in him. After the revelations of a few moments ago, here he was entrusting his life's blood to Hutch. It was not a trust that Hutch was going to betray. This he vowed silently to himself.
"Yeah, babe. That's really getting to me." Hutch drew back and saw that there was no lie in the guileless blue eyes. Starsky reached with one hand and pulled the blond head down to his lips. Hutch froze and pulled away.
"Before this goes any farther, I've got to tell you a bit more." Starsky dropped his hand and waited in silence.
"Nic said...you've got to control my impulses. If it starts to get out of hand...I mean if I...uh...lose it, you have to tell me to stop..." Hutch couldn't get anymore out.
"Anything you say, babe," Starsky answered then raised his hand to Hutch's lips to still them. "You could never hurt me. Doesn't matter what you've become."
Starsky leaned into Hutch and kissed the closed lips. Then his tongue demanded entrance. Hutch acquiesced. Starsky then inserted his tongue into the vampire's mouth. The emergence of the fangs had begun. He explored them fearlessly. He noted that there were needle-like protrusions on the ends of the extra canines...much like hypodermic needles. That explained the ability to extract blood from the jugular veins of mammals, Starsky's scientist brain said. Hutch tried to draw back as his fangs lengthened following the exploring tongue. Starsky clutched harder on Hutch's head, not allowing Hutch to retreat.
Hutch relaxed as he remembered Nic's advice to let his lover lead. He wasn't sure where Starsky was going, but he was willing to follow. He allowed the scientist to satisfy his curiosity about his teeth and even tasted a little blood where Starsky had gotten too enthusiastic in his examinations. Briefly he worried that the faint taste of blood would send him into transformation as it had a while ago. But he restrained any tingling urge and enjoyed the further assault on his mouth then on his own neck as Starsky changed his venue of attack. Lifting his chin, Hutch allowed his lover better access to his defenseless neck. He felt vulnerable as the scientist took the flesh of his neck in his very human teeth and pinched the flesh slightly. The quick spark of pain seem to be centered in his groin.
Starsky was now straddling Hutch and unbuttoning the shirt he had donned only a little while ago. Then the dark head leaned down and licked its way to a small nipple surrounded by blond down. The hardness in Hutch's slacks was becoming unbearable. The gathers of the trousers were threatening to strangle his organ.
Hutch pushed Starsky back to his knees which relieved the immediate pressure on his penis. "Let's go somewhere else a little more comfortable." Hutch whispered the euphemism of all lovers for the beds they shared. Hutch would have been thrilled with a bed of nails with Starsky, but knowing his sybaritic lover, he knew that Starsky appreciated all the comforts. He smiled to himself, promising to indulge Starsky all he could. This kind of trust couldn't be bought, but it could be rewarded.
Starsky grinned and leaned over to lightly rub the bulge in the front of Hutch's trousers. "Yeah, I want to see more of this."
The two men went to the bedroom locked in each other's arms which made walking a bit awkward, but neither minded. They just wanted to touch.
"Got too many clothes on...," they said in unison then nearly giggled. Each began trying to undo buttons and shove clothing out of the way. It was simply too slow so they moved apart long enough for each to strip away his own garments. Sporting two impressive erections, they came together and rubbed together as they slowly went to the bed and sank down into the softness.
Finally with little confusion, they settled against each other and began their explorations anew. With the enforced abstinence, their lovemaking wasn't slated to last long. Hutch found himself under the frantic Starsky. With mouths locked together, they rubbed and stroked each other. Starsky threw back his head in silent invitation. Hutch pulled himself up to grab Starsky and roll them both over. With the blond now on top, he could sink his fangs into the vulnerable neck. Gently he licked the area and let only the fine needles pierce the skin. Starsky groaned and reached between their bodies to grasp the twin erections. He squeezed and pulled both of them to the edge of completion. Hutch allowed himself a hint of the sweetness of Starsky's blood.
The gentle sucking sent Starsky over the edge first. He stiffened and contracted in a massive orgasm. Then he squeezed even more frantically on Hutch's organ that responded with a racking orgasm, but little cum. Hutch collapsed on top of the shorter man, his fangs receding automatically.
"Uh, Hutch...you gotta move. I can't breathe," Starsky gasped, but there was no response from the figure collapsed on top of him. Expending his waning strength, he shoved Hutch to one side. Hutch opened his eyes and gazed fondly at Starsky.
"The sun just rose. I seem to react to that in strange ways occasionally. 'M tired." Remembering Doyle's fear in the cave, Hutch continued as long as he could. "I'm not dying. But I gotta rest a while when the sun comes up. There won't be much of a pulse, but don't worry." He slumped back and seemed to pass out.
Starsky relaxed back on the bed and grinned stupidly at the ceiling. He was happy...no, that was the wrong word...he was ecstatic. He laughed aloud and rolled over to retrieve the blankets that had somewhere along the way been pushed to the floor. He covered both him and Hutch although he had a hunch that Hutch wouldn't care one way or the other. He just felt better if Hutch was covered.
He didn't care that he hadn't gotten back his human lover. It was enough he had Hutch back, no matter what form he had taken. He would be forever grateful to that unknown entity in Paris who had taken pity on Hutch.
These thoughts drifted through his mind as he began to doze in the rosy aftermath of sex and love. No doubt there would be problems, but right now he was too tired and too happy to worry much about the future. He had all the future he could contemplate right here in bed with him. He drifted in that Brownian world between sleeping and waking. There were a thousand questions the scientist in him wanted to ask the vampire in Hutch. But there was time enough for that later. Yeah, lots of time.
* * *
Starsky finally dozed until he heard a tap at the door. Groaning he crawled out of bed, slipped into his slacks and shirt then shoved his feet into his loafers without socks. He quickly smoothed his hair with his hands. He had a hunch who was waiting outside that locked door.
"He's here, isn't he?" Doyle asked.
Starsky nodded and backed away from the door. The three followed him into the sitting room where the remnants of Starsky's aborted late snack were still strewn on the coffee table. Doyle noted the unopened beers and uneaten food.
"He told you?" Doyle asked Starsky, collapsing onto the couch with Bodie beside him. Cowley remained standing near the door uneasily watching the interchange between Doyle and Starsky.
"Yeah, it was bit unbelievable at first. But he convinced me."
"He does have his ways to do that," Doyle acknowledged.
"Doyle...," Bodie began to speak, but was waved to silence by Cowley.
Both Starsky and Doyle turned to Cowley who was staring at Starsky unconsciously rubbing the raised wounds on his neck. "I think ye had better start explaining, young man."
At that moment the bedroom door swung open, to reveal Hutch who warily entered the room, his glinting blue eyes studying Bodie and Cowley. Immediately, he knew that his changed physique was unknown to both men, but suspicion was rampant in the charged atmosphere especially from Cowley. Not knowing why, but Bodie reached for his pistol in his shoulder holster. But before he could clear the holster, Cowley waved him off.
"That wouldn't be much of a deterrent, would it, son?" he questioned Hutch as he walked the rest of way into the room. The canny Scotsman had noted the marks on Starsky's neck and the darkened atmosphere of the flat. Cowley's sixth sense was raising the hackles on the back of his neck as he watched the disheveled blond cross the room.
Hutch shook his head.
"You've guessed?" Hutch asked, not sure he was understanding Cowley correctly.
"I've had my suspicions of your kind before. The marks on Dr. Starsky's neck only confirm what I've wondered about for years."
"Actually it's quite a relief. I knew I could convince you of what I was the same as I did Doyle and Starsk. I just didn't want you to come at me with a wooden stake in hand."
"Are ye so changed, then?"
"Only in my eating and sleeping habits. I can't function during the day in direct sunlight. Nic told me that direct sunlight kills us. I haven't experimented much myself, however, what I have experienced was painful. He also mentioned that holy water and crucifixes would burn. Again, I haven't had the time to experiment."
"But you do have the traditional powers?"
"I can't turn into a bat if that's what you mean. But I can fly for fairly short distances. Wouldn't want to try a transatlantic solo just yet. Bullets hurt, but aren't fatal unless they shatter the spine, again according to Nic."
"You do sustain yourself on blood? Human or what?"
"Cows and horses mainly, so far."
"You don't kill them?"
"No, Nic was careful to teach me how to avoid that."
"Who's this Nic?"
"The vampire that brought me over after rescuing me from the gentle hands of the Gestapo. He said that I was so close to being dead that the only way he thought he could save me was to change me into one of his kind."
"What were his reasons for helping you and not any of the others in the hands of the Gestapo?"
"I asked him and it was all bound up in the fact that his mentor was my interrogator 'n something about trying to make up for his own atrocities."
"Stop the third degree!" Starsky intervened, stepping between the two. "Isn't it enough to know that he's back and safe?"
"No, it really isn't, but we can continue this discussion later," Cowley conceded to the fury that he saw in the scientist's eyes. He had backed down before to that temper and acknowledged that he could get the answers to his questions in a more relaxed atmosphere.
If he had known the signs, he might have been worried. Hutch's eyes were beginning to yellow and his fangs were growing under the pressure of Cowley's questions.
Bodie had sunk deeper into the settee and was trying to assimilate all the information his brain was receiving in a short period of time. Doyle had tensely watched the developments, but as the atmosphere relaxed, he felt himself sinking into a near stupor.
"What the hell is this all about?" Bodie interjected, glancing at the slumping Doyle and glaring at Cowley alternately. "What's all this about blood, 'n crucifixes, 'n wooden stakes?" He started to rise from the couch only to have Cowley turn and face him.
"As I've long thought, we share this earth with another species of humans. There's enough evidence in legends and myths, but no actual proof."
"Another species of humans!" Bodie shook his head, not quite believing what his boss was telling him.
"Aye. Now we have proof and a specimen of the type to study."
"Now wait a minute...," Starsky interrupted. He was moving toward Hutch protectively. Hutch, sensing Starsky's fear, was transforming before everyone's eyes. His vampire form was suddenly apparent to all the humans in the room. Bodie muttered, "Bloody hell!" and reached for his gun. Doyle tried to restrain him, but Bodie easily shrugged off the weary, weakened Doyle. This time his gun cleared the holster before the startled Cowley stepped in front of him.
With a rush of displaced air, Hutch moved to snatch the gun before Bodie could react. After emptying the shells out, he tossed everything in the general direction of the bedrooms. Growling, he turned on Cowley who lifted his hands in a placating manner.
"It was only a figure of speech, son. Calm down!" Hutch snarled and started to move, but was cut off by Starsky. He couldn't touch Starsky in this guise, but Starsky had no qualms and simply grabbed his arms then held on for dear life.
"That's right. Calm him down, Dr. Starsky," Cowley quietly spoke. Hutch began to return to normal. He shuddered and turned away from the group, feeling like a freak. He had overreacted to the term "specimen" and Starsky's sudden terror. The idea of being some sort of lab animal was so repulsive that he couldn't have restrained himself no matter how hard he tried.
"Doyle," Cowley spoke quietly, "go to the kitchen and make us a pot of tea. I think we all could use one. Bodie, you go help."
Bodie gestured toward the Americans engrossed in one another.
"I'll be perfectly safe, now."
The agents went into the kitchen and went through the motions of rinsing and putting the kettle on the cooker to heat. Doyle was so bedraggled that Bodie suggested that he go shower and clean up while the tea water was heating. Doyle acquiesced--even a cold shower would be an improvement over the itchy sea salt still adhering to various parts of his anatomy. Looking into the sitting room on his way to the bath, he noticed that somehow Cowley had gotten the Americans to sit down. They were still together, but on the settee. The streak of defiance was still evident in the posture of the scientist, reminding Doyle of a hen protecting its last chick. It would have been humorous in any other situation.
Leave it to Cowley to smooth things over, Doyle decided, and went into his bedroom and rummaged around for clean clothes. In the bathroom, he showered hurriedly, shaved, and dressed in clean clothes for the first time in recent memory. Leaving the bath, he felt ready to take on another round.
* * *
When Doyle returned to the kitchen, he found Bodie finishing the tea. He had put out five cups and Doyle put one back, "Hutch won't drink any tea," he commented as he returned the one cup to the shelf. Bodie nodded then retrieved a tray from one of the upper shelves.
After loading the tray with a few nearly stale biscuits, Bodie poured the tea and carried the cups into the sitting room where the three others were carrying on a quiet conversation. He sat the tray down on a low table and received a nodded thank-you from Cowley. Bodie took two cups over to the small dining table that sat near the door of the kitchen. Doyle came and collapsed into the chair nearest the door. Both men took tentative sips of the black tea. Bodie grimaced, missing the luxury of milk and sugar for his tea. Doyle was just glad to have some type of stimulant. There was no conversation between the men, only the slurping of tea. Then silence reigned. Both were uneasy in the other's company and exhausted.
Finally Cowley rose from the chair that he had pulled up opposite the divan and walked over to his two agents. Doyle was nearly dropping off into his empty teacup and Bodie was nearly as bad. Both men raised their heads to look at him.
"I'll take the car back to headquarters. You," Cowley and he glanced back at the Americans, including all of them in his comments, "get some rest and I'll send it back at 18:30."
They all nodded wearily.
"I'll notify the Air Marshall about Hutchinson. He can begin his debriefing then and, Doyle, we'll finish up the other business as well."
Without further ceremony, Cowley limped from the flat. The click of the door lock sounded unnaturally loud in the room. Then his uneven footsteps were heard moving down the hall.
Hutch and Starsky rose together and in almost lock step disappeared into their room gently shutting the door. Bodie looked at Doyle momentarily, noting the dark circles under the murky green eyes. He rose and began clearing the table of the detritus of the conference. Taking two trips, he finally finished piling the sink full and went out into the sitting room to find Doyle had disappeared into their room. He shucked off his shoulder harness and began picking up the bullets strewn through the carpet. His gun lay forgotten next to the bedroom door. He loaded it and put it away in his holster.
Going into the bedroom, he found Doyle sprawled out across the bed. He closed the door and checked the blackout curtains.
Smiling faintly at the disarray presented him, he undressed and shoved the limp form over to make room for his own weary body. Before lying down he slid Doyle's shoes off. Doyle didn't wake and only snuffled into the duvet covering the pillow. Bodie despaired of getting him under the covers so left him as he was.
* * *
The noise of running water woke Bodie late in the afternoon. He rose and peered out the bedroom window to see the nearly empty street. Few cars ever moved down London streets now. He missed the hustle and bustle of heavy traffic, but noted men and women with carrier bags going and coming in the neighborhood.
Doyle groaned, rolled over on the bed then sat up and rubbed his eyes. Bodie heard more water running in the bathroom and assumed that their flatmates were both up and functioning. He stopped in the act of picking up his slacks to replay the astounding revelations from the pilot earlier. Sliding the trousers over his hips, he commented to Doyle who was now stretching sleep-stiffened muscles.
"Didn't dream up this morning, did I?"
"You mean about Hutchinson?"
"Yeah and the double agent."
"No, and it takes some getting use to, I tell you. Hutchinson especially."
Bodie shook his head as he slipped into his shoes then sat on the bed to tie the laces. His shirt was too sweat-stained and wrinkled for further wear so he rose and looked in the wardrobe for something else. He finally settled on a bulky sweater as the season was turning. Occasionally his job as Cowley's aide required him to wear a uniform, but he figured tonight wasn't one of them. He sighed as he thought of the discussion of a mole at headquarters.
Doyle had risen from the bed and moved behind Bodie. He slid his arms around Bodie's middle and rested his head on the broad shoulders.
"What's up, Luv?"
"Just remembering your last operation. Should've known it was an 'Operation Susie'. The old bastard could've told me."
"Naw, he couldn't. It wasn't just my neck, but the necks of a few other people were at stake as well."
"Did he imagine that I might have been the security leak?"
"Naah, he just wasn't sure if you were a good enough actor."
"Yeah, whoever is reporting to Berlin probably knows about us. Just couldn't take a chance that you might let it slip you knew I was alive."
"Jesus Christ, mate! You don't know the hell I've gone through these past few months. Not knowing...not knowing if you were alive or dead...or captured!" Bodie repressed the near tears, but couldn't stop the faint tremble of his torso.
"I can imagine," Doyle responded faintly. He was reassured and startled that Bodie cared so much.
Bodie turned in Doyle's arms and reached to pull the other man tightly to his chest. Then he was covering the up-turned face in kisses. Fumbling with the buttons on Doyle's shirt, he was off balance as the shorter agent moved them toward the bed. They collapsed in an ungraceful heap on the wrinkled bed clothes. Not noticing anything as ordinary as crumpled sheets and blankets, they were intent on each other's bodies.
"Don't have much time do we?" Bodie panted as he undid Doyle's trousers. His hand reaching for the hardening organ, peeking from the opening.
"Lost m' watch in the ocean somewhere," Doyle muttered as he heaved up on the sweater that was hampering his attack on the muscled chest.
He groaned as Bodie's mouth became affixed to his now rampant penis protruding from the cords he was wearing. Shifting over onto his side, he pulled Bodie's hips toward his hungry mouth. His own body moved automatically closer to Bodie. He licked and kissed the heavy cock then took it all into his mouth while Bodie ministered to his dick. Doyle returned all favors and added a finger to the anal ring behind the balls he had been massaging. He dipped in and carefully stimulated the tight bud, feeling it relax. Then Bodie moved a hand to pinch and pull lightly on Doyle's nipples.
Time wavered and became hazy for both men. Then as Doyle felt the cock in his mouth pulse, his own orgasm swept over him. He choked momentarily then swallowed all the cum his partner could produce. As the penis in his mouth wilted, he slid his head down to the soft duvet and shuddered in his own afterglow. Bodie quivered like an arrow just striking a tree. Then he slumped against the bed.
"Got off like a pair of kids, didn't we," Bodie commented as his own body relaxed from the sexual tension of the previous minutes. He rolled around to put his head down on the other man's chest. They remained in this position until there was a knock on the outside door. The two agents tensed and began hurriedly fastening their clothes, pulling down shirts and sweaters. The tap came again, but movement in the sitting room told them the Americans were answering the door.
"Must be the driver from headquarters," Doyle commented as he lifted himself up from bed. Bodie stood and pulled Doyle into a quick kiss.
"Yeah," Bodie murmured as he buckled his belt. He watched as Doyle walked toward the bedroom door, and he made a silent vow as the slender man left the room. Never again...never again would he allow Doyle to be taken advantage of. Even if he had to stow away on the plane or boat taking Ray to the Continent, so be it. He would be there to cover his back or whatever needed covering. The war would continue, Bodie knew. However, he would meet the same fate as Doyle. This he vowed, as well.
He heard faint murmuring of conversation from the front room. There was still debriefing and plans to be made regarding invasions and moles, but his heart was singing. The nightmare of the past months was over temporarily and he would revel in it. Straightening his shoulders, he went into the next room with a lighter heart.
* * *
Hutch lay back against his pillow with his arms stretched over his head up to the headboard. He sighed in uncomplicated satisfaction; the first time for what seemed an eternity, but in reality had only been a couple of weeks. However, the reunion with Starsky last night had made everything else seem trivial.
The door clicked open to admit Starsky in his robe. He grinned the irrepressible patented Starsky grin. Hutch couldn't help but return it. Then he gazed into the sparkling blue eyes as Starsky leaned over the bed. Noting the upraised arms, Starsky clasped the crossed wrists and growled in a poorly accented voice, "Now zat I haf you vere I vant you...." His voice broke into giggles at this point when Hutch easily broke his grip and began poking him in the ribs.
Weakened by his giggles, Starsky was easy prey for his vampire lover to toss him onto the bed then roll over to sit across Starsky's thighs and continue to tickle the vulnerable ribs with one hand while gripping both Starsky's wrists in one strong hand.
"Stop! Hutch!" Starsky gasped helplessly. "Uncle! I give up...King's X!"
Convulsing in his own giggles, Hutch lurched off Starsky and slumped across the foot of the bed. The whole episode had affected both them more than called for, but it was a measure of the relief they both felt. It was wonderful to be silly and carefree if for only a few moments before returning to the real world.
"That was the driver Mr. Cowley sent. We're suppose to go over to headquarters for a complete debriefing this evening, if you remember," Starsky said soberly then grinned widely at the mental picture which flashed across his consciousness of the disbelieve of the public. Hutch, vampire extraordinaire, giggling helplessly in a cheap London flat.
"Yeah, guess I'd better get dressed," Hutch muttered and rose from the rumpled bed to search the massive wardrobe in the corner of the bedroom for a spare class A uniform. He had decided that in the circumstances the more professional he looked, the better.
As he straightened the belt on his blouse in the mirror, Starsky came to stand behind him. Starsky had also dressed in a neat dark suit with tie. It was a little radical for him, but he had also had the feeling that they should make a statement of sobriety with their clothes since the debriefing was going to be pretty bizarre in other ways.
"Thought vampires couldn't be seen in mirrors," Starsky muttered in his lover's ear as he wrapped his arms around the blond's slender waist.
"Guess that's one myth about us that isn't true," Hutch murmured as he turned to face Starsky. He leaned forward and pulled Starsky into an embrace and kissed first his eyes and then his lips.
There was a knock on the door and Bodie's muffled voice filtered into their consciousness. "Let's go get this over with, children."
As they reluctantly pulled apart, Starsky took Hutch's face gently in both hands, "Remember, flyboy, you are loved." With that both moved separated and went toward the door to face an uncertain future, but one where they were both sure of the other's love.
The End -- so far
There is another story in this series called "Truce" which is posted on another website. This story is mostly a Forever Knight story but Starsky & Hutch are featured in it briefly. The Jadfe archive is http://www.lady-lacroix.com/jadfe/.