"What to wear, what to wear", Starsky mused as he browsed through his shirts.
"Starsk, I thought we'd agreed on the outfits days ago", Hutch said, slightly irritated.
"Hm?" Starsky stopped in his tracks and then his eyes brightened. "Oh yeah! We did. Sorry, I am so nervous, I forgot."
"What are you nervous about? I'll all be fantastic." Hutch stepped behind his partner who was still facing the closet and kissed him from behind on his naked shoulder.
"Well, you know. Weddings..."
"I know, I’ve been there before." Hutch stroked Starsky's shoulder, still standing behind him.
Starsky turned around. Hutch could see a frown on his forehead. "And I saw your mother yesterday, when we picked her up from the airport. She was kind of giving me the cold shoulder."
"She was probably jetlagged. It’ll all be fine. Come on, get dressed, or we’ll be late."
“Heyyyy…,” Starsky suddenly exclaimed. “You had promised to shave that caterpillar off your lip for today!”
“Nothing gets by you,” Hutch shook his head and smiled. “I did, and I will.”
In the bathroom, Hutch got his shaver out and looked at himself in the mirror. “Hm, maybe he’s right.” He started trimming his moustache, shorter and shorter until it was all gone.
He was also nervous, but he didn’t want to let Starsky know.
He’d arranged everything. The location, the guests and the flowers. He wanted it to be a surprise for Starsky and it had to be perfect. Huggy had promised to provide finger food, there would be real champagne.
As he combed his hair for the fourth time that morning, he went through it all in his head, hoping he hadn’t forgotten anything. It was going to be a day to remember.
As soon as they had declared their love for each other, they were sure that they wanted to get married. Only getting married to a man would prove to be difficult to explain to their parents. Hutch had dreaded the moment of truth. And his father had been less than happy for him. His mother was shocked but had agreed to come to the wedding. Hutch wasn’t sure if this would be a good or a bad thing. Starksy's mother had seemed a lot more enthusiastic when they told her over the phone.
Hutch looked at his bare upper lip, splashed some of the special after shave on that Starsky liked so much, and left the bathroom.
As he stepped out, Starsky immediately inspected Hutch’s upper lip, then gave it a quick kiss. So soft, he thought. So soft. The first kiss on Hutch’s bare lip. Starsky tingled all over.
“That aftershave drives me wild,” he purred.
“I love it, when a plan comes together!” Hutch laughed.
“Hey, you stole that line from someone else,” Starsky was glad about the distraction. He was about to jump Hutch’s bones, and Hutch could see the longing in Starsky’s eyes.
“Not now, love. Save it for tonight.” He smacked another quick kiss on Starsky’s lips and one on his forehead.
Starsky made a gurgling sound and Hutch stroked his shoulder.
“I know”, he smiled. “It will be worth the wait, I promise!”
Starsky continued to dress. Before he put his white shirt on, he poured himself another coffee.
He was shaking so much, he was scared he’d get coffee all over his shirt.
Hutch walked up to him, gently took the coffee cup from Starsky’s fingers and drank the cup empty.
“You’ll get the shakes from too much coffee,” Hutch said softly.
“I have the shakes from something else, but I can’t get relief for a while.”
“Starsky, behave!” Both giggled like little school boys.
They quietly finished dressing.
Hutch walked over to Starsky with his hands behind his back.
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” He brought his hands around him and dangled a blue bowtie in front of Starsky.
“Doesn’t the ‘blue’ usually go around the thigh of the bride?” Starsky gave his lopsided smile.
“You can wear it on your thigh, if you prefer,” Hutch laughed and started to tie it around Starsky’s collar. He looked at him approvingly. They adjusted each other’s collars and Starsky picked a hair from Hutch’s shoulder.
“Ready?” they asked in unison.
They gave each other a motivational pat on the back, Starsky squeezed Hutch’s hand and they left the apartment.
Hutch was driving his car towards the beach. Starsky noticed that it was washed inside and out and all the junk had gone.
“You really didn’t need to do that, you know,” Starsky said while he wiped his hand over the dashboard, which was usually covered with a thick layer of dust.
“I know how much this car irritates you, so I thought this was the least I could do,” Hutch smiled without taking his eyes off the road.
Starsky raised his eyebrows and smiled back at him. His best friend sometimes still surprised him.
This must be the 'something old' part, Starsky thought to himself. The mustache-free lip was the new bit. "Something old, something new..." Starsky repeated quietly.
Hutch winked at him and steered the car onto one of the beach parking lots.
“Oh, we’re going to the beach?” Starsky asked in surprise. “I should have worn my sandals.”
“This is it.” He parked the car and let out a heavy breath, then turned to Starsky and smiled. “Ok, let’s go! Everyone’s waiting.” He got out of the car, took off his shoes and turned up his suit pants. His partner followed his example. He dropped the shoes on the seat and motioned Starsky to follow him with a tilt of his head.
Starsky could feel the fine warm sand between his toes and squeezed Hutch’s hand again. He was feeling light-headed and his heart started beating faster.
Further down the beach he could see a group of people, some chairs and a gazebo.
“A beach wedding?” Starsky gasped, and had to stop for a moment to collect himself.
As they got nearer, Starsky saw his mother standing in a small group with Hutch’s mother, Captain Dobey and Huggy. Some other guests waved as they approached.
Starsky and Hutch patted Huggy on the back as they reached the small group. "You got the rings?" Hutch whispered to him. Huggy answered with a gentle nod and patted his jacket pocket.
Starsky went to greet their mothers.
“Hello, Mrs Hutchinson. Hi, Mom! I see you already met our boss, Captain Dobey.”
“Yes, dear. We had a nice chat.” She took both his hands and kissed him on the forehead.
Hutch greeted his mother and kissed her on both cheeks. He hugged Mrs Starsky. “We are both very glad to have you here,” Hutch said, smiling at the two older ladies.
“Your captain only has the highest praise for you two,” said Mrs Hutchinson and could not hide her slight discomfort.
“Well, your sons turned out to be two fine gentlemen,” Dobey confirmed and smiled his benevolent smile.
“A real gentleman would have given me a daughter-in-law,” Mrs Hutchinson said quietly, looking down into the sand.
“Mother!” Hutch shouted indignantly.
“Come on, Starsk, let’s go.” Hutch turned away and linked arms with his partner.
They walked through the other guests, smiling, shaking hands and receiving hugs from the men and women they passed. Some guests had started to take their seats in the shade under the gazebo.
Starsky only saw it once they stood right beside the gazebo. He stopped and stared with an open mouth. The whole thing was decorated with red and white roses that reminded him of ...
“Hutch, the roses…“
“Candy apple red with white stripes.”
“That’s so beautiful.” Starsky closed his mouth and tried not to tear up. He could only whisper now, he felt his voice would break otherwise. “You really know how to sweep a guy off his feet.”
He wanted to hug him and to kiss him, but he realised that it would probably not be very appropriate at this very moment.
Then he saw Kira, the officer who had once been in love with both of them, standing under the gazebo. She was going to officiate the wedding. They had both made their peace with her, since they had discovered their love for each other. After all, it was her who had brought them together.
While the guests were still talking and walking around, she greeted them both with a kiss on the cheek and smiled. “I am happy and feel so honoured that you asked me to officiate,” she said quietly. “And since I am kind of … responsible for all that, I feel I owe it to you guys!” Hutch smiled and Starsky winked at her.
She turned towards the guests and motioned everyone to sit down. “Ok, I think we are ready to begin.”
She held a little speech to get everybody in the right mood. She left out the events that had led to the current situation and only briefly mentioned her work relationship. Then she came to the important part.
“Will you, David, take this man to be your wedded husband?”
Starsky felt his heart skip a beat, his throat felt dry. “I do,” he said with conviction.
“Will you, Kenneth, take this man to be your wedded husband?”
“I do.” Hutch could feel all the stress and worry fall of his shoulders. “I do,” he said again louder and nodded.
Then they exchanged the wedding vows and Huggy handed them their rings. Hutch felt as if he was going to lift off and fly as he stuck the ring on Starsky’s finger. Oh god, finally! He felt his own ring and the everlasting bond to Starsky.
Then Kira went on to finish the ceremony. These were the words Starsky had been waiting for ever since they left the apartment.
”By the power of your love and commitment, and the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and husband! You may kiss each other!”
As Starsky touched Hutch’s soft lips, he felt a fire going through his body. He longed for Hutch. He wanted to stick his tongue right down his throat but remembered all the guests behind him. These lips were driving him crazy.
It was a very long kiss. The guests started to cheer. They both gleamed with happiness and smiled so much, kissing became next to impossible. They broke off what was probably the longest kiss in the history of Venice beach weddings.
As they turned around, they saw their two mothers drying their eyes with white handkerchiefs. Mrs Hutchinson sighed and Mrs Starsky smiled.
They slowly started walking down the aisle between the chairs. The guests still cheered and applauded. The newly wedded couple floated over the sand, smiling, squeezing each other’s hands.
As they got to the end of the rows of chairs they stopped, turned to Kira and held their arms out to her. She stepped up between them and slung her arms around both men’s hips. They kissed her simultaneously on the left and the right cheek and hugged her.
Huggy came over with two glasses of champagne for Starsky and Hutch while his waitress Diane walked around with a tray full of champagne glasses. When everybody had a glass, Hutch thanked everyone for coming and before he could drag his speech out too much, Starsky, who was starting to feel hungry, lifted his glass.
“Thanks Hutch. And thanks everyone. By the way, the buffet is now open.”