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The Anniversary Gifts

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Hutch walked into the kitchen to make coffee. As he filled the coffee pot, he glanced at the calendar and noticed that his and Starsky's first anniversary was just a few weeks away. He would ask Starsky what kind of celebration he wanted. He knew that it would have to be somewhat low key, because California didn't recognize same sex marriages.

While Hutch was at the stove fixing breakfast, Starsky entered the kitchen and walked over to Hutch. He slipped his arms around Hutch's waist, kissed his cheek and said, "Good morning." Hutch turned his head, kissed Starsky, and returned the greeting. Starsky poured a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice for each of them before sitting down at the table. A few minutes later, Hutch put two plates on the table and sat down. Each plate had two scrambled eggs, three pieces of bacon, and two slices of wheat toast on it.

While they were eating, Hutch reminded Starsky of their upcoming anniversary and asked how Starsky wanted to celebrate. He said, "We could have a small gathering for a few friends either here or at The Pits. Since our anniversary is on a Saturday, we could ask for the weekend off and go out of town for a few days. If you have any suggestions, I'm open to them as well." Starsky thought for a few minutes before answering. He said, "I would like a quiet celebration, just the two of us." Hutch agreed with Strarsky's decision.

As they finished getting ready for work, Starsky thought back to their wedding day. Hutch had planned the whole thing. It was shortly after Starsky had been cleared to go back to work, even though he would be on desk duty for at least a couple of months. Hutch had told him they were going out to celebrate and to dress nicely. Starsky had worn a white pantsuit with a pale blue shirt and a navy blue tie. Hutch had come out of the bedroom in a suit the color of a midnight sky with a white shirt and a sky blue tie. When they had gotten outside, Starsky had discovered that Hutch had rented a limo for the evening. It had tinted windows, so Starsky had no idea where they were going. When they got out of the limo, they were at the beach. As they had approached the water, Strarsky saw a flowered arch with Huggy, Captain Dobey and the rest of his family, and Minnie standing nearby. Hutch had turned towards Strarsky, took him in his arms, and said, "I know this won't be legal, but I don't want to run the risk of losing you without making you mine forever. Will you marry me?" Hutch had then reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box. He opened it to show two rings, each a gold band with a small row of diamonds on it. Starsky said, "Of course, I will marry you." The two men walked over to where Huggy was standing. They spoke their vows of commitment to each other and had kissed to seal those vows just as the sun set on the horizon, turning the sky various shades of red and gold. They had then gone to The Pits where Huggy had prepared a small buffet and a cake to complete the occasion.

A lot had happened since then. Strarsky's health had continued to improve and he had gotten back on the street with Hutch where he belonged. They had found and purchased a small house just outside of town. It had required some work before they could move in, but they had finished the work a few months ago and were now settled in the house. The exterior of the house was white with a large wrap around porch. The front door opened to a entry way where they kept their coats. This led to the living room, which had a fireplace. They had combined the furniture from their respective apartments into a room where they spent many cozy evenings snuggling on the couch watching television. They had a large kitchen, complete with a breakfast nook. They also a formal dining room which they seldom used because they either ate in the living room while watching television or in the nook. Off the living room was a half bath. In the living room, there was also a set of stairs that led to the second floor. On this floor were two bedrooms. The master bedroom had a connecting full bath. The other bedroom, which was a little smaller, also had its own bath. This room had been converted into a dark room for Starsky, who had rediscovered his love of photography during his recovery. The master bedroom had a window that looked out into the back yard. The back yard had Hutch's pride and joy. They had built a large greenhouse there where Hutch spent many hours relaxing with his plants and getting in touch with nature.

Although they were both now working full time, between the medical bills, the repairs to the Torino, as well as buying and repairing the house, money was still a little tight. This concerned Starsky because he wanted to get Hutch something special for their anniversary, but had no idea what it could be. Hutch was also worried about finding the perfect gift for Starsky.

As the anniversary neared, they both started to worry that they were never going to find the perfect gift for the other. Then one day, Hutch was cleaning while he listened to the radio. The song I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song by Jim Croce came on and Hutch found himself singing along with it. As the song came to its close, Hutch smiled as a idea began to grow. He could write a song for Starsky - one that told Starsky exactly how he felt.

Meanwhile, Starsky was not having any luck trying to decide what to get Hutch. Finally, it was the day of their anniversary. Starsky had driven into town to do some shopping. He was walking down the street when he noticed a flower shop. Deciding that maybe he could find something for Hutch there, he went inside. A young woman was standing behind the counter, arranging some roses in a vase. She smiled and asked Starsky how she could help him. Not being sure what kind of reaction he would get if he said he was looking for a gift for his husband, he simply said, "I am looking for a gift for the best friend any man could have." He walked around looking at the different plants until he came to one that he had never seen before. It had luxurious royal purple petals trimmed in white with a white center. He picked it up and walked over to the counter. "I think I will take this one.", he said. "You've picked a very nice plant. It's called a Frosted Velvet Dwarf Beaded Iris. They're hard to find in this area. I just got it in this morning. I think my distributor sent it me by mistake." Starsky smiled as he said, "I don't think it was a mistake." He paid for the plant and placed it carefully in the car. He finished his shopping and returned home. He went into the greenhouse and placed the iris on the workbench where Hutch would be sure to see it when he opened the greenhouse door.

He went into the house, and headed straight for the kitchen. There was a note on the table telling him that Hutch had gone to run some errands of his own and would be home in time for dinner. Strarsky was a little puzzled because that morning while they were having breakfast, Hutch had told him he would be home all day. This got him to thinking a little more about Hutch's recent behavior. He had been pulling quite a few disappearing acts the last few weeks. He wondered what was going on, but knew it would do no good to ask Hutch because Hutch wouldn't tell him what was wrong until he was good and ready.

Starsky had started to cook dinner when he heard a car pull into the driveway. He looked out the kitchen window and saw it was Hutch. He wiped his hands on a towel, turned the fire down on the stove, and walked into the living room to greet his husband. The two men embraced. Hutch asked how long it would be until dinner was ready. Starsky told him it would be about 45 minutes, so Hutch said, "Well then, I am going to go out to the greenhouse." He left the house, not realizing that Starsky was following close behind him. He opened the greenhouse door and saw the plant sitting on the workbench. He turned to find Starsky standing in the doorway. He said, "Starsky, it's beautiful. I've never seen anything like it in my life." Starsky told him what the the lady at the florist shop had said about the flower. Hutch said, "I'm going to have to do some research on how to take care of it." He picked up the plant and carefully placed it on one of the stands before watering it.

Starsky went back into the house to finish cooking dinner, while Hutch continued working in the greenhouse. Hutch came in short time later and told him that he was going to go upstairs and take a quick shower. Starsky told him, "Dinner will be ready by the time you finish." Hutch came back down to find the table in the breakfast nook set. There were two candles in the center of the table. Starsky said, "I'll bring the food over, if you'll pour the wine. The lady at the liquor store said that this was a good choice." Hutch picked up the bottle and noticed it was a very fine pinot noir. He agreed that it was the perfect wine. Starsky put one plate on the table in front of Hutch, then put his own down. Each plate had a 10-ounce steak on it along with two lobster tails and a baked potato on it. There was also a sliced loaf of bread in a basket on the table.

The two men ate their dinner in silence, just enjoying being in each other's company. After they had finished, they took the bottle of wine and went into the living room. Hutch said, "I have to get something out of my car. I'll be back in a few minutes." Starsky put some logs into the fireplace and was just about to light it when he heard several voices behind him shout out, "Happy Anniversary!!!!" He turned to find not only Hutch standing there, but also Huggy, the captain and Mrs. Dobey, and Minnie. Huggy was carrying a cake, while Mrs. Dobey and Minnie had presents. Captain Dobey had a bag in his hand. He greeted all of them and then led them to the dining room. Huggy said, "We wanted to let you know we hadn't forgotten your anniversary." Captain Dobey set the bag on the table and pulled out a bottle of champagne. Hutch went into the kitchen and returned a few minutes later with a knife. Meanwhile, Starsky opened the hutch that was in the dining room and pulled out some desert plates as well as some champagne glasses. He filled a glass for each of them while Hutch cut the cake. Huggy raised his glass and said, "Here's to the best couple of partners in the world." Everybody clinked their glasses in response to the toast before sitting down to enjoy the cake. After the cake was gone, Mrs. Dobey said, "I hope you enjoy your gifts.", as she pushed the gift bags towards them. In the bag from the Dobeys there was a coupon for dinner at one of the classier restaurants in town. Huggy gave them plane tickets and a hotel reservation for a romantic weekend in San Francisco. Starsky reached into the bag from Minnie and pulled out a photo in a guilded frame. It was of the two of them during the kiss on the beach at their ceremony. She said, "I know you couldn't hire a photographer because the ceremony had to be kept on the down low, but I managed to snap this with the camera in my phone. It's taken me this long to get it developed and enhanced so that it would be perfect."

Everyone helped with cleaning up the dining room and then the guests all left. Dobey told them he was going to give them Monday off, but that he expected them to be on time Tuesday morning. Starsky and Hutch walked back into the living room. Hutch said, "I still need to get something out of my car. I'll be back in a few minutes." He went outside and walked over to his car. He opened the trunk and pulled out his guitar. He went back into the house to discover that Starsky had put the wine away, had lit a fire in the fireplace, had placed a couple of large pillows on the floor in front of it, and was reclining on one of them. Hutch sat down next to him and said, " I had no idea what to get you that would show you how much I love you. But I finally came up with the perfect way to say it.

He made sure the guitar was tuned and then began singing. Starsky closed his eyes as he listened to the words:

The day we met, I knew
Something special came to be.
Our spirits were united
Forever Me And Thee.

We traveled down life's pathways
Though the future we could not see-
We knew we'd be together
Forever Me And Thee.

There were those who tried to break the bond
That exists between you and me;
But we'll always be together
Forever Me And Thee.

Now the years have strengthened
The feelings that will be
The bond that stands between us
Forever Me And Thee.

When he finished the song, he looked at Starsky, whose eyes were full of tears. "That was beautiful.", he said as he leaned over and gave Hutch a kiss. Hutch smiled as he said, "I was hoping you would like it. I have been using my old place to write it. Helene is just using it for storage now, so I was never disturbed while I was working on it."

Hutch laid his guitar aside and took Starsky in his arms. The two men spent the next several hours making love in front of the fireplace before going up to bed. They fell asleep in each other's arms dreaming of future they would have together.