"You just want me to drive around in a striped tomato like you have."
This is set when Starsky visit Hutch in hospital after his found in the Survival episode.
“Hey, sorry it’s late,” Starsky said, quietly closing the door.
“Surprised they let you in at this time of the evening.” Hutch shifted in the hospital bed, the heavy cast on his left leg difficult to move.
“I sneaked in past that head nurse, she doesn’t like seeing me.”
“Starsk, I just think she never expected to see you so often. I heard you refused to leave the first night.”
Starsky tried not to notice the rise and fall of Hutch’s chest as he pulled his chair up to the side of the bed.
“If it’s any consolation, the nurse’s love you.” I love you, Hutch thought.
“One more night…” Starsky said hesitantly.
“Starsk, you okay?”
“Yeah…just…” Starsky hesitated.
Hutch knew something was on his partner’s mind. “Have you thought about what kind of car you’ll get?” Starsky’s lack of enthusiasm talking about cars worried Hutch even further.
“You just want me to drive around in a striped tomato like you have," he joked, hoping to see a smile.
“You deserve…better than...” Starkey put his hand next to his partner’s and aimlessly stroked Hutch’s long fingers.
“Haven’t thought about it,” Hutch said, breaking the silence.
“You have to have…one that understands you.” Starsky was speaking unusually quietly. “To protect you. You’re supposed to look after…they become part of you.”
“Sounds like your striped tomato is your partner!” Hutch sensed Starsky was blaming himself for not finding him sooner.
“You deserve better, one that can protect you.” Starsky’s voice trailed off as he stared at Hutch’s hand.
“I don’t need or want a better anything to protect me!” Hutch clasped Starsky’s hand. “I’ve got you.”
Starsky grasped Hutch’s tightly as he gently traced his left hand up over Hutch’s bruised arm. “You see…I know every scratch. Even those that are…”
“Healed?” Hutch said gently as Starsky’s feather soft touch outlined an old scar on his shoulder. Hutch caught his breath. Did Starsky realize what he was doing to him?
“Ones that I caused by letting my guard down, and those you got protecting me.” Starsky tone was drifting. “I know the sounds and…” Starsky brushed Hutch’s hair away from his face.
Hutch rolled his head into the palm of Starsky’s hand and tenderly kissed it. For the first time that evening, their eyes truly met.
“The signals, when to take chances…” Hutch wanted to say so much more but he was almost frozen with hope.
Starsky leaned forward, his lips softly touching Hutch’s before they kissed. He watched those crystal blue eyes slowly close, and felt Hutch’s mouth open invitingly. Starsky’s tongue slipped into Hutch’s moist mouth as they locked together in a loving kiss. Starsky pulled away from the kiss, as Hutch made a soft slow moan of desire. Hutch’s eyes slowly opened, full of want.
“New noise,” Starsky whispered, smiling deeply into Hutch’s eyes.
“Hmmm.” Hutch pulled Starsky down into a deep demanding kiss. Starsky cupped Hutch’s face and one hand travelled down his neck. He ran his fingers across Hutch’s collar bone, and pushed aside Hutch’s hospital gown to stroke the smooth chest muscles that he had longed to touch and kiss. He brushed over a nipple, and Hutch took a sharp intake of breath.
“Better stop…go,” Starsky murmured as he laid a trail of tender kisses up from Hutch’s lips, traveling up to nibble his earlobe. “Can always drive my car,” he whispered suggestively.
“Tr…try stopping me.” Hutch breathed out.