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Stormy and Dark

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It was a dark and stormy night and I wasn’t freaked out by the thunder and howling wind and monsoonal rain, which was pretty impressive, but by finding out Starsky and Hutch were an item.

And what an item!

Me and my partner (not just on the force, but elsewise, if you catch my drift) Simmons were two of the six Homicide detectives called in to help Narcotics on this huge drug bust. Cocaine and Mary Jane -- guess they wanted to cover the druggies wanting rush or mellow. The other four were Clancy, Burns, Starsky, and Hutch. Being the only bachelor pairs on the squad, the six of us socialized at places like the Pits and played three-on-three b’ball and poker whenever we could. No pool, though, because Starsky and Hutch always beat the pants off us. We’re pretty tight, I guess, and we watch out for each other.

The six of us, along with most of the narco squad, some uniforms, paramedics, and our two captains, were on the docks near a warehouse that we knew, thanks to an undercover narc cop, was to receive the large shipment of illegal dope that night. In our favor was the fact that the criminals wouldn’t have guards, armed or unarmed, posted outside because it would draw more attention than they wanted. However, there would be plenty of armed mooks inside.

As if that wasn’t enough to make me tense, I could smell rain in the air that felt heavy, and the sky was clouded over. Just a matter of time before the storm reached us. Thunder really creeps me out.

So, this small army of cops wearing navy blue windbreakers with POLICE in big, bright yellow letters on front and back were deployed on the ground. Ambulances and unmarked armored trucks were parked on the outer edges of our formation. Harbor cops were staked out in boats disguised as personal craft in the water near the warehouse.

Me and Simms (my pet name for my partner like Hutch calls Starsky “Starsk”) were on top of one shipping container standing on the dock and Starsky and Hutch were on top of the one next to ours. I could tell Starsky was getting antsy, even for him. You see, ever since he got back to The Job after his too-close call, which truthfully changed both of them, he’s been really going for the gusto. Like he’s afraid of not giving it his all or getting everything he can from, well, whatever. He seems to be on some sort of cycle, where he keeps getting more hyper every day for about twelve days then he comes in, cool as a cucumber, big smile on his face. And Hutch is smiling too, and whistling. Then it only takes Starsky a day or two to start slowly ramping up again. Simms spotted the pattern first; he’s good that way.

So Starsky’s moving like a jitterbug had bit his ass. I saw Hutch put his hand on Starsky’s arm, no doubt to keep him from jumping the gun. Burns and Clancy did their hiding in the shadows of a dumpster near us.

We watched the dimly lit big-ass yacht dock and the transfer of drugs begin. It took a while because there was so much. We were gonna be taking over a million bucks, if not more, of that garbage off the streets. The thought of that made me high.

Eventually, two clicks came over our walkies signaling us to move in. Those of us on the ground had three minutes to get into position (the harbor patrol was already in position) against the warehouse. Just before we made our move off the containers, I saw Hutch give Starsky the finger. Uh, let me be clear: not that finger but his loaded-for-bear pointer finger. Hutch had a stern expression on his face, too. Starsky’s nod was less than enthusiastic.

Two more clicks and we were through the doors to the warehouse. Gunshots from the bad guys started before we could even yell, “Police!” We returned fire and sought cover. Fortunately, there was a fair amount of that, because this warehouse actually did legit business. Two uniforms got the big front door open so more of us could get in faster.

I kept track of my buddies and knew they were doing the same. In my peripheral vision, I saw Starsky -- who still held the record at the academy and second in the department for sharpshooting -- drop two bad guys with two head shots. Hutch, also a helluva marksman, got one center mass.

Then I heard Simms’ distinctive I’m-surprised squeak. Glancing over at him, I saw a rip in the sleeve of his jacket. Looked like the wound was probably minor but that didn’t stop my stomach from dropping to my toes, so I looked for the mook who dared hurt my man at the same time I pushed Simmons down.

There was this young guy pretty close to us who was laughing and waving his gun while he looked at Simmons. I took careful aim and plugged the bastard with a shot to his upper chest.

With all the gunfire, I didn’t think anybody could hear the narco captain on his bullhorn calling for their surrender; at least that’s what I thought he was saying. Might as well have been static or somebody reciting “Charge of the Light Brigade.” This was gonna be a shootout until the bad guys were dead or out of ammo. I thought I heard a commanding voice ahead of me -- probably the muthafucker in charge of these losers -- but I couldn’t make out those words, either.

Next thing I heard that wasn’t gunfire or unintelligible words was a harsh grunt to my left, followed immediately by Starsky’s panicky shout of, “Clancy!” to my right. Starsky darted out of his cover like a spooked jackrabbit and took off (he’s a sprinter and since he’s been back, he’s near Olympic quality) toward where he thought the shot that got either Burns or Clancy had come from.

Instantly I turned to where Clancy and Burns were. Burns was on his knees, hunched protectively over the upper body that had to be Clancy. At the same time, I heard Hutch holler, “Starsky! Get down!” I swear there was terror in Hutch’s order. I don’t think Starsky heard him; I barely did and was a lot closer to Hutch.

Me and Simmons fired toward where we thought the kill shot came from. We had to adjust our aim constantly because Starsky was so close to our field of fire and running and dancing around boxes like Tiny Tim through the tulips after the presumed shooter, who had taken off toward the rear of the building.

Not too far behind Starsky was Hutch. He was a lot more cautious in his approach, making use of the boxes and crates as cover along the way. His long strides helped him catch up pretty quick.

With one eye, I picked out my targets -- by now, Simms had rejoined the firefight -- and with the other, I watched the dynamic duo.

The suspected shooter suddenly stopped and turned to face his chasers at a door that probably led out to the dock right next to the water and yacht. He raised his gun but before he could draw a bead on either Starsky, who was within a few feet, or Hutch, who was a few more feet back, Starsky jumped and round-housed his leg. It connected with the shooter’s gun arm and the gun went flying and the bad guy went down.

Starsky was off-balance coming out of the kick but Hutch caught him before he could fall. Starsky recovered quickly, shoving Hutch aside, who was none too pleased, if I read his body language right.

Starsky had his cuffs out and was snapping them on the shooter’s wrists behind his back in less than two seconds. He was none too gentle, either. Hutch, in the meantime, took possession of the man’s gun. He slipped it into a jacket pocket then went to help his partner bring the wobbly bad guy to his feet.

By then, the rest of the mooks still alive or not seriously wounded had surrendered. Five’ll get you ten that it was because they’d run out of ammo. You’d think they would’ve given up because there were a lot more of us than them. Most criminals ain’t very smart but they are stubborn and greedy.

The alleged shooter of our buddy was much steadier on his feet by the time the three of them reached me and Simms. Starsky broke off and headed for Clancy and Burns without a word to Hutch. If that big guy could make steam come out of his nose and ears, he would’ve. I had no desire to be in Starsky’s shoes when all this wrapped up. Even after what the Gunther hit did to them both, Starsky still jumped head-long into the action despite Hutch’s best efforts to make him more cautious.

Hutch continued on to the tent station set up to take prisoners into custody. Not really ready to join Burns and Clancy, I looked long enough to see Starsky kneeling next to Burns, who had his head resting on Clancy’s chest. One of Starsky’s hands was on Burns’ back and the other on Clancy’s leg. From the pained looks on their faces, I knew Clancy was dead. I looked away and sheepishly prided myself for not tossing my cookies.

I whispered to Simms, who was now hurting from the wound he’d gotten, that Clancy was dead. Clancy’s death hit us both hard. Starsky would be hit even harder, because he continued to thank Clancy, who took a bullet for him months ago when they were partnered for a couple weeks while Hutch was laid up with pneumonia again. Of course, Burns would be devastated once he got over the shock.

The cleanup progressed and I helped out where I could. Simms and the rest of the wounded got treated, lots of photos were taken, the dead (miraculously, Clancy was the lone dead good guy, but that fact was cold comfort) got covered with blankets, the harbor cops breached the yacht, the evidence control people counted, tagged, and recorded the keys of coke and pot, the bad guys got read their rights and shoved into patrol cars, the scene strung with crime scene tape. Yeah, we saved a lot of lives from the servitude of cocaine, but I wondered if it was worth it to lose Clancy.

Simms soon joined me but I wouldn’t let him do much. Big, fat raindrops started pelting us. I wanted to get him out of the rain because it wouldn’t do his fresh injury any good, so I took my partner by his good arm and headed back to the warehouse. Besides, we needed to be there for Burns and Starsky.

I saw Hutch and Dobey just inside the warehouse. They were engaged in an animated conversation, hands waving and fingers pointing. I thought good thing those fingers weren’t loaded. Whatever the subject, I could tell Dobey was reluctant and Hutch adamant. By the time me and Simmons drew within hearing distance, I heard Dobey say in that caved-in-but-rumbly voice he uses when he’s surrendered to manipulation or a better way, “Fine. I’ll tell Captain Wilson that you and Starsky’ll take care of that.”

With me and my partner hot on their heels, they made their way to where Clancy and the others were. I shuddered; Simms put his hand at the base of my spine, which is where I carry my tension. He’s so good to and for me.

Burns was still kneeling next to his partner but was upright, his eyes only on Clancy’s chalky features. Starsky’s windbreaker was on top of Clancy so that POLICE reminded us who was lying there. Clancy’s face was uncovered; I got the feeling Starsky knew that Burns wasn’t ready for the full cover-up. If that had been Simms, I’d’ve wanted to see his face for as long as I could. Then I got this weird notion that if it had been Hutch or Starsky, the one left behind would be trying to join him, not just looking.

Dobey gave Burns his very genuine sympathy and said all the stuff about a good man and detective. Me and Simms didn’t say a word because nothing we could say would lessen our or his grief. Burns just continued to stare at Clancy’s face. Starsky, who had Burns by his waist, drew him closer. Hutch squatted on the other side of Burns and put his hand on our buddy’s shoulder.

The rain suddenly became a storm. A clap of thunder kinda jolted us out of our shock and we all squirmed a little. Then the coroner’s wagon was there, backed into the warehouse as far as it could go without running over anybody.

Dobey’s sigh sounded so dejected. “Burns, they’re here to take Clancy. You go with him. Simmons, you take their car to the hospital. Babcock, you’ll follow.”

That kinda surprised me. I thought Starsky and Hutch would be the ones to go with Burns. Hutch pulled Burns’ keys out of his pocket. Burns didn’t even seem to notice.

“Starsky, you and Hutch’ll stay here to do the final clearance of the warehouse.”

“No, Cap’n, I’m stayin’ with Burns and Clancy till we get Clancy to the morgue.” Starsky was almost belligerent. I could hear cracks in his voice.

“Starsky!” interjected Dobey at his gruffest. Starsky could sure ring his bell. “You will go with Hutchinson to do the final clearance of the warehouse as soon as Clancy is removed.”

“But that’s Narco’s job! This was their op.”

“It’s whoever’s job I say it is. Now do it, or it’s two weeks in R&I. End of story.”

Starsky snorted out a, “Yes, sir.” He stayed with our brothers in arms until the Medical Examiner’s aides loaded Clancy into the wagon. Burns touched some part of Clancy all the way to the transport.

“Cap, we’re all done here. Simmons and me’ll head for the hospital now.”

“Good. You can file your reports tomorrow afternoon.” I knew he left for the station, not home, and he’d track down Burns as soon as he could to be with him. One reason why I’m happy being a lowly detective and another reason why I respect that man.

Starsky closed the wagon doors and smacked them twice. The four of us stood there, watching it until it was out of sight.

Then the warehouse and dock were empty except for us. The rain came down in sheets and the thunder battered my ears, it was so loud. This crappy night just got crappier.

Hutch broke us out of our heads with a demanding, “Starsky, come with me now.” I swear he said it through clenched teeth. He grabbed Starsky’s shirt collar, tightened it around his neck, and practically dragged him deeper into the warehouse.

“For Chrissake, Hutch, take it easy! I ain’t a dog!” Starsky sounded like he was strangling.

When they were a few yards away, I whispered to Simmons, “I’ll be little late. Gonna play spy. They’re both really wired. I gotta see what’s gonna go down between them.”

He didn’t hesitate to nod and took off for Burns’ car as fast he could in the downpour. I hid behind the nearest crate and waited until I was pretty sure Starsky and Hutch were far enough ahead before I followed them.

I stayed in the shadows as they did a thorough search of the main floor and the smaller second floor collection of rooms. They had just reached the bottom of the stairs when Hutch turned on Starsky so fast that he actually jumped back and plopped down on a step.

“What the --”

Starsky didn’t get to finish because Hutch grabbed the sides of his vest in both hands and hauled him up, immediately swinging -- yep, swinging; Starsky’s feet didn’t touch the floor -- him until his back crashed into the wall. He moved in and used his arms to hold Starsky in place. It was weird seeing Starsky taller than Hutch. Their attention was totally on each other, so I crept closer.

“What the hell is wrong with you, Starsky?” Hutch barked. I couldn’t see his face -- his back was to me -- but I thought he probably had the look of a ticked-off rottweiler; kinda sounded like one, too. I could see about half of Starsky’s body. He definitely had the look of threatening storm clouds. And if his eyes could shoot out lightning bolts, he’d have fried Hutch.

“So I’m upset about Clancy, if that’s okay with you, pal,” Starsky said. Boy, was he even more belligerent than he was with Dobey.

“No, it’s more than that. You’ve been wound too tight for the last few days, buddy. Was our last session not enough for you?”

Session? Were they seeing a shrink?

“It was just fine.” Starsky’s tone would’ve snapped the head off a weaker man.

“I beg to differ. You didn’t obey me when I told you to get down.”

Obey him? “Obey” seemed kinda inappropriate between partners.

“I didn’t hear ya, Hutch. So fuckin’ sue me, ‘kay?”

“Starsky…” Hutch said the name like it was a dire warning. Then he took a breath. “You know you’re supposed to stay close to me and listen for me at all times. But you took off anyway, dammit. That’s why we need a short session right here and now.” Hutch sounded like the tough nuns I had in grade school who wielded paddles like dominatrices.

“No!” Starsky shouted loud enough to be heard on Catalina Island. “We agreed only to full sessions after we planned one.” He struggled against Hutch’s hold, but I could’ve told him he was gonna lose. A determined Hutch is a freakishly strong Hutch. Starsky knows that, but it’s in his nature to fight. This was gonna be interesting.

“We should’ve had one days ago!” Hutch blew out a sigh. “I should’ve noticed you were over the top earlier than usual. Well, I’m gonna remedy that right now.”

No! Let’s go see Burns first and tell Clancy good-bye, then we can do this at home, nice and proper.”

Hutch pulled in even closer until their faces were almost touching. “Absolutely not, Starsky! You’re moving like a, a… speed demon and talking like a 33 record being played at 78. You need to calm down before we go anywhere and I have to get a handle on my need before I go too far.”

Go too far was a big clue, which gave me a sneaking suspicion where this was headed. Whether I was right or wrong, it didn’t matter. Whatever was gonna happen was very personal and I knew I should leave. But I’m a detective and curiosity is part of the job description. Like a bad friend or even an enemy, I stayed.

Hutch loosened his grip on Starsky’s vest and slowly let him stand on his own feet. “Take the vest off.” It was definitely a command that he expected to be followed quickly and without question.

Starsky had taken a step to the side so now I could see all of him. His nostrils flared and his lips disappeared. Defiance shot out of his stormy eyes like black lightning. I looked down briefly at his crotch -- was curious to know if Starsky got a hard-on when he’s stressed -- and saw a sizable bulge. “No.” Clenched teeth made it sound menacing.

In that same second, Hutch had Starsky in an arm bar just under his throat. Starsky’s eyes widened so much I thought they’d take up half his face. He was struggling hard to breathe, more from surprise, I thought, but oddly enough, he didn’t fight Hutch. “You will do as I say.” Talk about a cold and ominous voice.

Starsky seemed cowed a little, and squeaked out, “Yes, master.”

Yes, master? From headstrong, stubborn-as-a-mule Starsky to anybody? Even to Hutch? Well, Hutch would be the only person he’d ever say that to.

So, Starsky, still very wired and only a little less defiant, took off the vest and threw it off to the side.

I could now see Hutch in profile. Damn if he didn’t have the look of a hard-case drill sergeant on his face. Everyone, even the mostly even-tempered Detective Ken Hutchinson, has a dark side. And boy, his was pretty damn dark right now.

Before I could blink, Hutch had ripped Starsky’s shirt open about halfway and pulled it down his back -- what some cops do to make temporary restraints.

“You son of a bitch! You can’t do this, Hutch!”

“Starsky, you know I need a session as much as you do.”

“It can wait for both of us, ‘til we get home where we can set the limits and do it in private. We agreed, dammit! If I have to, I’ll fight you.”

It was real easy to see Hutch’s entire body tense. He ran his hands down his face once then in that I-don’t-take-shit-from-you voice he rarely uses, said, “We are in play, Starsky; that’s my call and you agreed to it from the beginning.”

“I did not agree to any sessions like you wanna do right now.”

Hutch just ignored him and continued. “From this point on, you’re only permitted to call me ‘master.’ You will only speak when I allow it.” Then he placed his fingers around one of the bumps beneath Starsky’s undershirt. Next thing I knew, Hutch was twisting what I assumed was Starsky’s nipple and Starsky was inhaling a sharp breath and grinding his teeth.

It took a few seconds before Starsky said, “Yes, master.” Guess he decided to cooperate.

Hutch released Starsky’s nipple. I had to give Starsky credit for standing up to what must have hurt like hell and for not cussing a blue streak at Hutch or head-butting him.

Starsky was still in motion but had slowed down. I swear he looked like he was doing some intricate dance steps in place. Hutch unbuttoned Starsky’s shirt’s cuffs to reveal the two leather wristbands he had started wearing a couple months ago. One was a dark red that had his watch strapped to it, the other dark green. Both had intricate designs on them, and both had wide, carved silver clasps and little loops of leather hanging from one side. They’re really beautiful. Anyway, Hutch finished unbuttoning the shirt then released Starsky from this impromptu restraint and tossed it on the vest.

“Take off your undershirt,” he said as he reached into one of his front pockets.

Starsky did as he was told but was really pokey doing it, real passive-aggressive cooperation and giving Hutch the evil eye. My jaw dropped to the floor the instant I identified what sparkled on Starsky’s nipples: two shiny metal rings large enough for a small finger to fit through. Now I knew why Starsky never wore tight shirts anymore.

The one eye of Hutch’s that I could see slowly examined Starsky’s chest. (Even with the scars and the patchy hair, it was a chest worth examining and touching. And licking and nibbling and sucking, but, hey, I do love a man’s bod.) The effect that had on Starsky was to have him move faster. Pretty sure that bulge of his grew some more.

Then he did the unexpected -- he held his arms out to Hutch.

“No. Turn around.”

Starsky sneered with anger at Hutch, yet he did turn around. He didn’t put his hands behind him, though. He made Hutch, who now had some sort of shiny chain in his hand, go for them.

Hutch tethered Starsky’s wrists together with that chain. Now I knew why those bracelets had those loops. Holy moly -- Dobey’s golden boys were into bondage!

“Face me.”

As slow as molasses, Starsky did a one-eighty. He was definitely not happy.

Next thing I knew, Hutch kissed Starsky full on the mouth. Starsky seemed resistant at first, but soon both really got into it, too, with tongues and moans and panting. It grew wild and ferocious like the storm outside. But mostly, it was incredibly passionate and loving, like their souls were hungry for each other. It was making me real turned on to watch.

But it was kinda weird. Only their lips and faces touched -- not that Starsky could use his hands. But their bodies stayed apart. Maybe they did that so all their attention could be focused on the kiss?

Suddenly there was a really loud crash of thunder right overhead. I kept quiet and didn’t pee my pants -- minor miracle -- not that they were likely to hear me over the storm. They seemed to be unawares of everything but each other.

Just as the thunder faded away, Hutch broke the kiss and Starsky looked lost. That didn’t last long because Hutch kissed and licked each nipple tenderly. Starsky’s head fell to one side and he got this Cheshire-cat-like grin on his face.

That disappeared real quick as Hutch twisted each ring at the same time. Starsky cried out but Hutch shushed him immediately. Starsky shut up but I think he was whimpering. It looked like his knees were buckling yet he stayed standing.

Hutch finally released the rings. Then he spoke in this hypnotic voice that I had to strain to hear. “You were made for pain. Pain is your focus, your direction. Pain conquered your fears, got you through recovery and back on the streets. Pain calms your fear, makes you stronger. Embrace the pain, expel the fear.”

I could see a few tears running down Starsky’s face, which was all screwed up, but he was silent. Somehow I wasn’t surprised when Starsky’s body settled down after a few minutes. He sagged but stayed on his feet. He’s one tough cookie. So is Hutch, and they’ve proved that lots of times.

Then Hutch leaned in toward Starsky and mumbled something I couldn’t hear. I swear, in an instant, Starsky was on his knees. Guess that pain shit made him cooperative. Anyway, it was amazing he didn’t fall. He must have had practice doing that with his hands fastened behind his back because he was so graceful doing it. He bowed his head. He was so still that I wasn’t even sure he was breathing.

I just knew Hutch was gonna unzip then order Starsky to suck him off. That would’ve been very hot to watch, but that didn’t happen. Instead, Hutch knelt in front of Starsky.

“Better?” he asked.

I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure he said, “Yes, master.”

Hutch stroked Starsky’s head. “Are you calm now?”

Again, I had to read Starsky’s lips. I think he said, “Getting there, master.”

Hutch grabbed Starsky’s swollen crotch. Starsky jumped and gasped. I would, too, because Hutch didn’t look like he did that real gentle. Starsky’s face corkscrewed again.

“Use this pain to control your fear.”

Starsky nodded slowly, took some deep breaths, and didn’t even try to escape Hutch’s death grip on his stones. Amazingly, he did settle down.

“Do you need release?” No question what that meant.

Starsky just nodded his head again. Like he could moan with his balls in that nutcracker of his jeans and Hutch’s hand. Hutch stood and helped Starsky to his feet. Hutch removed Starsky’s belt holster and gun. He placed them on top of Starsky’s other stuff. Then he debuckled the belt and unbuttoned and took his time unzipping Starsky’s jeans, pulling them down below his knees (Starsky goes commando! Always suspected that). Starsky just stood there obedient and trembling.

What I saw made my gay mouth water. I’d seen Starsky’s bat and balls in the precinct shower (of course I look). Nothing out of the ordinary. Now that I saw him erect, he proved to be a grower, and an impressive growth spurt it was. The crotch of my jeans shrunk some more.

Hutch carefully walked Starsky backwards, then lowered him to a step. Hutch got to his knees again, leaned into Starsky’s dick, and started licking that flaming-red, thick joystick. There was nothing if not caring and loving and maybe worship for that dick. After a while, Hutch suddenly took that rod to its base. He began sucking like there was no tomorrow, all the time running his hands on Starsky, I swear caressing him like a much-loved and treasured pet. That blond head against that dark belly was so hot.

Starsky blew all too soon, in my opinion; I could’ve watched these dudes for hours. Starsky’s throaty and loud groans were driving me insane. And when he did come, his shout of “Huuuuuttttttch!” was so loud that even the long roll of thunder didn’t completely smother them. I had to unzip my jeans to keep my swollen dick from being strangled. I closed my eyes and took a bunch of deep breaths to keep myself from jacking off.

Once I’d regained control of myself, I opened my eyes and saw Starsky still sitting on that stupid stair looking up at Hutch with what I had to call adoration. Hutch was still standing but now with his pants and underwear down around his ankles. Starsky was licking his lips like a hungry dog craving that “boner” just out of his reach, and I understood why.

Hutch, as I suspected, was a shower. He’s pretty imposing when soft, but not that much bigger when hard. Anyway, his joystick was a striking dark gold and bounced slightly with each breath he took.

Hutch stepped closer to Starsky, who wasted no time in taking that big cock in his mouth. No foreplay, just straight to deep throat. God, that was hot. Hutch grabbed Starsky’s hair kinda rough and told him to slow down.

Starsky did slow the pace enough that Hutch began to openly enjoy the action. He threw his head back and moaned real loud. There was no artfulness in Starsky’s technique, but he made up for that with his adoring hunger. He kept his eyes looking up at Hutch. It wasn’t long before Hutch came, and it, like Starsky’s, was hard and long. He whispered, “Starsk,” I think.

Then, like magic, the storm suddenly cut off except for some lightning flashes.

To make matters worse for me, I could smell the sex even over the smell of the rain.

Hutch, obviously weak-kneed, struggled a little to pull up his underwear and jeans. Then he slowly joined Starsky, who had scooted over, on the step. They kissed, this time long, loving, slow, and sweet. And yeah, guys’ kisses can be sweet.

They didn’t say anything for a bit, just sat on that step, Hutch’s arm around Starsky’s shoulders, Starsky’s head on Hutch’s shoulder. I noticed that their breathing matched. Weird. Made me wonder if Simms and mine ever did. And now that the storm had passed, I probably wouldn’t have to strain to hear them. I was right.

Hutch cleared his throat then kissed Starsky’s head. “You seemed to be a little over the top, buddy, once Clancy was shot.”

“He did take a bullet for me, ‘member? I never thanked him properly.”

“What, daily donuts and fancy pastries aren’t enough payback? Damn, the man must’ve gained five pounds!”

Hutch was wrong; it was closer to ten.

“I couldn’t thank him the way I wanted, Hutch.”

“And that way would be…?”

“I wanted to thank him for giving me more time with you by telling him about us, but I couldn’t. An’ there was no way I could thank him enough.” Starsky paused before he said in a soft, pretty emotional voice, “Every second matters with you, ya know, and he gave me lots more seconds. Time with you is everything, babe. There just aren’t enough thanks for that gift.”

Hutch cleared his throat again. I was thinking he was pretty choked up. “Hearing you say that means more to me than when you tell me you love me.”

I heard Starsky snort before he said, “You sure are easy to please. Now, willya unchain me already?”

Soon Starsky was freed and they went back to their previous position. They went quiet again.

Eventually Starsky said, “Hutch, you think I’ll ever get better?”

Hutch gave Starsky another kiss on his head. “I think you will. Remember how you were when that drug finally cleared your system?”

“God, I hated how that dope made me feel. I felt like some zombie on the way to vampire hell and they gave me that other drug –“

“And then all of a sudden you couldn’t stop moving, even when you slept, like you were on high-dose speed or angel dust.”

“Well, I’m glad I don’t feel like a zombie, but this crap…”

“You’re better already, you know. Your brain is going back to its usual wackiness. You don’t have a motor mouth anymore. You were able to pass the psych eval and you’re lasting a little longer after each session. You just have a ways to go before we stop them, though.”

“As long as it doesn’t change who we were before starting this... therapy.” He nuzzled Hutch’s neck for a few seconds before his head wound up back on Hutch’s shoulder. “But I wouldn’t mind a little non-therapeutic bondage now and then when I’m all better.”

I swear Hutch snickered. “I wouldn’t mind either, lover. Glad we switched therapists.”

Starsky giggled -- at least that’s what I called the sound he made. “Yeah. Who’da thought a hippie therapist into far-out treatments would subscribe some bondage and pain, huh?”

“Prescribe, love.”

“Whatever. Say, Hutch?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for loving me and being willin’ to help me out with taming my haywired brain.”

Hutch kissed the top of Starsky’s head again. “Thank you for loving me, too, and allowing me to help you with this. And for giving me the control I need.”

“Me ‘n’ thee, babe.”

“Always, baby.”

“I’m not your baby, Hutch.” Starsky said it without anger, so I figured this was part of their notorious routine of fake arguments and put-downs.

“If the bootie fits…”

“At least it won’t hurt much when I stick my foot up where the sun don’t shine.”

“I’m thinking about something other than your foot.”

“I love it when you’re lewd, cowboy. How about tomorrow?”

“It’s a date.”

There was another minute or so of silence before Starsky said, “We better go. But I gotta pee first.”

“Of course you do. Come on, let’s get dressed.”

In few more minutes, they were fully clothed. They headed up the stairs, arms around each other’s waists. As soon as the door closed, I was out of there. I couldn’t wait to tell Simms all of this, but not before we made us some whoopee (yeah, I love some old-fashioned terms sometimes).

That morning in the dark after our own love-making, I told Simms everything I saw and heard. I finished with, “Can you believe them? I mean, it was beautiful. Intense. Magnificent.”

Simms, never one for many words, nodded. “Yeah.”

“I never even imagined two people could love each other like that. Do you think we…?”

“No. They have a higher love that’s really rare.” He brushed my damp hair off my forehead. “What we have suits me just fine, lover. It’s, uh, pretty spectacular.”

Yep, a man of few words, but when he does say something, it’s always worthwhile listening and appreciating.

Even in the dark, I could see the love, happiness, and truth in his eyes. Sure, what we have may fall short of what I saw with Starsky and Hutch -- I think the intensity would send me to an early grave -- but our love suits me just fine, too.

the end

September 2021