Actions

Work Header

Regarding Starsky

Chapter Text

The sizzle of the shower shook Hutch out of his state of paralysis. He walked over to the window and breathed in the night air. Darkness hid in corners where the streetlight couldn’t reach, but the rest of the city was showing itself through anything from neon lights all the way down to the mood lighting of a corner café. The unmistakable aromas of the pizza take-out downstairs reached him, and the enticing sting of baked garlic alerted his stomach. It was good to have a few minutes to collect himself.

He made his way to the kitchen again, this time for some more solid food. The fridge confessed a large pot he hadn’t noticed before. Mrs. Dobey must’ve brought it. He didn’t even recall whether she’d been carrying anything when she was here earlier. It looked like a one pot meal and revealed itself to be a thick chili.

Hutch blessed the Dobeys’ hearts for taking pity on their dumb asses. This was ten times better than a couple of pizzas from downstairs. Hutch had some bread in the freezer he could throw in the oven, while he heated up the hearty food for Starsky.

Not just Starsky, his stomach complained.

He switched on the stove and the oven and grabbed the bread out of his little freezer. It was whole wheat, Starsky would complain, but it’d have to do.

Again, with the Starsky-thoughts! Hutch wondered if this was what made all mated Alphas seem so pussywhipped.

He grinned at his own silly ideas, noticing his mental clarity had improved with the fresh air and his mate very safely beyond temptation’s reach.

He knew it wouldn’t last, not in the short term anyway. So he had to start putting deeds to words. Starsky had given the okay, so Hutch grabbed the phone and dialed, checking the clock as he did, and wincing at the late hour.

“Yeah!” Dobey bellowed. “Better be Hutch.”

“It is. Sorry, Cap.”

The bluster was reeled in. “Nah, I was half-expecting your call. Edith filled me in.” Dobey gave it a beat and Hutch didn’t know what piece of info to start with first. “So, I hear you’re making plans,” his Captain prompted. Dobey wouldn’t broach a touchy subject with another Alpha unless the other initiated it. And Alphas never did. Couldn’t be seen to be thought of as soft.

Like an Omega? A Beta? When had either of them ever led soft lives? From Hutch’s perspective now, Omegas and Betas were some of the toughest and strongest badasses around, because they’ve had to be. Alphas had just created a world in which no one would notice everyone was fully functional and contributed to society.

“Yeah, we’re working on how to proceed. Starsky agreed to going public with our partnership.” He bit his lip, smashed the kitchen counter and tried again. “We’re together. Mated.”

Opening up to another Alpha wasn’t anything he’d ever seen modeled, and he needed more practice before he could have a routine down. On top of that, this was his Captain and his friend. If nothing else, Hutch owed him respect and clear facts.

“Edith supposed as much,” Dobey dropped his voice. “She also suspected your plans, but we couldn’t be sure.”

“I understand. We’re ready to come in and accept our dismissal. We won’t resign. When we get dismissed, we can take it to Whitelaw and his people. He’s got spin doctors.” Hutch ran into a brick wall. He didn’t know more than that. Whitelaw had given him an opening, but no real information on who, how, when, and what the cost would be to them. The only thing he didn’t worry about was finances. He had enough to float them both for a few years if it all went up the creek. But he wouldn’t have clear answers until he – they – had the sit-down with Whitelaw.

“Listen, Cap. I don’t have a plan worked out, so I’m gonna have to owe you on the details. I just didn’t want you to be taken by surprise, or your wife either. Starsky can’t go back on suppressors, like ever, so hiding it any longer isn’t an option. This is going down and it’ll happen fast. When it does, it’ll bring the whole department into question. Blaine had it rough, but-”

Starsky’s hand slammed on the phone connector out of nowhere, cutting Hutch off. “What the fuck are you doing?!” Hair dripping, towel hanging over one shoulder, his mate was fuming at him. “Dragging Dobey into this?”

Hutch turned the oven and stovetop down and dropped the receiver in place. “He’s in it, Starsk. I didn’t put him there. I wanted to warn him.”

Starsky stared at the phone, then at him. “You don’t get it, Hutch. I owe them! They bent over backwards for me. They’re some of the most selfless people I know. I can’t bring this down on them.”

Hutch didn’t know what else to do. “Look, I don’t have it all figured out, either, but Dobey’s gotta know every step of the way. We can’t have him be caught unawares.”

“He has plausible deniability!”

“It’s not gonna fly, you know that. Not if you’re going to talk about Blaine in the press.”

Starsky pinned Hutch down with a glare. “Well, I ain’t. Never. No one’s gonna know about John.”

“Starsky, everyone already knows about Blaine. Putting you and him together is going to be child’s play by the paparazzi.”

Hutch was pretty sure his mate hadn’t been about to hit him. Not hard anyway.

Starsky pulled up short. “Fuck.”

Hutch let out a slow breath. He reached for the stove and put everything back on a moderate heat. They’d eat if he had to force it down their gullets.

“This is humiliating,” Starsky whispered. “Like my whole sex life is on the chopping block. Like I owe the world anything.”

Hutch wanted to pull his lover to him, protect him from the big bad out there. He’d lock both of them up and live their lives out without interacting with anyone ever again if he’d have his druthers, but it wasn’t an option.

“I’ll be right beside you,” he promised, “every damn step of the way.”

Starsky moved closer, and leaned against Hutch’s side, body touching completely from shoulder all the way down to his feet. “You don’t even know everything that went down, Hutch. Don’t you want to hear it from me first?”

Hutch rammed down his flash of jealousy where Starsky couldn’t see it. It was the best he could do. He preferred not to hear any of it, ever, quite frankly. At the same time, he needed to know what to hate Blaine for, the other man in Starsky’s life. Which acts he had performed on Starsky? And to be fair, he wanted to know about the care the man had taken in the years Blaine had kept Starsky safe, because he was grateful someone had.

“I want to hear it, when you’re ready to tell me.”   

“That’ll be never,” Starsky quipped, with a halfhearted laugh.

Hutch smiled. “Never is okay too. You set the pace.”

“About Dobey,” Starsky started reluctantly. “You’ll want to know about him too.”

That was stretching it for Hutch. Dobey was his friend. Blaine had been his colleague and he’d always assumed Blaine and his wife had kind of adopted Starsky, as Hutch had been going on the premise of his partner being an unattached Beta. The whole thing had made some sort of sense, and he’d kept out of it as much as he’d been able to.

“Starsk, I’m not sure I’m ready for anything you can tell me about Dobey that I don’t already know.” And he wished he could scrub those details from his mind too. “But whatever you need me to know,” he stirred the chili intently, “I’ll listen.”

Starsky smelled like clean skin, shampooed hair and Hutch’s bar soap. The thick wall of pheromones and after-coital sweat and slick had also faded from the room. Hutch noticed he’d been capable of complex problem-solving ever since Starsky had gotten out of the shower. “Thanks for the shower,” he grinned.

Starsky winked at him, knowingly. “You’d passed the test, so I cut you a break. And myself,” he added, with an exaggerated sniff.

“What test?”

“Believe me, I know a little something about triggering ruts in Alphas who think they can ‘handle’ it.”

Hutch was sure that the line that Starsky had walked in the world of Alphas had been a fine tripwire, full of snares and pitfalls. He stirred the steaming beef and beans. “How did you test me?”

“Every which way.” Starsky grabbed the ladle in Hutch’s hand and aimed it at his mouth to taste the chili. He hummed happily. “Remember I asked for food when you had just barely come off round one of your rut?”

“So?” Hutch popped down to check on the bread, which was pretty much done.

“Food was the last thing on your agenda,” Starsky gave him a once over, “Still is, I’m pretty sure. But you made me that banana blend thingy.”

Hutch grinned. It had truly been the last thing he’d wanted to concentrate on, but it had been easy enough to set is mind to when it came down to taking care of his mate. “Well, you’re standing up, aren’t you? I just didn’t want you to fall over from oversexed hunger.”

“Exactly my point,” Starsky said, grabbing bowls and holding them at the ready. “You’re standing here cooking me some real food instead of pinning me down and fucking me senseless like you want to.”

Hutch did want to, there was no denying that, but there was no need to admit it. “Heating up somebody else’s cooking’s hardly a culinary feat,” he pointed out defensively. Hutch ladled big scoops into the bows, while both their stomachs growled.

“Same dif.” Starsky leaned in closer if that were possible. “In case you didn’t notice, I was in your face, blocking the fridge when you were trying to make that smoothie. You couldn’t miss me.”

Hutch hadn’t missed that. It had taken all he had to stay on course. His cock ached to complain about it even now.

Starsky seemed to have no mercy as he continued, “You coulda taken me right there. I was dripping in sex smells and you didn’t take advantage of me.”

Hutch almost dropped the ladle. It was a good thing Starsky was manning the bowls. “I’m not an animal,” he whispered finally.

“To an Omega, that’s the ten-million-dollar question with you Alphas.” Starsky handed him his bowl and grabbed a spoon to start digging in. “I needed to check if you were gonna turn all old-school on me after biting me. You wouldn’t be the first sweet-talking Alpha to change their tune after claiming a mate.”

Hutch let it sink in. There was no recourse under the law after a mate was claimed. Starsky had a right to be cautious and suspicious, even of him. Even after seven years of partnership. How would Starsky know until after the fact what his fate would be with Hutch?

Hutch watched as Starsky flopped down at the kitchen table and ripped a chunk off the sizzling bread to dip into the chili.

Hutch didn’t think his throat would open up enough to even contemplate eating this gorgeously smelling food right now. “Starsk, you let me claim you, not knowing for sure if I wouldn’t subjugate you?”

His mate looked up at him, a deadness covering his features that Hutch had seen this morning at Sweet Alice’s. The light from his scattered lamps reflected into his mate’s eyes, while neither of them ate for a long minute. “I kept my fingers crossed,” Starsky’s resolve seemed to falter.

Hutch rushed to his mate, grabbed the other kitchen chair to sit as close as he could. “I would never. They’re just stupid instincts,” he explained. “I’m not my instincts. I’ll never give in to them.”

He’d seen lives ruined over the old Alpha claim that mating instincts were uncontrollable. He’d vowed to himself he was better than that. Now it was a pledge to his mate.

Hutch watched Starsky’s painful deadness soften into something gentler and more vulnerable.

“I’d’ve let ya,” Starsky admitted. “From day one. If you’d asked.”

Hutch knew he’d happily die of hunger to hear these words. His mate’s willingness to commit to him fully filled his Alpha soul with confidence. Another thing he’d never admit to, but it lifted his soul. “Thank you for waiting for me,” he said, not sure it was coming out right. “For trusting me.”

“Fat lot of trust. I lied to your face every day we were together.”

“I don’t know if I could’ve been what you needed from me then, but I know I can now.”

Before Starsky could answer, the phone rang. Hutch had to tear himself away to grab it off the kitchen counter and throw the wire back into the living room. He plonked down at the table, wedging the cradle in between the two heaping bowls of chili, and picked up the receiver. “Yeah?”

“Hutch, it’s Edith,” a warm, gentle voice greeted him.

“Oh, Mrs. Dobey,” he nodded towards Starsky. This was bound to be a talk for Omega ears only. “I’ll hand you over to Starsky.”

“No, let me talk to you both.”

Hutch balanced the phone between them on his shoulder, their temples touching over the earpiece. The simple touch filled him more than food could.

“Davy?”

“I’m here.” Starsky’s voice was lighter too. Nothing to prove.

Hutch hadn’t known of Edith’s role in Starsky’s life until today, and he valued her so much more now.

“Hutch did the thing,” Starsky’s smile was unguarded. “And I’m not shackled to the bed, butt naked. So that’s something.”

Hutch refrained from mentioning that despite the carelessly draped towel, Starsky was indeed butt naked.

“Yeah, some of them aren’t so bad, are they?” she chuckled.

“Guess not.”

“First of all, Hal let me know that he’s not going to fire you.”

Hutch held his breath.

“The pressure on the Department to keep Omegas out will get ramped up from above, but he’s got your backs.”

Hutch was unsure how to react to police business from his Captain’s wife. It was a new world, and he’d better learn to swim in it. “We value his support.”

Starsky’s head dipped in confidence. “If you had anything to do with that, then I admire our work.”

Edith’s small laugh was Starsky’s reward. “I didn’t, but we do work as a team in our marriage.”

Hutch had never heard any Omega say that before. He imagined his mother putting herself on the same level as his father, and Hutch just couldn’t. Time for change. “I hear you, Edith,” he said, daring to use the familiar with another Alpha’s Omega.

Starsky darted his eyes to Hutch’s mouth, then searched his face.

Hutch made it a promise. “Partners,” he whispered. “Nothing’s changed.”

Tension left his Omega’s frame, as Starsky sagged a little closer and moved in more intimately.

This was the Starsky Hutch wanted, not some sex-ready house slave. He reached around Starsky’s back, letting his Omega deal with keeping the phone up to their ears. He needed his mate in his arms, and Starsky’s sigh of contentment when they settled together, told him he was wanted. Hutch couldn’t conceive of anything more satisfying than that. 

“Boys, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to come out of hiding. I will stand by you both when you come out to the world. Please keep me in the loop how things unfold, because I’ll reveal my work in Omega medicine when you go to the press.”

Hutch didn’t ask what Dobey thought of that. He didn’t warn Edith it was too dangerous. He knew he couldn’t do his duty as an Alpha, but that left him uneasy. He looked at his partner, his life mate, and in the blue depths that stared back at him, he realized that his duty as a human being was to help Edith, not to tell her what to do.

Starsky nodded slowly.

“We hear you, Edith,” Hutch said. “We’ll be honored to support you in any way we can.”

“Thank you,” Starsky whispered.

She continued, with an invigorated cadence. “I’ll talk to the Omega network, and Whitelaw. We can coordinate.”

Starsky tensed up again, but differently than before. “That’s it. Listen, we need to talk to every Omega we know who is working in whatever way in society. All of us come out together. Show ourselves in a large reveal.”

Hutch grabbed Starsky’s spoon filled hand and kissed the fingers. “That’s right. There’s power in numbers. They can stop one of us, they can try to stop Whitelaw, but they can’t stop a movement. That’s how the Beta Civil Rights were won. We need to get everyone to stand with us. Omega males, working Omegas, employers, spouses, all walks of life. All their Beta and Alpha friends and family might stand with us. Once we have some of those, this could ripple to all walks of life.”

“We can make a difference,” Starsky breathed, as if it had been a useless pipedream of Hutch’s until just now. Edith’s offer seemed to have carried him over the line.

“We can. I swear it,” Hutch swore to his mate. He’d move heaven and earth for Starsky. He would have to do just that. “And we get to stay in Bay City as ourselves.”

“Edith,” Starsky croaked through a strangled, happy voice voice. “Sweet Alice. Right? And I know some others in the Department. The Cap knows them,” he tilted his head, “well, he probably does. I’ll talk to them.”

“Hal says you guys need a plan, so get yourselves sorted out first. Then we’ll talk to Whitelaw’s campaign manager.”

Hutch was quick to add, “We have an invite to his home. Maybe he has something like this in mind too.”

A joyful silence fell for long seconds, while Hutch noticed a light on the horizon that hadn’t been there before. It wasn’t dawn yet. It was a dawn of a new age.

“Thank you, Edith, we won’t keep you up any longer.” Starsky just smiled at Hutch as they let the receiver fall back on the hook.

“Can you see it?” Hutch asked, starting to kiss Starsky’s mouth, cheek, eyes, nose. “We can make a difference.”

“I don’t know how to feel,” Starsky was trembling slightly.

Hutch pulled him in closer, though he knew the shivers weren’t a sign his mate was cold.

“Did I waste all this time, Hutch? I could’ve been doing something important. Some days it was just so hard to put one foot in front of the other, between the job and suppressors and looking over my shoulder and keeping the truth from you.”

He had to push away the same feelings, but they weren’t true. They couldn’t be. “We couldn’t have done this seven, even three, two years ago. We didn’t have the resources, and we weren’t solidly united. It’s now because all this is coming together through the network we’ve built up around us. Mostly you, babe. Even Whitelaw because of Blaine and you. It all adds up. So it’s us, now, because we can do this, now. And if we don’t make it, then there will be someone who’ll have seen us try, and the next generation will make it.”

“It’s a lot to take on.” Starsky stopped shivering in Hutch’s arms. He was still and firm.

“It’s a big job, babe, but I’ll happily take it on with you, even if we fail. We do what we can to chip away at the system, just like we’ve always done.”

Starsky pulled Hutch up from the table and dragged him toward the bed. “Bring the bowls. I intend to eat after you’ve worked some more of that cock inside me.”

“Now?”

“Revolutions make me horny, what can I say?”

“And revolutionaries turn me on,” Hutch countered, balancing two bows, the bread and the spoons while being pulled to their happy nest by his strongminded Omega mate.

The future proved to be an adventure. Their lives had never been boring. Hutch knew he was the luckiest Alpha in the world.

 

το τέλος (the end)

αβω ΑΒΩ