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Time Regained

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Time passes. It passes quickly. A week, a month, six months, a year. Two years. The two become three. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

He contemplates on the passage of time. He contemplates on the missed opportunities. On all the things he wants and yearns for and longs for and desires. On the lost time. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

Lovers come and go, for both of them. They always go, though. Still, he's scared that maybe one day someone will stay. Permanently. Then he will be left with nothing but a gaping wound in his chest where his life will slowly bleed out from. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

They ride in the car together. They sit at their desks together. They go on vacation together. They spend their free time together. They are partners in every sense of the word except the one he wishes for the most. It hurts and it keeps him up at night. And when he does sleep, his dreams leave him breathless and aching. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

They touch. Constantly. A pat on the stomach. A squeeze of the thigh. A hand cradling a neck. A palm cupping a cheek. A hand stroking hair. Fingers brushing when they pass a mug of coffee or a bottle of beer between them. Arms brushing when they walk side by side and legs touching when they sit next to each other, closer than conjoined twins. Warm hugs that last a tiny bit longer than they should. It's healing him. It's killing him. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

Their eyes meet across rooms, desks, car roofs. A sea of unspoken things churns in every look. Their bodies seek to be close, never straying far from each other. His heart skips a beat every time a smile full of promise is directed at him. He forgets to breathe every time he's gifted with a playful wink. The tension between them is palpable. It crackles like a live wire. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

He fights his feelings. He drowns in them. He is ecstatic. He is terrified. He feels brave. He panics. He runs hot and cold. Turned on and petrified. It's blissful. It's excruciating. His love consumes him. It burns with the power of a thousand suns. It reduces him to ash and scatters him in the wind. His desire rages like a never ending lightning storm. He is scorched earth. Yet he doesn't dare make a move.

Even though there's fire sparking underneath their every interaction. Even though the air they share is filled with a need that throbs and writhes with every breath they take. Even though the love that ties them together has bloomed into a wild thing, screaming and struggling against the cage of mere frienship that can barely contain it anymore. Even though their flirting could burn the whole city down.

On Valentine's day they somehow end up with a box of pilfered heart-shaped candy from the precinct. He eats the last zabaglione-truffle filled praline knowing full well his partner wants that particular one, he's never heard of zabaglione before and wants to try it. He doesn't really know then why he pops it into his mouth, he does things like this sometimes. He grins goofily and makes a noise to indicate how good it is.

In the next instant he finds himself crowded against the arm of the couch, Starsky's lips a hair's breadth away from his. He is determined to taste that zabanini cream at any cost but he gives Hutch the chance to pull away if he wants. He doesn't.

The kiss is everything he ever wanted. It's nothing like he ever imagined. It rips him apart. It makes him whole. It scatters his atoms. It builds him back up. It kills him. It resurrects him.

In between kisses - so many kisses - Starsky mumbles questions of "what were you waiting for" and "why do you always overthink your overthinking" and "do you think it was less of a torture for me" without expecting an answer.

In between kisses - so many different kinds of kisses - he learns that the zaboni tastes good but he tastes much better. He learns he is Starsky's favorite flavor and he wants to taste him every day. He learns Starsky is as much in love with him as he is with Starsky. He learns, beyond any doubt, the addiction is mutual.

He loudly thanks Cupid for that box of candy and whoever invented the zabaglione cream. Starsky laughs his happy laughter wrapped in his arms and Hutch knows that from now on, there is absolutely no move he won't dare make.