“Are you saying you knew right from the start, Frankie? Ever since Starsky and I started coming here? I can’t believe it.”
Frankie looked up from the pile of dirty towels he was collecting and replied “Well actually Hutch, when you guys first asked me, what five years ago now, if I was curious about what you did for a living, I honestly answered that I had no questions. Better my head in the sand than my tail in a sling, I said. But, I actually knew all along. Ever since the days when you, Starsky and Colby would come in here to work out.”
Frankie continued “Colby told me straight out that you were in the Police Academy together, bragging about it like he was king shit. He said I should keep that to myself though, in case you ever went undercover and I needed - what did he call it - oh yeah, plausible deniability, whatever that means. Then a few years later, after that whole ugly scene happened with him being arrested, it was all out in the open anyways.”
“You hear that Starsk? Frankie was playing us back then. I might be angry, but actually I’m more impressed with his ability to keep a secret than anything.” Hutch put his hand on Frankie’s shoulder and gave it a friendly squeeze.
“I can keep lots of secrets Hutch” Frankie said with conviction “You guys ought to know. I mean, only your gym owner knows for sure, right?”
Frankie smiled and walked out, leaving Starsky and Hutch alone in the locker room.
“What do you think he meant by that Starsk? When he said that he can keep lots of secrets. And that only he can know for sure?”
“I don’t know Hutch. Maybe Frankie is like that American-Indian mute character from the movie ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. You know, always around, picking up conversations, but not really being noticed. Maybe Frankie heard about the time you got jock itch. Or got dumped by what’s-her-name. Or had a blister on your big toe.”
“Well Starsk, I’m sure there were a few tidbits about you too. Like the time you had a full on fit when the striped tomato needed a new transmission. Or when you got dumped by whoever she was.”
Starsky shrugged his shoulders in agreement “Come on Hutch, let’s go to Huggy’s and get a beer. After that nice hot shower we just had, I could really go for something frothy.”
The duo propped themselves up at the bar in unison. Starsky started tapping merrily on the counter to the beat coming from the jukebox, singing along “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Ya, if it means being without you, I don’t wanna be right...”
“Starsky, would you stop that.” Hutch looked over at his partner and shook his head. “I didn’t think you even liked R&B music.”
“I like all kinds of music Hutch. I’m a free, romantic spirit. You know that.”
“Sure Starsk, sure. Hey, where’s Huggy. I’m getting hungry.”
As if on cue, Huggy rounded the corner “Well if it isn’t my two favourite detectives. Not that it isn’t good to see you here, but didn’t you tell me it was your day off today?"
Starsky stopped drumming and said happily “It sure is our day off Hug. We just came from the gym, and thought we’d grab a bite to eat. Then later we’re going to take in a movie downtown.”
“Starsky has been bugging me to take him to see Tootsie. It’s a movie about a male actor that dresses like a woman to get a leading role in a soap opera. It’s supposed to be really funny with a hot leading lady too.”
Huggy winked and said “Oh sure, can’t miss a romantic comedy with a hot leading lady, can you. Well, here you go, two hot Huggy specials. Now I must go serve my other patrons who actually pay their bills. Have a most entertaining time on your date you two!”
Hutch snickered. “Did you hear that Starsk? Huggy called it a date.”
“Huggy always did have a funny way with words. Hey Hutch, pass the ketchup will ya?”
The next morning, Starsky and Hutch were driving to the station, feeling refreshed from their day off. “That really was a great movie last night wasn’t it Hutch. I hear that it might be up for an Oscar”
"I enjoyed it too Starsk. But I didn’t enjoy watching you eat two buckets of extra butter popcorn. I mean seriously, where do you put it? It’s not good for your cholesterol you know”
Just then, Mildred’s voice came over the police radio “Come in Zebra Three. See the woman named Sweet Alice at Barney’s Bar and Tavern”
Hutch picked up the mic and said “This is Zebra Three. Copy that. We are in the area and are responding”
“Wonder what Sweet Alice wants Starsk.”
“Don’t know, but we’ll soon find out.” Starsky cranked the steering wheel with a hard left and turned the car around.
As they entered Barney’s tavern, they saw Sweet Alice sitting by herself at the end of the bar. Alice turned her head and offered a huge smile.
“Hello Handsome Hutch. I was hoping you’d get here soon. You still breaking hearts all over town?”
“Hi Alice”, said Hutch smiling shyly, “is everything alright? Are you ok?” He gently touched her arm and asked with genuine concern.
“Oh, I’m ok now Hutch. You see earlier, there was this guy who started to proposition me. But I didn’t like his attitude, and when I don’t like a man’s attitude, I just flat out turn him down. Well, he didn’t appreciate that, so he started putting up a fuss. Barney here called the police but then the guy took off. I told Barney to be sure to ask for you two specifically. I hope you don’t mind.”
“No we don’t mind, not one bit. Listen Alice, I’m going to talk to Barney for a minute. Starsky here can finish taking your statement, ok?”
“Hey Sweet Alice” Starsky nodded hello “I’m glad you’re alright.”
“Thanks Starsky. I’m glad you’re alright too. I heard you had a hard time last year recovering from that assassination attempt. It’s so good to see you back in action”. She then looked over at Hutch who was speaking to Barney. “Tell me again why somebody hasn’t just snatched Hutch over there up.”
“Well, like I’ve said before, not everyone sees him quite like you do Alice.”
“You mean, not quite like we do, don’t you Starsky?”
“Uh, sure. Like we do. Wait, what do you mean Alice?”
“Oh I’m sorry Starsky, I just meant..Well, after last year, you two sure showed the world what ‘in sickness and health’ really means.”
Just then Hutch returned and said. “Hey you two, stop flirting, you know I’m the jealous type.”
Starsky reddened while Alice just smiled. “Don’t worry, we weren’t flirting Hutch. We know you’re a catch worth holding onto.”
Hutch leaned over and gave Alice a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks darling. Starsky and I have go get going now. But if that guy ever comes back, you know how to find us.”
Starsky and Hutch left for the station, and Starsky was uncharacteristically quiet for the rest of the day.
At the end of their shift, Hutch invited Starsky up for a beer and pizza, thinking some relaxation might coax Starsky out of his unexplained funk.
After finishing off a few slices and well into his second beer, Starsky spoke, “You know Hutch, the last couple of days have been really weird. Some of our friends have been saying things from way out in left field.”
Hutch took a large swig of his beer before replying. “I know what you mean Starsk. I noticed it too. First Frankie says he can ‘keep a secret’, then Huggy says we’re ‘going on a date’.”
“Yup and then Sweet Alice says something that sounded like we were married. Like how we stick by each other in sickness and health or something like that.”
Hutch nearly spit out his beer. “She said what?”
“At least that’s what I thought she said. I don’t know Hutch, but I feel like the universe is trying to tell us something.”
“Tell us something like what? That we act like we’re married? Or that we’re a romantic couple? Or that people think we are?” What exactly are you saying Starsky?”
“I’m just saying that I heard what some other people were saying and even though I heard what they were saying I didn’t know what it was they were trying to say.”
“Thanks Starsk, that really clears things up.”
“Listen Hutch, let’s just take a step back for a minute here. I mean maybe we’re getting this wrong. We’re detectives, we can figure this out. Let’s look at the facts.”
You’re right Starsk” Hutch started to calm down. “So, what do we got?”
“Well, several of our friends have made some comments that might lead us to believe they think we are a couple.” Starsky added in a low voice “Like you know, a couple couple.”
“And we can say Starsk, that these friends have made those comments separately, on different occasions, and in different settings.”
“Frankie, Huggy and Sweet Alice, for all intents and purposes, don’t hang out with each other on a regular basis. If ever at all. So, they are likely not in collaboration with each other.” added Starsky, as he started to pace the room as he talked.
“And even less likely to be pulling a practical joke on us” said Hutch as a matter of fact. “And let’s not forget that we have always trusted each of them over the years without hesitation.”
“So, it seems that, looking at these facts, our friends do indeed, separately and collectively, seem to think, or at least suspect, that you and me Hutch, are a romantic couple.”
“But their actual proof of this?” Hutch inquired.
“Circumstantial at best.” Starsky replied with disappointment.
“Which leads us…?”
“Right back to square one.” Starsky said with a sigh, sinking into a chair with his head in his hands.
After a moment, Starsky added “You know Hutch, thinking back over the years, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard these kinds of comments. Huggy has made the joke about us being on a date many times, and he also called you ‘my better half’ once.”
“Oh crap”, said Hutch, “I just remembered a conversation I had with my sister last year. She kept calling you my life partner. And I thought, yes Starsky is my partner and yes he will be for life, so it made perfect sense to me.” Hutch blushed. “Ok, I hear it now. Go ahead, insert blond joke here.”
But instead of a quick comeback, Starsky remained pensive.
“I think we need to take this in another direction Hutch. We need to settle this by finding some proof of our own.”
Hutch thought a moment and snapped his fingers “I have an idea. You ever use litmus paper back in high school chemistry class? It would turn red if a solution was acid or blue if it’s alkaline."
“Well, I remember sitting beside Melinda Patterson in chemistry class. She was developing in all the right places, if you know what I mean. But whether litmus paper turned red or blue was all I could think about.” Starsky rolled his eyes.
Hutch gave Starsky a wary look. “Very funny, Casanova. No, I’m talking about litmus tests, but more in the figurative sense. You know, a test that can be performed to determine the true nature of something, like whether it’s acceptable or not. ”
“Hmm, interesting idea Ollie. Now just what kind of litmus test did you have in mind?”
Hutch snapped his fingers again “I got it”
“What’cha got Hutch”
“I got an idea for a litmus test. Think about it Starsk. If you were dating a girl, and if you were really in a romantic relationship with her, well, you’d kiss her, right?”
Starsky smiled and straightened up in his seat. “Indeed I would kiss her. You saying you and me should try kissing?”
“That’s precisely what I’m saying. We try out a kiss. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy. But once it’s done, it will put this discussion to rest once and for all” Hutch scooched down the sofa to make room for Starsky. “Now, come on over here and sit beside me.”
Starsky obliged and took his position on the couch next to Hutch. He tried to relax with an exaggerated wiggle of his upper body and arms. “You want my eyes open or closed for this Hutch?”
“Whatever makes you comfortable Starsk” Hutch replied in a low voice.
Starsky closed his eyes and waited for the next instruction. Hutch stopped for a moment and looked with piercing intensity at his partner. Starsky’s face looked so familiar and yet so new at the same time. His expression was so vulnerable and trusting. Was there a hint of anticipation and excitement too?
Hutch raised his right hand and cupped Starsky’s cheek, his thumb gently caressing Starsky’s closed eyelid and moving smoothly down his temple.
The next thing they knew, their lips were touching. It was soft and gentle and slow, both of them memorizing the feel of each other’s lips, in case this was the only kiss they would ever have. Wondering if the other was going to pull away, or burst out laughing, but each feeling no inclination to stop.
Finally, their lips broke free, their foreheads still touching.
“That was very, very, very amazing” Starsky said through heavy breaths.
“I was going to say incredible, but amazing will do” Hutch added, his velvet voice melting Starsky’s insides even more.
“So I guess the results are in, huh Hutch?”
Hutch straightened his head and rubbed his nose. “I don’t think so Starsk.”
Starsky’s face fell.
“No, no I mean, sometimes you need to uh, repeat an experiment to see if you get the same results, before you can declare your hypothesis proven. So, maybe we need to kiss again. You know, in case there was some unknown contamination skewing the first set of results or something.”
Starsky’s mouth turned up in a half smile “Hutch, you sweet talker you.”
Like a cat, he moved over to straddle Hutch’s lap. Starsky placed his hands on Hutch’s head and ran his fingers through the golden locks, leaning in for another kiss. Hutch’s hands in turn found their rightful place around Starsky’s back as he pulled him close. Their lips pushing against each other, matched with equal intensity. Their tongues entering each other’s mouths in happy and energetic exploration.
Without releasing his lips, Starsky started unbuckling Hutch’s jeans, removing them to reveal Hutch’s very erect cock.
Hutch said ‘Hold up a second Starsk. Bedroom. And your pants off too.”
Next thing they knew, they were both naked on Hutch’s brass bed. Their lips were together again, not wanting to be apart for even one more second.
As if reading each other’s minds, they found each other’s cocks with their hands, stroking one another in synchronized harmony. Hutch started to come, blissfully yelling Starsky’s name. Starsky soon followed suit, his come shooting out and engulfing Hutch’s hand and stomach.
As they lay on the bed in the afterglow, Hutch said “I think we can safely say that the evidence is highly stacked in favour of us being in a romantic relationship Starsk. Probably for longer than we even knew I might add” He chuckled “Maybe we ought to send our friends a thank-you note.”
Starsky laughed in agreement “Good idea. How’s this sound”
Dear Friends, Family and Other Esteemed and Random Acquaintances:
It looks like you were right all along. Hutch and I not only love each other, but we are hot for each other’s bodies with no end in sight. We truly appreciate your astute observations, without which none of this extraordinary sex would have been possible. We will be sure to keep you posted as we continue on our life long journey of love and passion.
Sincerely yours in friendship and love,
Starsky and Hutch.
Hutch rolled over and put his arm around Starsky, pulling a blanket over both of their bodies. “Now that” Hutch said as he kissed Starsky lightly on the shoulder. “Was just perfect partner. I’d say that time we really clinched it”
“Sure did Hutch. But I think we’ll need to keep experimenting. I’m warnin’ ya. It might take years to really prove the point.”
They were definitely both up for the challenge.