The VP Round Robin
Updated March 12, 2000
Organized by: Rosemary. Interested in joining in the fun? email:CrowRow@aol.com
| The Torino crawled down Pico Blvd., slower than
the proverbial tortoise. Starsky knew this to be true, because for the last five minutes
he'd been curiously watching the progress of a large turtle along the bank of the road.
The lawn sprinklers about twenty yards ahead appeared to be the turtle's destination. With
the way traffic was going, Starsky was willing to bet that the scaly beast would be on his
way back long before the Torino made it as far as the sprinklers.
"I wish they'd just outlaw the damn thing."
The disgruntled comment from his passenger seat brought Starsky's gaze away from the turtle and over to Hutch. For the past week, Hutch had been getting touchier and touchier. Almost any little thing would get Hutch furious. Normally, Starsky knew immediately when something was wrong with his partner, but Hutch's behavior of late had him completely confused.
"It is outlawed. They're calling it gridlock these days. Huggy told me yesterday that they're even gonna add the word to the dictionary."
"Not the traffic," Hutch grumped.
"That," the blond said, gesturing out his open window.
Confused, Starsky's gaze followed the trail of that moving hand - to a card store that had yet to open for business today. The windows were all plastered with large red and pink hearts and cupids with bows and arrows in honor of the up-coming holiday.
"Huh?" Starsky inquired, not seeing any irritant over there. No hooker, no loser of a guy with a stunning girl on his arm. nothing but a closed down card shop.
"Valentine's Day. It's getting worse than Christmas. Nothing but a load of commercial sentimentality. Guilt your boyfriend into buying you an expensive present."
Starsky sighed. He should have guessed. "Well, for once we're off the hook. Neither one 'uv us's got anyone to guilt them into anything this year."
"Do me a favor and shut up, would ya?"
"Huh? What'd I say wrong?" Starsky wondered aloud.
"The fact that we are both still supremely unattached at our ages is in no way comforting. Just forget I mentioned it, okay?"
Ah, so it wasn't so much the commercialism of the holiday. It was the fact that they were on the side-lines once again that was bothering his partner. Starsky could sympathize. Being uninvolved when everyone else in the world was being deliriously romanced sucked.
But this year it wasn't their fault. Gunther's attack and all the subsequent hospital stays, doctor and therapy appointments had kept them both out of the fast lane these past six months. Hutch had stuck to him like glue through it all, but it hadn't been easy on either of them. Starsky was only now getting back in shape. He still wasn't back on active duty. As for Hutch... Starsky knew his partner was still suffering from nightmares of the attack. Just looking at Hutch the morning after, Starsky could always tell when his friend had had a bad night. It had been the same for Starsky when he'd gotten back from 'Nam. Weeks and weeks of waking up screaming.
But Hutch's nightmares and his own near demise were something they never talked about.
Feeling guilty that he was the cause of Hutch's uninvolved status this Valentine's Day, Starsky softly muttered, "I'm really sorry, man."
"Huh? What're you lookin' at me like that for?"
"If it weren't for me gettin' shot, you wouldn't be on the sidelines this year..."
Hutch sighed and slumped back against the seat. "It isn't your fault, buddy. I'm just in a bad mood. I've been on the sidelines the last few years. You didn't have anything to do with it."
Starsky wanted to believe that was true. Deep down in his heart, he really wanted to believe it. But the one thing he knew best on this Earth was Kenneth Hutchinson and everything he knew about Hutch was telling him that his partner had just lied to him.
Starsky didn't know what the lie was, but he knew that tone. It was the 'sparing his feelings' voice that always sent a zillion alarm bells ringing through his head.
"I didn't?" Starsky quizzed, watching that handsome face close since they were stopped dead in traffic now and the turtle had won the damn race to the sprinklers.
"No, babe, " Hutch's crystal blue eyes shied away from him. "It's not your fault. I'm sorry I took it out on you."
Starsky reached out to lay his hand on the nape of his partner's neck, just above the collar of Hutch's black leather jacket. The blond hair was softer than rabbit fur beneath his fingers.
"That's what I'm here for," Starsky said, giving the back of Hutch's neck a squeeze.
Normally, when Starsky did that, the demands of the road would have forced him to miss what happened then. He'd never touched Hutch like that while looking directly at his partner's face before. Although Hutch's gaze was diverted, as if to hide from him, Starsky caught the fleeting emotion that crossed Hutch's features. Those wheat colored lashes lowered as Hutch almost winced in pain. In a breath, the reaction was washed away and the blond's features schooled to a normal expression, but Starsky had seen the hurt... like his touch had just ripped Hutch's heart out.
He knew that squeeze hadn't physically injured his partner. It had all been emotional. But why Hutch would find his touch hurtful was....
Recalling the lie he'd sensed when Hutch had said it wasn't Starsky's fault that he was on the sidelines this year, his brain made an incredible correlation between these two very separate events. There was a premise that would explain away both Hutch being touch shy and out of circulation. If his partner were interested in someone he believed he could never have, Hutch's fervor for dating might be radically decreased. Hutch might also find that unobtainable someone's touches painful.
It wasn't something Starsky had ever really thought about, but... it fit. Maybe.
On some level, Starsky knew that he should feel freaked out by such a realization. Time was, discovering or even suspecting that a male friend was sexually interested in him would have been enough to totally unnerve him. But this wasn't just a male friend. This was Hutch. Sex wasn't even the main issue here, because Starsky knew whatever this was, it was about a hell of a lot more than getting one's rocks off. All that mattered to him right now was that something was hurting the person who'd held his entire world together this last year. If something hurt Hutch, it hurt him. It was as easy as that.
But he couldn't go running off half cocked with this particular theory. If he were wrong, or even if he were right and handled it badly, he could hurt his proud partner a lot worse than by remaining oblivious.
The first point of order was to test his theory, Starsky realized.
Traffic still stopped to a complete standstill, Starsky called out in a gruff undertone, "Hey, there."
Almost as if against his will, Hutch looked over at him, the blond's wide, lined handsome face almost set with determination. "What's up?"
"You got some stuff on your face."
Before hutch could check the vanity mirror, Starsky reached out,
sensually rubbing his right thumb over Hutch's high cheekbone, letting it trail almost accidentally over those full wide lips.
Since he was looking for it, Starsky picked up on the helpless shiver his partner gave. But Hutch's face remained still, as if set in stone. Feeling the tension in his friend's body, realizing how much emotion Hutch was suppressing here, Starsky's heart almost broke.
Starsky knew that he was a big toucher. A dozen, maybe more times a day he put hutch through something like this. Starsky recognized that it must be killing his partner by slow degrees. To be so close, and not be able to take hold of what you wanted, what was practically flaunted in your face on a daily basis...
Hutch must hate him at times.
"Starsk?" Hutch croaked uncertainly, his eyes almost scared. He looked trapped, confused, overwhelmed.
Stunned, Starsky realized that he'd seen that expression a dozen times a day... for years. It had just never consciously registered before. If Starsky had noticed it at all in the past, he'd just considered it a holdover from Hutch's austere rearing. Recognizing how deeply and how long he'd been hurting his closest friend, Starsky almost felt like crying.
He'd never seen. Hutch had been... in love with him for God only knew how long, and he'd just never seen it. What the hell kind of a detective did that make him? What kind of friend?
Starsky didn't even need to ask himself why Hutch had never said anything or made a move on him. They were the only real family either of them had here in California. There was just too much at stake here to risk rejection. But living with it had to be sheer Hell.
Well, not any more, Starsky determined. The days of living in denial were over for Hutch. Catching sigh of those ridiculous red hearts in the window beyond Hutch's chiseled profile, Starsky resolved that this was one Valentines Day that hutch was not going to remain on the sidelines. Whatever it took, Starsky was going to make all that pain up to his partner.
"Starsk?" Hutch repeated, an edge of panic entering his voice, no doubt inspired by Starsky's hand lingering so long on his cheek as Starsky stared into his eyes.
"Sorry. Got lost in those baby blues for a minute," Starsky honestly explained as he withdrew.
"What?" Hutch sat up straighter.
Looking back at the still-obstructed road, Starsky allowed some of his uncertainty to peek out. If he was wrong about this, he was gonna blow everything. "I, ah, guess that sounds pretty weird, huh? I just never noticed how blue your eyes are. Sorry. Didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
Starsky deliberately played up the repentance, making it look like he was worried about his machismo.
"It didn't... I mean, it's okay." Hutch mumbled.
Starsky looked over at his flustered friend again. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," Hutch's gaze skittered away from his almost guiltily.
Needing a bit more proof before he embarked on this most dangerous course, Starsky once again laid his hand on Hutch's shoulder, this time not even pretending that he was doing anything but stroking the soft blond hair.
If Hutch didn't feel the way Starsky suspected he did, the tall blond should have immediately exploded at that liberty. Instead of a burst of macho pride, a gut-wrenchingly vulnerable expression swept across Hutch's face, softening the proud, hard lines until it looked as if Hutch's heart were breaking.
"You mind?" Starsky whispered, pinning Hutch with an intense stare, which he knew revealed everything on his mind.
He heard Hutch swallow, saw that Adam's apple bob as his friend opened his mouth to speak... but didn't seem able to. After a breathless eternity, Hutch slowly shook his head, indicating that no, he didn't mind the touch.
Brave. His partner was the bravest man he knew. Starsky wasn't sure if he would have been able to even silently consent like that if their positions had been reversed and he didn't know what Hutch was playing at with the touch. But Hutch apparently wanted it so badly, he didn't care what interpretation Starsky gave to it. But Hutch was still scared almost speechless. Starsky could see that.
"Tonight's Valentine's Day," Starsky said softly. "Will you let me take you out to dinner?"
The blond found his voice, or a gruff facsimile of it. "You mean, like, a date -- the two of us?"
Hutch's voice was so thick, he sounded almost drunk.
Starsky nodded, "Yeah."
"This isn't a joke?"
"No, babe. I'm dead serious." Starsky confessed, his guts tied in knots as he laid his entire world on the line.
He stared into Hutch's troubled eyes, silently beseeching.
| Finally, Hutch graced him with a faint smile. The
tension in the strong frame may have lessened, but it was still present.
"A date." Hutch repeated.
"Uh-huh." Starsky kept eye contact with his partner.
"Huggy's, or do you have a different place in mind?" asked Hutch. He wasn't sure if he was only hearing what he had so longed to hear, or if Starsky was really asking him on a date.
"Huggy's isn't exactly the kind of place I was thinkin' about," said Starsky. He wasn't going to beat around the bush. He climbed out on this limb, the least he could do was see it through. If he was wrong, he had faith in their friendship to overcome this.
"Oh, yeah?" Hutch searched Starsky's eyes, trying to read the motive inside that curly head of his.
"Yep. There's this place over on the other side of town I've been thinkin' of tryin'," said Starsky. "It serves real Italian food. From what I hear, it's almost as good as my mama's cookin'. Besides that, it's not likely we'll run into anyone we know. I'm not lookin' for any interruptions."
Hutch swallowed. Any possibility that Starsky was just suggesting a meal out like usual, was quickly eliminated. Before he could say anything, a car horn behind them blared.
Starsky's attention darted to the traffic in front of the Torino, and saw the traffic jam had finally broken loose. As he steered the car into the flow of traffic, his hand remained alongside Hutch's neck. His fingers continued to idly play with the soft blonde hair.
Hutch continued to stare at Starsky's profile. Unsure what had sparked this sudden turn in Starsky, he gazed at his best friend. He could only hope that the turn of events wasn't because of some misguided feelings on Starsky's part. They had survived this last ordeal by the mere strength of their friendship.
Starsky could see Hutch out of the corner of his eye. The doubts and insecurities were clearly visible, but he knew if he turned to face his friend, the mask would instantly fall into place. He gave Hutch's neck a slight squeeze, then slid his hand down his arm. Without hesitation, he interlaced their fingers together, gripping Hutch's hand tightly.
Hutch dropped his gaze to their clasped hands. "Starsk?"
"Yeah?" Starsky turned the corner and headed for Hutch's apartment.
| The look Hutch turned upon him at that moment was
almost frightening in it's intensity. He shuddered, and suddenly his whole demeanor
changed, softened. He closed his eyes for a moment, opened them and met Starsky's steady
Starsky smiled softly, and asked, "Okay, where are we going for dinner?"
The traffic began to move.
Starsky slowly pulled the Torino in front of Hutch's Venice Place apartment. He turned off the engine and looked across the seat to his partner. Hutch seemed uncomfortable and didn't look up to meet his eyes, staring intently at the floor. A silence enveloped the car.
Trust Hutch to get cold feet, Starsky thought, now that his brain has had some time to think about "the date." You think too damn much, Blondie. Well, someone has to make the first step and I guess it will be me./
Starsky leaned over and slowly brushed his hand across Hutch's face and turned it, so Hutch would have no choice but to look into his eyes. The eyes staring back at Starsky were wide-eyed and a little frightened, but filled with love. It melted Starsky's heart and all his inhibitions.
This is going to work. It is. I am going to make this work. I love this man.
"Hutch, come on, let's go upstairs...change and get going to dinner. We don't have anything to be frightened about. I love you, you love me. This is going to be a great night. You'll see, babe," Starsky almost pleaded.
Starsky saw Hutch visibly relax with his last words and Starsky realized it was exactly what the blond had needed to hear again. To be again reassured that this date wasn't a mistake.
"Yeah, you're right, Starsk...we ain't got nothing to worry about."
Reluctantly dropping his hand from Hutch's face, both men moved out of the car and walked up the steps to Hutch's apartment. The air around them crackled with electricity...of the unknown. Hutch opened the door and gestured for Starsky to go in first. He did.
Starsky stepped into the living room and Hutch closed the door behind him, taking off his jacket and hanging it up in its usual spot. Starsky watched his partner carefully noting that Hutch was shaking a little as he placed his jacket in the closet on its hook.
That's my Hutch, always worrying...thinking too much. Maybe I can do something to show him just how right this feels...maybe I could...
| ...break the ice by showing Hutch just how
desirable I think he is.
"Let me do that," Starsky murmured.
Hutch froze as his right hand reached for the snap of his leather holster. Transfixed by those smoldering indigo eyes, Hutch watched Starsky stalk him like a horny black panther who'd just cornered prey that was in heat. The menacing grace of Starsky's movements mesmerized Hutch. Delirious with desire, Hutch felt every step of Starsky's approach, like each footfall was a second heartbeat oscillating through his groin. The triumphant smirk on Starsky's face was devilishly seductive. Breathless with expectation, Hutch stood perfectly still as Starsky reached for him in slow motion.
Hutchinson actually flinched when Starsky brazenly popped the silver snap.
"Easy, Partner," Starsky murmured. "Nothin's gonna happen until you're ready for it to happen."
Starsky's candor rocked Ken Hutchinson's world! Hutch couldn't believe his ears or his eyes. The come hither look in Starsky's eyes, and the come-and-get-it bulge in those tight blue jeans could mean only one thing. Starsky wanted him as much as he wanted Starsky!
Hutch was so stunned his mind began to reel. "H-how long have you felt this way Starsk?"
| Starsky just looked at Hutch and answered from his
heart. "I don't know, probably forever I just never knew it until day."
Starsky then closed the gap between them and hesitated only for a moment before he placed both hands on either side of Hutch's face. Baby blue eyes met crystal blue eyes as Starsky guided Hutch's lips to his.
At first the kiss was so innocent, just a quick peck on the lips. Then it became more intense, Starsky pressed Hutch's lips harder and Hutch responded with equal force. Never one to be out done, Starsky licked at Hutch's lips until they parted. They had their first taste of each other's mouth as lovers.
All Hutch could think about was the kiss. He couldn't believe it could be this good, this real. His senses were bombarded with a range of stimuli, the taste of Starsky--the chocolate bar he ate just an hour ago and remnants of the hamburger he had for lunch. The feel of Starsky's skin--he never kissed anyone with a five o'clock shadow. He barely noticed Starsky's hands had left his face and now were now explored his body. One of Starsky's hands was carding through his golden hair while the other caressed his neck and back.
They separated for air briefly but then continued kissing. Neither man made a move from the spot where they stood since the first kiss. They just stood there pressing against each other, as the kisses grew more intense with each passing second.
Hutch was finally becoming more aware of his surroundings. He realized he, too, was on his way to a full erection but didn't fear the consequence so much anymore. He began to explore Starsky's body. One hand caressed Starsky's back and fondled his butt while the other hand found its way to Starsky's furry chest thanks to the half-open shirt Starsky was wearing today.
Hutch no was no longer worried about the "date." He wasn't even sure if they'd even make it out of his apartment tonight.
S/H VALENTINE'S DAY RR - PART 6
The sound of his name whispered in his ear with such love, such loving, thrilled him to the depths of his soul. He pulled his magnificent partner closer still. The only man I know that can be sexy with or without clothes. "Hmmmm?", he purred in reply.
"Do we hafta go out?"
Hutch felt the thrill deepened. How the hell does he read my mind like that!? Not trusting himself to speak, he swallowed hard.
"Hutch? You okay?"
Hutch realized he'd forgotten to answer the question. "No, babe; not it you don't want to."
"Great! I've got a few ideas I'd like run by you."
Hutch felt the breathe almost leave his body. "Like what?", he croaked.
Starsky began to nibble at the tender spot on his lover's neck, a definite erogenous zone. "Well", he murmured. Don't know bout you, but I've always wanted a Hutchberry blintz."
Hutch gulped. "Yeah?" he replied, his voice thick with desire. "Always fancied a
Starsky shortcake myself; but Grandma Hutchinson always said vegetables come first."
Starsky pulled back and gazed into those sky blue eyes. Moving out of Hutch's embrace, with great reluctance, a wicked grin spread across his handsome features. "Funny you should say that...."
With that he turned and headed toward the kitchen.
| Hutch stared after the back of his
retreating partner; not sure his legs were steady enough to follow. He reached to
rearrange his fullness in the tight jeans and made a tentative step, amazed he could one,
then another. When he reached the kitchen he was confused to find the curly dark head
nowhere in sight. Starsky, where the hell did you go, the apartment isn't that big?
He listened intently and heard the sound of some rummaging in the bathroom and took off in
that direction. His search successful, he found his partner just turning from the medicine
cabinet, a tube of something in his hand. When Starsky turned to see Hutch standing there
he blushed and sending Hutch's way a very self-conscious smile, he dropped the tube down
the front of his partially open shirt, and moved slowly forward.
Hutch froze, absolutely transfixed watching Starsky approach him. He moved like a giant dark sleek cat. I've always loved watching you move, babe, but God to see you move like that, and you're heading my way. He felt his cock harden even more. Then Starsky was there, taking him in his arms again, grinding their hips together. Hutch felt himself push against the hardness that matched his own. Hutch roamed his hands over the strong man in his arms, kissing his face and neck, loving the soft moans that the action elicited, and the cat-like way Starsky leaned his face and neck into Hutch's mouth. I've seen you turned on before, but seeing you this hot because of what I'm doing is more of a turn on for me than I ever imagined. Hutch pulled back and took Starsky's face between his hands to just look at him. Slowly lids parted and Starsky stared out of his aroused haze and smiled with no trepidation whatsoever.
"It's like everything else, "Starsky whispered.
"This, it's as good as everything else between us always has been. I don't know why I should be surprised. I love you, I gotta tell you that."
"I know you do."
"No, not like 'I love you, man'. Not like I said I love you a million times before. I love you Hutch. All of you, everything about who you are and what you mean to me." He looked away, the smile of earlier and the slight blush resurfaced. "That sounds pretty sappy, huh? Like those cards you hate this time of year."
"No, that doesn't sound sappy at all. Maybe for the first time I'm finally hearing and feeling the real thing behind all that sentiment in the first place." Hutch's hands still rested on each side of Starsky's face and he drew both thumbs gently across that beautiful mouth. "Even before this, no one ever loved me like you have. No one."
"Babe, you ain't seen nothing yet."