This story is dedicated to my friend Mary L. Millard.  I hope you enjoy!

The phone rang and Starsky shouted, “Hutch? Would you get it? I can’t
right now.” He tried to keep his balance standing on the small stool to
put the silver star on top of the Christmas tree.  There was no sight
of Hutch however, and Starsky cursed lightly, stepping down from the
stool and hurrying over to the phone on the shelf in the living room.

“Yeah?” He listened, and a happy smile crept over his face.

“Ma, how are ya?! You’re calling early tonight. Is everything okay?” He
slumped down on the couch, listening to Rachel’s latest news about her
life in New York and his brother Nicky, who seemed to have found the
love of his life.

“Really? That’s great,” Starsky smiled. Contented, he sat back enjoying
their every-weekend-call.

Hutch stepped out of his room looking at his partner inquisitively.
“Your ma?” he mouthed, then nodded when he saw Starsky’s smile. He went
on to the kitchen to make dinner while they talked.

He heard Starsky speaking with his mother and felt the sadness again.
How lucky his friend was to have a caring mother. There was no weekend
without Rachel talking to her son. Sometimes Starsky wasn’t able to get
a word in edgewise.

Smiling softly, Starsky listened to his mom’s news, rolling his eyes
from time to time, with love shining through all the way. Hutch
marveled in the facial expressiveness of his partner.

Only lately he wasn’t in the mood for Starsky’s happiness.

“Ouch!” Hutch had missed the carrot and nicked his left finger instead.
As blood poured from the cut, Hutch put the knife aside and hurried to
the sink.

“Everything okay over there?”  From the living room Starsky’s voice,
edged with worry, reached him.

“Yeah, yeah,” Hutch muttered, and went to look for a bandage.

Why did he feel so lousy, somewhat left behind? He shouldn’t complain
at all. Since he and Starsky had become lovers he was in tune with the
world. He had never cared for the holiday season, and made fun of
Starsky’s childlike enthusiasm concerning his Christmas trimmings
everywhere.  All the same he felt a sting listening to Starsky’s back
and forth chatter with his mother. Ridiculous, Hutch chided himself and
concentrated on preparing the vegetable.

“Hey, where did you hide my burrito?” Starsky peeked over Hutch’s
shoulder to examine their dinner.

“What’s a burrito?” Hutch countered, and took the rest of a carrot to

In a fast movement Starsky approached Hutch and took hold of the carrot
in Hutch’s mouth with his teeth, catching the blond off guard. Then he
realized what Starsky had in mind and slowly both of them bit their way
along the carrot till their lips met for a lingering kiss.

“I’m so sorry…” Hutch’s tongue traced a line along Starsky’s upper lip
and gave a little moan when Starsky playfully sucked Hutch’s lip into
his mouth.

“What’re you sorry for?” Starsky released Hutch, and an intense glance
from the cobalt blue eyes rested on him.

“Didn’t I tell you once you even weren’t a good kisser?”

“Yeah, time heals all wounds,” Starsky chuckled and patted Hutch’s

“I’m starving,” he declared, then paused. “Oh, before I forget, Ma says
hi to you and she loves you and she wants you to give her the recipe
for the turkey you made us on Thanksgiving. She liked it a lot staying
with us, and invites us to New York for Easter to --”

“I know, buddy,” Hutch interrupted. “Your mom’s the best. I wonder why
my folks still haven’t called.” Looking pensive, he took two plates out
of the kitchen cabinet and handed them to Starsky to set the table
while he returned to the food.

Starsky frowned remembering the phone call when Hutch had planned to
invite his parents to California for the upcoming holidays. The only
one he could reach was Maria, the housemaid, who told him his parents
were out but she would leave them a message he’d called.  Two weeks had
now passed without a word of reply.

“Didn’t you tell Maria your parents should call you back right away?”
Starsky asked during dinner, taking a break from digging into the food
to glance at Hutch.

“I did,” Hutch stated dryly. “But they obviously don’t care to respond.
Just forget it, Starsk.  I have.”  But Starsky knew better when Hutch
shoved his plate aside and got up for a beer from the fridge instead.

Less than an hour later the two were sprawled on the couch, both
sipping on beers. Several empty bottles were lined up on the coffee
table, and each of them had claimed a corner of the couch while their
legs tangled in the middle together somehow.

“I dunno what to think of your folks,” Starsky stated, looking deeply
into his half empty bottle. Then he said, “I know they’re busy with
stuff like charity performances and they have to travel, but at least
they could call you back.”

Hutch put his empty bottle down on the table with a hard thump then
leaned back into the cushions with a sigh. “It’s pretty simple, Starsk.
They aren’t interested in what I’m doing. Let’s leave it that way.”

Hutch looked so disheartened that his expression tore through Starsky’s
heart. “Hey, why not call them tonight? You should ask for an answer
why they haven’t called back.” Starsky nudged Hutch’s ankle and got up
to retrieve the telephone.

“No way!” Hutch growled and Starsky was surprised to hear such
determination in his voice. “I said forget it and I meant it. Now leave
it alone!”

Starsky knew there was no way to convince Hutch otherwise so he turned
the TV on for distraction, lulling Hutch into a sound asleep.  
Restless, Starsky finally got up -- after covering his partner with a
comforter, he quietly went into the bedroom and closed the door.


When he finally awoke, Hutch groaned with a headache unlike any he’d
suffered for some time. Rubbing his head, he vaguely recalled drowning
his sorrows, trying to forget his misery over his family. He couldn’t
remember how he had found his way into bed, but somehow Starsky had
managed to undress and take care of him. Eyes still closed, Hutch
reached out an arm to pat the other side of the bed, disappointed to
find it empty and Starsky gone. He wasn’t surprised when a quick glance
at the clock revealed it was after nine a.m.

He lay on his back and let his thoughts roam as he willed the headache
to ease. He knew he had to stop worrying and trying to please his
parents; clearly it was a lost cause. It had become obvious they
preferred to be among their wealthy friends in the high society life
Hutch abhorred. He thought it was also likely his father was ashamed of
him for not having become a physician like himself.

Karen, Hutch’s younger sister, had previously kept good contact with
her brother, but after the birth of her second child she had stopped
calling too.  Well, you can’t choose your family, he thought, smiling
humorlessly. Now Rachel Starsky was like a mother to him and he knew he
should consider himself lucky to have such a loving surrogate family.

Still depressed, Hutch finally climbed out of bed and made his way to
the bathroom to take a shower and shave in preparation for another long


Three days later…

More than a little impatient, Starsky paced the airport concourse,
waiting for an arriving flight. He had never done such a thing before
-- calling Hutch’s home in Duluth without the knowledge of his friend.
He blamed it on the beer that he’d found the courage to speak to
Hutch’s parents the night after Hutch passed out on the couch.

Secluded in the bedroom, Starsky had dialed the number from Hutch’s
notebook beside the phone.  He heard a woman’s voice and asked for Mrs.

“Helen Hutchinson speaking,” a woman replied -- and Starsky’s heart
rate soared as he gulped.

“Dave Starsky here, Mrs. Hutchinson. How are you?”

There was a pause, followed by a clearly surprised response. “Dave?
Dave Starsky?  How nice to hear from you. How are you?”

Her politeness didn’t hide her aloofness, and Starsky hurried to
explain that Hutch and he needed to know if they would be coming to
share Christmas with their son.  He almost held his breath awaiting her

“Oh dear, yes I remember,” she said. “I told Maria to phone Ken, but
she must have forgotten. I do apologize. I’m sorry, but we’re very
involved in a major event here this Christmas so we won’t be able to
come. But whenever Ken would like to come here to visit, he’s always

Starsky noticed that she spoke only of Hutch coming to visit, never
including himself. If she knew that he and Hutch were more than
partners ... he thanked her politely and quickly ended the call, more
than a little disconcerted by the result.

“Flight number 2465 from Duluth has arrived at gate 14,” a voice
intoned, jerking Starsky back to reality. Hurrying over to the gate he
watched as passengers began emerging from the baggage claim. Some of
them were greeted with open arms, and cries of joy could be heard.

Starsky looked around, searching. It was hard to pick out a single
person when the area was being rushed by the crowds. Consequently he
jumped and spun around when he felt a light tap to his shoulder from


“Karen!” Starsky immediately recognized Hutch’s sister. The blond hair
and blue eyes bore too much resemblance to be denied. “Hey, it’s great
to see ya!”  Starsky opened his arms, pleased when Karen met him in a
warm embrace.

“How are you, and how’s Ken?” Karen looked questioningly at Starsky,
who still held her close. “I was a little worried when you called the
other night.”

“C’mon, give me your bag and let’s get home,” Starsky replied,
releasing her. “I’ll tell you about your brother’s mood on the way.”

“But how are you?” he asked, gesturing toward the parking deck as they
walked. “Seems like it’s been ages since we’ve heard from you.”

“Wow, you still got the red tomato?” Karen exclaimed, spotting the red
and white Torino just then.  “Neat!” She smiled and sounded like her
older brother just then.

“Yeah, it’s just the right vehicle to go undercover as a pimp,” Starsky
grinned and touched the hood of the car. He unlocked the door and
helped Karen into the passenger seat.

“Now, what’s wrong with Ken? You said he’s in a bad mood, but I can’t
see anything unusual in that. He always hated this season and didn’t
care at all. He called it…”

“…Euphoric sentimentalism” they both exclaimed, and suddenly it was as
if they had known each other for years.

Then Starsky got serious. “This year I got the feeling Hutch misses his
family more than usual. Your parents refused to visit us here in
. They…”

“I know,” Karen interrupted. “It’s because the governor has been
looking for a successor and he wants our Dad to be it. So my parents
are invited to even more Christmas parties than usual this year."

She locked glances with Starsk and inquired, “So you think I’m gonna be
able to cheer my brother up?”

“Absolutely!” Starsky was certain. He remembered Hutch’s longing
expression whenever they had spoken of Karen and her kids.

"How’s Tom and the kids?” Starsky asked, surprised when her face
darkened and a frown appeared between her eyes, much like the one Hutch
showed when he was distressed.

“That’s another story, I’m afraid.” Karen busied herself with tugging
on her coat.  “Tom and I have had a few arguments lately so I’m happy
to get away for awhile,” she sighed. When Starsky looked at her
questioningly, she continued, “Sarah, a friend of mine, is taking care
of the kids. And don’t worry so much, Dave, it’s not that bad. I think
we’ll be able to work it out. Everything’s going to be fine.” With a
soothing gesture she ran her hand up and down his arm.

“Now what about your love?” she asked.

Starsky almost choked, then managed “What d’you mean?”

“You love my brother, don’t you? And you’re living together. What’s not
to ask about? Are you happy with him? I wish it so much for you both!"  
Then she gave a sharp gasp. "Hey, watch it! You know there's a car in
front of you!”

Slamming on the brakes, Starsky stopped, still at a loss for words.
“How did you know?” he asked finally, looking over to find her eyes
twinkling merrily.

“Whenever I looked at you when we met last summer, I saw the love and
devotion between you and Ken, and I knew some time you'd figure it out.
 His feelings were obvious - but probably only to me.  Now tell me some
more about Ken’s moods.”

Strangely relieved, Starsky focused on driving as he talked. “Well,
he’s feeling left behind. My Ma talks to me on the phone every week and
she was with us this Thanksgiving here. I think Hutch planned to make
up with your folks and invite them for Christmas. But he even didn’t
get any answer. Had to leave a message with the maid! I can’t stand
seeing him that unhappy, but -- Voila, we're here!”

As they turned onto Hutch’s street, Karen asked, “Does he know that I’m

"Uh - no," Starsky mumbled. "It’s a surprise. I hope that's okay with
you. I’m sure Hutch will be pissed because I told him I was goin' to
buy some more stuff for my model railroad -- instead I'm comin' home
with you.”

He chuckled and helped her out of the car. She giggled and he shushed
her. “Hutch’s gonna hear us. Stay behind me and let me talk first.”
Karen nodded and silently they climbed up the stairs.

As soon as Starsky put the key in the lock to open the door a sarcastic
voice came from the inside. “Don’t you dare to ask me to warm up your
dinner, buddy. I’m fed up with you being late. I don’t give a fu…”  His
words stopped short when Karen peeked out from Starsky's back into
Hutch's view.

Open-mouthed, Hutch stared as he rose in slow motion from the couch.  
"Karen? My God, what…?”  Slowly approaching, he sent his partner an
incredulous glance, receiving a guilty grin in response.

“Sis, how come…?” He couldn’t go on speaking as Karen put her arms
around his waist and hugged him tight.

“Had to see my big brother,” she whispered, then finally felt his arms
wrap around her as he buried his face in her shoulder.

“Good time for a little family meeting," Starsky said softly, catching
Karen's eye. "I'll be warmin' up our dinner if you need anything."  He
was smiling as he disappeared into the kitchen to occupy himself.

When he finally emerged he found the two siblings sitting beside each
other on the couch talking quietly. Karen had put her hand over Hutch’s
and stroked his palm.

“Don’t know about you, Karen, but I’m starving," Starsky announced.  "Hope
you like pie with a lot of healthy stuff in it. Seems to be one of
Hutch’s own creations. He’ll never learn to cook what I like, but I
love him anyway. C’mon, let's go eat!"

Laughing, Karen and Hutch obediently rose, and as he brushed past
Starsky going into the kitchen, Hutch let his hand linger on the broad
“Thanks, partner,” he whispered - all Starsky could do was smile and

It was well past midnight when they were finally talked out and decided
to call it a night. Karen disappeared into the bathroom with a wide

“Starsk, give me the linens, my pillow and the blanket," Hutch said
hurriedly. "I'm gonna sleep on the couch in the living room. Karen
doesn’t know about us, um, I mean, I don’t want her to find out ...”

“Stuff it, Hutchinson!" Starsky responded. "We could never fool her.
She already does know about us and she loves it. And us. Now, I need
you over there.” Starsky was pointing to the bedroom just as Karen
re-entered the living room.

He blushed lightly and tensed when Karen approached, smiling again.

“Dave, thanks for being there for my big brother," she said softly.


"We had a good talk this evening and I’m sure we can settle some things
with our parents soon. G’night.” She reached up and kissed Starsky on
the cheek. Pulling her close he kissed her back and then let her go.

Pointing to the guestroom he had prepared earlier, he said, “Sleep in
as long as you want. We've both got the next few days off. We’ll serve
you breakfast in bed and show you Bay City and have a drink at Huggy’s
and ...”

“Whoa there, partner," Hutch interrupted. "Let’s let Karen decide what
she wants to do."  Karen nodded as Hutch led her to the guest room door,
closing the door after they had kissed goodnight.

Smiling, he returned to dim the lamp in the living room, then met his
partner at the bedroom door. “She wished us a good night. Whatever that
means.” Hutch smiled meaningfully as they entered the room then closed
the door.

He watched, puzzled, as Starsky went directly to the dresser and began
rummaging through a drawer, mumbling something incoherently.
“Hey, that’s my stuff!" Hutch protested. "What're you looking for?”

“Just a minute,” Blondie,” Starsky said absent-minded then gave a low
whistle as he turned, holding something in his hand.
“You remember the day we met your parents and Karen last summer? I had
my new camera and took some pics. I gave them to you later but you'd
had another fight with your Dad and refused to look at 'em then. Here
they are. They really aren’t too bad."

Starsky perched on the edge of the bed and held the pictures toward
Hutch, who was already partially undressed. Instead of sitting next to
Starsky Hutch placed himself behind his partner, his long legs astride
both sides of Starsky’s slender frame.  Immediately distracted by the
muscular thighs pressed against his hips, Starsky yelped in protest as
two strong arms snaked around his waist to snatch the photographs.

“Okay. So?” Hutch posed the question with his chin propped on Starsky’s
shoulder, still not understanding why Starsky had brought out the
pictures right then.

“Hutch! Can’t you see how your Dad has his arm around your shoulder?"
Starsky pointed.  "And the way your mom is smiling at you with such
pride? Trust me -- as a photographer I know what I'm seeing, and in
this case it’s two parents' love for their son - for you. Tonight you
heard the facts from Karen, that your folks are forced by society to
act like they do.  So everything is gonna be all right, you got it?" he
concluded. "Capice?”

Starsky turned his head just in time to see Hutch's too bright eyes
shining in the darkened room. Shifting to one side, he put Hutch’s leg
on his lap, stroking the firm skin and feeling goosebumps rise,
revealing his vulnerability. For not the first time Starsky resolved
that whoever dared to hurt his best friend and lover would have to deal
with him first.

“C’mere, you’re cold.” Rubbing up and down Hutch’s thigh, Starsky
transferred his warmth into Hutch.

At last Hutch smiled. “Okay, I’m warm enough. What about you?”

He unbuttoned Starsky’s shirt from behind, and Starsky helped to get
his jeans unbuckled and unzipped then got up to strip them off. He
glanced over at his half naked partner, who welcomed him with spread
legs and a promising bulge in his boxer shorts.

“Can’t wait to be with you,” Starsky mumbled. He dropped to his knees
in front of the bed and positioned himself between Hutch’s thighs, this
time looking straight at Hutch.

He took care of the other thigh, rubbing and massaging the cold skin
until he felt Hutch’s hand in his hair and heard the soft words, “I’m
here.”  Hutch’s gaze went to his groin and Starsky chuckled.

“We have all the time in the world, love. What about this?” Gently
Starsky placed soft kisses along both thighs wandering higher until
Hutch’s hand in Starsky’s hair urged him to lower his head and take
care of Hutch’s demanding cock.

Nuzzling the familiar texture of the still-intact boxers, Starsky
savored Hutch’s unique scent. A moan reminded him of Hutch’s need and
slowly he pulled down the underwear, being careful of Hutch’s prominent

Starsky was so enthralled by giving pleasure that it took Hutch’s
tugging fingers in his hair and the words: “Stop it or…Hey, it’s my
turn now” to return him to reality.  He found himself being drawn on
top of Hutch's long body until they lay together on the bed.

Claiming Starsky's mouth in a deep kiss, Hutch moaned: “Mmm, you taste

“Same to you,” Starsky countered -- then was forced to suppress a yelp
when Hutch’s large hand wrapped around his cock. Shifting a little,
Hutch stroked back and forth, his experienced hands increased Starsky’s
pleasure with every move. Their kisses deepened as their tongues
explored the sweetness of each others' mouths.

A few moments later, just as Starsky felt a familiar tingle ripple run
through him, ready to take him over the edge, Hutch abruptly stopped
stroking him. “Don’t… ” Starsky whimpered, breathing into Hutch’s

In lieu of words, Hutch swiftly turned him over, positioning himself on
top as the two firm bodies pressed together tight. “I’m in the mood for
this -- you too?”

Hutch braced his elbows on both sides of his partner, rocking his
slender hips until their cocks met and throbbed together in a wild
dance. Aching for satisfaction, Starsky put his arms on Hutch’s hips to
guide him, prompting low moans from them both. Always having known what
gave pleasure to the other, they matched their thrusts together,
stimulating each other beyond words. Starsky moved forcefully one last
time against Hutch’s hard shaft, digging his fingers in the broad back
as silent warning of what was to come.

He climaxed with a soft moan, his head bent backward, feeling Hutch’s
body tense as waves of satisfaction coursed through him too. Hutch
lowered his head onto Starsky’s shoulder, and Starsky almost yelped
when he felt Hutch’s teeth graze his skin there.

“Sorry...love you,” he heard Hutch’s soft voice near his ear. Then the
long body collapsed on top of Starsky’s, and together they savored the
aftermath of their tender lovemaking in silence for some time.

“Gimme some breath, would ya?” Starsky begged finally, watching Hutch
roll off him with a tender grin. He reached down between them with the
sheet to clean them but Starsky stopped his hand midway.  “I wanna be
glued to you,” he murmured, pulling the covers over them and nestling
against Hutch’s warmth.

“Happy?” he asked, already drifting. "I am." He accepted Hutch’s kiss
on his forehead as a yes then allowed the contentment of sleep to
overtake him at last.

For Hutch sleep did not come as easy, and he laid awake for a time. He
remembered the conversation with Karen about their family, and for the
first time he was able to put himself into his parents’ roles. Forced
to be part of a society that expected them to be present at parties and
congregations, they had neglected the emotional well-being of their
children unintentionally. His grandfather was the first person who
didn’t hide his emotions, Hutch remembered, and he still sad thinking
of the old man. When he had died Hutch had lost something very
important in his life, a sense of being loved and belonging, which he
never thought to find again.

After the loss he had become reserved and wary. Others thought of him
as arrogant. How had it been possible that a streetwise guy from
had broken through his reluctance against gestures of emotion to
find the true depth of love in his heart. Hutch ran his hand through
the black curls fondly, recalling the many times Starsky had buoyed him
up when he'd felt too miserable to go on. Yet even with that Hutch knew
he longed for his parents to show him that they loved him too ... but
Karen had accepted Starsky’s invitation, which he knew was a beginning.
 Especially since she had accepted he and Starsky as lovers too.

As he fell asleep with his lover in his arms, a smile tugged at the
corners of Hutch's mouth.

“Breakfast is ready.” A light knock at the bedroom door sent Hutch
sitting bolt upright, difficult since Starsky had claimed his body by
settling his thigh over Hutch’s legs and snaking one arm snaked his
chest.  Hutch was gently trying to untangle himself from his precious
burden when Karen’s voice reached him from outside the room again --
“Or would you rather I serve you breakfast in bed?”

“Uh - no. No thanks, sis," Hutch managed "I - we'll be out in a few.”  
With no time left for tact, Hutch nudged his lover in the side. “Wake
up, Starsk, let’s grab a shower. Karen has breakfast ready for us.”

“Breakfast? I’m starving.”  Starsky woke up slowly as Hutch kissed him
then started tickling him out of bed.

Twenty minutes later the trio had gathered around the kitchen table,
Starsky beaming at the scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Then he looked
at Karen and raised his coffee cup.  “I declare the Hutchinson family
reunion part one as open as of now.”

Though Hutch shook his head he was smiling as he lifted his mug also,
and Karen did the same.  As Starsky dug into his well-deserved
breakfast, he knew his scheming had been rewarded by the sight of
Hutch's happiness.

 The end




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