A Touch of Class
by Candy Apple

SHSVS "A Day in the Life" Showcase Vignette

**********

Stifling a yawn, Starsky wearily pushed the grocery cart down the first of many aisles. Hutch was tied up in court testifying in a case he'd worked with Flores, so Starsky found himself spending a day off by himself--a notion that didn't sit well with him at all. The last several days had been real back-breakers: double shifts, backed up paperwork and questions from Internal Affairs about a police brutality charge against another pair of detectives. Fortunately, it wasn't them, but it was a pair of guys they really didn't believe were the types to unjustly beat suspects, which made it nearly as stressful. Cops had enough problems keeping control on the streets without good cops being forced to soft-soap belligerent suspects.

Despite all that, he'd decided that moping around the apartment wasn't doing him any good, and set about doing some of the mundane housekeeping tasks they both let slide as long as possible.

His apartment was clean, and after he'd unloaded his groceries, he planned to head over to Hutch's place and do a little tidying up there as well. After all, they each contributed to both apartments' messes and clutter. The Torino was overdue for an oil change, and he suspected that blue bucket of Hutch's was probably about ready to drive itself to the nearest service station to get a change. Some day off--got more to do today than I do at work, Starsky thought dismally, pulling the rumpled shopping list out of his pocket.

The liquor aisle was actually the first one in the store, closest to the counter that sold cigarettes, lottery tickets and handled customer service. He loaded two six-packs in the cart, then paused to add a decent bottle of wine, and headed for the snack aisle, where he stocked up on a number of items he planned to leave at Hutch's place. He could count on his own apartment to be stocked with staples like chips, dip, cheese corn and cheese curls, but Hutch's place could be like a vast wasteland of wheat germ and decimated livers or whatever the hell that stuff was Hutch mixed up in the blender.

Satisfied he was safe from resorting to eating bean sprouts for his next movie snack at his partner's place, he progressed to the cereal aisle. Consulting the list, he smiled. Coconut Stripes. Hutch's walk on the cereal wild side. Wheat squares with some sort of white sticky stuff holding some fake coconut on them. Actually, Starsky thought they tasted like dry dog biscuits with little strips of icing. The box they came in was small, so he put two in the cart. Hutch was probably out of them at his place, too. Granola. Starsky stared at the list. That's specific. Frustrated and thinking everything in the aisle, with the exception of the Frankenberry, looked alike, he grabbed a box of Grape-nuts and tossed them in the cart. Backing up, he added a box of Frankenberry. Need breakfast food at Hutch's place that tastes better than the box it comes in.

The basics of canned goods and coffee and paper products were all fairly simple buying choices--just get two sets of everything. The cart was nearly full by the time he approached the meat and poultry section. He avoided doing any mental calculations. He'd have to make Hutch buy lunch for the next two weeks to make up for his half of the groceries.

He selected a few meat and chicken items, though knew better than to stock up on much. Their schedules changed fast enough that involved meal preparation could get pre-empted at a moment's notice. He spent what he considered a perverse amount of time in the produce aisle, stocking up on fruit and vegetables after listening to his partner's vocal bitching about how little he had on hand. Carrots, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage all went into the overburdened cart. Feels like I'm sleeping with a rabbit...in more ways than one, Starsky thought, grinning wickedly. On that happy note, he grabbed a couple onions, some fresh mushrooms, tomatoes and green peppers, since he planned on dazzling Hutch with his pizza-making ability. He'd done it with canned ingredients before, but nature boy would really be impressed with fresh stuff.

Stopping by the dreaded health food section, he dug in his pocket again and pulled out the list in Hutch's handwriting. Knowing Starsky was planning a supply run, his partner had helpfully made a list of all the toad's feet, eyes of newt, butterfly bones, vitamins and other bizarre items that were staples of his health regimen. Wincing at the prices on each of the packages, Starsky dutifully filled in all the little crevices in the stuffed cart with Hutch's supplies. Sighing, he started putting two of many of the items into the cart, realizing that Hutch often woke up at his place and didn't have what he needed to brew whatever evil potion he felt he needed to meet his daily requirement of nutrients.

Laboriously pushing the weighty cart toward the check-out, he stopped by the small display of plants. They were nothing fancy, just a couple ferns, a few African violets and a rather stalwart, somewhat menacing-looking little creature called a "Tiger Tail." Starsky picked up the small plant and evaluated its odd, stiff, pointed foliage that grew straight up out of the soil. Edged with yellow, the center sections of the leaves were stripes of a medium and dark green. Hutch definitely didn't have one of these critters growing anywhere. Starsky decided it was the single coolest plant he'd ever seen, and tucked the pot carefully between two rolls of paper towels.

Checkbook at the ready, he waited with great trepidation for the young woman behind the cash register to announce a total. What she came up with was over twice his usual bill. Reeling, he filled in the check, signed it, and after surrendering all of his worldly wealth, headed out to the Torino to load it with his treasures.

The rest of the day was spent tending to the two cars. He'd made the trip to the courthouse and swapped the Torino for Hutch's big old blueberry on wheels, which he'd taken over to Merle for a tune-up under his personal supervision to ensure that no customizing occurred. He did, however, buy from Merle a pair of white fuzzy dice for the rearview mirror just to confound Hutch.

With the cars taken care of and the groceries purchased, that only left cleaning Hutch's apartment. After dropping Hutch's car back off at the courthouse, where his blond other half was obviously still entangled, he returned to his apartment, packed up all the items that had to go to Venice Place, and drove over to finish his to-do list with the final cleaning project.

It was a warm day, and by the time he trudged up Hutch's steps, he was feeling a little winded. His stomach growled ominously, and he ferreted through the bags of groceries he'd brought with him until he found the salami. Hutch never had any salami on hand. He made himself a sandwich and found Hutch had a couple cold beers left in the refrigerator. Taking one of those, he sat on the couch with his food and ate hungrily, chasing it with the beer and enjoyed the air conditioning that was such a welcome change from the driveway in front of his place where he'd done the oil changes, or Merle's garage, where he'd hung around for the tune-up on Hutch's bucket.

His body protested the movement when he got up to carry his plate to the sink, and he tried to flex his muscles to alleviate the feeling of tightness and fatigue. He'd put all the perishables away as soon as he arrived, and one of the six-packs was chilling in the refrigerator. Hutch's place didn't look too messy, so maybe he could spare time for a quick rest before launching his final project of the day. Pulling off his shirt, he relished the feeling of the cool air against his skin. Deciding he'd like more of the same, he slid out of the jeans as well. Leaving shoes, socks, jeans and shirt in a pile near the couch, Starsky stretched out, clad only in his briefs, and closed his eyes. Gettin' old, Starsky. Or maybe you're like a car that's been in a bad wreck--you don't run as smoothly as long as you used to after all that repair work. Too bad Merle doesn't do human body work as well, Starsky thought, snorting a little laugh to himself.

**********

"Classy, Hutch," Flores needled as the two men got into Hutch's car and spotted the pair of fuzzy dice.

"Starsky must've taken it in to Merle's for me," Hutch said, smiling as he poked at the dice with his finger, making them sway slowly. "Nut," he said quietly, laughing.

"Starsky takes your car in for you? Man, I have to do some fancy sweet-talking to get my wife to take my car in for me." Flores laughed and shook his head.

"We were supposed to do something today but then they moved the court date, so Starsky was stuck with a day off and nothing to do. I guess he decided to get the cars serviced," Hutch said, and as he pulled out into traffic, he realized he was sounding like a married man discussing a shared life--not a cop talking about his partner and best buddy. Deciding that backpedaling would be more obvious, he said nothing more.

"You wanna grab something to eat? Carolyn's having dinner with a girlfriend who's in town overnight, and Alicia's at her grandma's."

"Thanks, but I promised Starsky I'd be home right after court," Hutch said. Shit, Hutchinson, that sounded like Starsky's the little woman, waiting at home in his pinafore with a hot meal on the table.

"Guess you owe him dinner after the car thing, anyway," Flores responded. If he'd found Hutch's statement odd, he didn't show it. But then, he's got a great face for undercover work--can veil his reactions at a moment's notice, Hutch reasoned silently.

After dropping Flores off at his car, which was parked at headquarters, Hutch finally made the trip to Venice Place. Starsky had agreed to meet him there so they could decide what to do about dinner--to go out, stay in, or devour each other instead. Hutch felt a stirring beneath his tan dress slacks as he contemplated the latter of those three choices.

Bounding up the steps, ready to release the pent-up energy of hours spent sitting on his ass in a stuffy court room, Hutch flung open his door and strode through it, expecting to see Starsky watching TV or munching something out of the cupboards, impatiently watching the clock for Hutch's arrival. Instead, he heard the soft hum of the air conditioner...and the steady rhythm of Starsky's trademark deep-sleep snore. It was a nice, even snore that wasn't too loud and didn't really raise you off the bed in the middle of the night with snorts. Just a steady sound that meant Starsky was sleeping peacefully and deeply.

At six o'clock, in the living room.

Hutch moved over toward the couch, and smiled at the sight. Starsky was sprawled on his back, one leg hanging off the couch, wearing nothing but his briefs. The dark lashes barely fluttered now as the snoring was a little interrupted, but Hutch remained silent until the disturbance passed and after a twitch of his nose, Starsky resumed snoring.

Leaving Sleeping Beauty to his rest, Hutch stealthily moved into the kitchen and noticed the new member of the family sitting on the table. The little tiger tail plant needed water, so he tended to its needs and decided he'd find a good place in the greenhouse for it as soon as he'd had time to grab some dinner and relax a little. That Starsky had not only done all the grocery shopping but also brought him a present from the store, spread a nice warmth around his heart.

Next, he poked around in the grocery bags near the plant. Chips, cheese corn, Frankenberry...Frankenberry?? Hutch pulled the children's cereal out of the bag and looked at the pink cartoon Frankenstein-like character on the front of the box. Only Starsky...he thought, laughing and moving to the refrigerator to see what else had taken up residence there. He was surprised to find a nice array of vegetables, along with a pair of very nice steaks that were on the top shelf--next to the large roll of salami. He suspected his winded partner had planned on fixing the steaks for dinner. The salami had already been significantly violated. On the counter were fresh bananas and all the vitamins and other supplies Hutch had requested from the store.

As he gratefully shrugged out of his sport coat and discarded his tie, he started piecing Starsky's schedule together. Knowing his partner, he'd cleaned up his apartment first, then gone to the store, then done the oil changes and probably hauled Hutch's car to Merle's. Starsky continually insisted every car Hutch drove needed tuning up, whether it actually did or not. Hutch's car engines never ran to Starsky's satisfaction, so he was forever insisting they were in need of service.

No wonder you're tired, babe. Full day, and it's over ninety degrees out there. And we were both wiped out yesterday. Guess that plan for spending the day in the sack wasn't so much fun alone, Hutch thought affectionately as he walked into the bathroom. He shed the last of his clothes and started the shower. Footsteps behind him made him spin around, only to see Starsky standing there, rubbing at his eyes, looking like a bewildered child just awakened from a long nap.

"What time is it?" he asked, squinting at his watch.

"About six-fifteen, buddy. You were out cold when I got here," Hutch said, smiling. Then he moved forward and pulled the warm, pliant body into his arms for a long hug. "Missed you today."

"Missed you, too, Blondie," Starsky managed, just before a huge yawn stole his voice.

"Wanna grab a shower?" Hutch asked.

"Sure, why not?" Starsky stepped in with Hutch and happily relinquished bathing duties to his partner. Hutch soaped and smoothed and caressed and scrubbed, and Starsky basked in the pampering, groaning appreciatively as Hutch's hands worked at loosening up tight muscles. He had to chuckle a little as Starsky wrapped his arms around Hutch's body and snuggled in for a hug, which, of course, put Hutch in the perfect position to give him a long, leisurely back rub under the spray of water.

"Hedonist," Hutch teased, kissing Starsky's temple and giving in to the ploy.

"You just want me relaxed so you can have your wicked way with me," Starsky mumbled against Hutch's shoulder, stifling a yawn.

"If you were any more relaxed, you'd be dead."

"Not quite, babe," Starsky corrected, his hand sliding down and wrapping around Hutch's semi-erect cock. "Somebody's tired of bein' by himself all day." Starsky kissed Hutch's neck, then began trailing his lips up the long throat until their mouths met and joined, long and deep, before parting again. "I'm wakin' up now," Starsky said, grinning.

"You've been doing all the work today, babe. How about I take you to bed and do a little work on you?"

"I'm all yours, Blondie."

"Yeah, I know," Hutch said, his response serious in the face of Starsky's light-hearted retort. He framed his lover's face with wet hands. "I'm the luckiest man in the world."

"Second luckiest, after me," Starsky responded, turning to kiss the palm of one of the hands near his face.

"Should we call it a tie?"

"Works for me." Starsky smiled brightly, winding his arms around Hutch again, bringing his hands to rest on the wet buttocks. He squeezed gently. "Let's get outta here."

After drying off, they moved to the bedroom, tugging the covers off with little concern for where they landed, and climbed onto the bed together, kissing eagerly, hands roaming and caressing. Hutch moved in close to Starsky's ear.

"I need another mouth," he gasped hotly against it, "for all the places I wanna lick you." He smiled at the answering groan from the man pinned beneath him. "Just lie there and enjoy yourself, beautiful man."

He began his leisurely journey down the sturdy, hair-dusted body beneath him with little kisses to chin, throat and collarbone, then dragged his tongue in a wet path to the left nipple, pulling it into his mouth and sucking hard enough to draw a gasp, but gently enough not to bruise. Starsky's hands were in Hutch's hair now, and as Hutch moved to torment the second nipple, he smiled at his partner's ongoing obsession with his hair. Starsky with his thick, dense, silky curls was convinced Hutch's hair was the most incredible thing on earth. Truth be told, Starsky's open adoration made him feel like the most exceptional creature in the world, and Starsky's opinion was increasingly the only one that mattered.

He followed the path of hair from chest to belly, pausing to tease Starsky's navel with his tongue, sliding his hands beneath the warm, firm buttocks and massaging them.

"Hutch...oh, babe...." Starsky's hands were out of his hair, and he knew that meant they were either gripping the sheets or the headboard. He spared a glance to find out, and saw a white-knuckled hand nearby holding a section of sheet hostage. I'll get you to grab the headboard yet, babe. That's when you really go crazy. He felt his own cock grow harder at the thought.

Moving down, he pushed Starsky's thighs up and apart, a motion eagerly assisted by the man himself, who gave up on the sheets to hold onto his knees. With all of Starsky's sensitive regions exposed, Hutch evaluated his options. He hadn't been lying to Starsky when he said he needed two mouths; he wanted to suck him off until he came screaming, and yet he wanted to tease and torment his center until he begged for something more. Wanting their lovemaking to last a while, he chose the second option, hearing a blatant groan of frustration when he bypassed the rigid cock and moved lower, lapping and sucking at the heavy balls before moving still lower, letting the tip of his tongue dance on the smooth skin of Starsky's perineum.

"You're all mine, remember, babe?" Hutch said, looking up at Starsky from between the raised thighs. Starsky's response was to drop his head back on the pillow with a groan, thrusting upward. As Hutch's tongue found its target, he wrapped one hand around Starsky's cock and began pumping.

"Aw, God, Hutch...ugh..." began a litany of expressive groans and gasps of pleasure as Hutch pumped the eager shaft and took ownership of the small opening with his tongue, teasing and probing until he knew Starsky was on the very edge of coming. Then he moved his mouth and his hand and engulfed Starsky's cock in one fluid motion, sucking him in earnest, feeling the weight of the heavy legs go over his shoulders.

Bull's-eye! He can't hold his knees anymore because he's grabbing the headboard! Gotcha.

The scream was guttural and primal when it emerged as Starsky came in convulsive spurts as Hutch drank him down, stilling the thrusting hips slightly with his hands. Hutch was painfully hard by now, and he knew how he wanted to finish this. He waited for Starsky to catch his breath, until he'd relinquished his grip on the brass headboard and his arms had flopped lifelessly onto the pillows, hands resting palms up. Hutch carefully moved away enough to lower Starsky's legs to the bed, and moved up to stretch out beside him, watching him recover.

"You need to take care'a business, babe," Starsky observed languidly, running his hand down Hutch's stomach until he brushed over the rigid erection. "Which way do you want it?" he asked, venturing a light stroke that dragged a low moan out of Hutch.

"Inside you," Hutch responded immediately, leaning over to kiss Starsky's temple. "All around you." Starsky smiled at that, patting Hutch's thigh before turning over on his side and drawing up one knee.

Hutch fumbled in the nightstand until he found the tube of gel he was seeking, then set about the task of preparing his lover. Starsky was so relaxed now that he needed very little of the preliminaries, and Hutch was too close to wait much longer. He coated himself and eased into the slick heat, gently moving forward until he was fully sheathed. He reached around Starsky and found his hand, lacing their fingers together, curling his body protectively around Starsky's in a sheltering embrace.

They lay that way a few moments before Hutch began moving slowly at first, then building tempo as his body demanded satisfaction. Releasing Starsky's hand, Hutch reached down and found another erection building there. He kissed Starsky's neck, his shoulder, his ear, anything his mouth could easily reach while their bodies were joined. He concentrated his strokes to stimulate Starsky's prostate, and was rewarded by an almost continuous groan of pleasure and the cock in his hand coming to full hardness.

Hutch's own climax was earth-shaking and soul-shattering. He pulsed into Starsky, sucking soft flesh into his mouth, leaving a bright passion mark on Starsky's shoulder as he heard his lover crying out his own completion, the cock in his hand surging and emptying for the second time that night.

Spent and sated, they stayed wrapped together for long minutes, intermittently dozing or petting whatever skin they could reach.

"You wanna fix steaks and salads for dinner?" Starsky asked tiredly. Suddenly, Hutch realized that cooking sounded like a laborious way to get nourishment. Going out was out of the question--he didn't plan for either of them to wear more than a bathrobe for the rest of their night off together. And not even that for any longer than was absolutely necessary.

"We could order a pizza. With everything on it." Hutch kissed Starsky's neck, and the other man chuckled.

"It was that good, huh?" Starsky said, wriggling his ass a little against Hutch's sated groin. Hutch could, however, feel a telltale stirring that said the night definitely wasn't over. Then he remembered why it had been so important to him to pleasure Starsky so fully earlier.

"You busted that gorgeous ass of yours all day, babe. Did all the dirty work. You oughtta get something in return for that."

"Thought I just did," Starsky sighed happily and rolled over, smiling and moving back into the circle of Hutch's arms. "'Case I didn't tell you yet today, I love you, y'know."

"Yeah, I know. I love you, too." Hutch was quiet a moment, then smiled. "By the way, thanks for the dice." Hutch knew Starsky would understand the implied gratitude for all the other things he'd done that rode on that one little phrase.

"Well, I knew you wouldn't go for fur on the dash, and I had to let Merle think he was classin' your car up a little."

"Don't need the dice for that." Hutch moved in for a long kiss. "I've got you riding with me." Hutch waited until the deep blue eyes met his. Eyes the color of which was almost captured by Merle's indigo paint job. But not quite.

"You're the one with all the class, Blondie. Knowin' all the right wines to pick and what kinds of caviar are better. Me, I think I'm doin' something classy when I buy the more expensive Chianti at the grocery store." Starsky smiled at the statement, but there was a little undercurrent of self-consciousness in it.

"Hey." Hutch nudged Starsky's chin up with a gentle finger. "Anybody can learn how to pick wine, or tell the difference between caviars. Real class, the genuine article? That comes from inside. Let me tell you something, buddy. I'd rather have the bottle of Chianti and the tiger tail plant you brought home from the supermarket than all the caviar on Earth. You spent all day thinking about me, doing nice things for me. That's as classy as it gets."

"If I can get past thinkin' about the fact I'm eating a lot of fish eggs, maybe you can teach me the caviar thing sometime. How much'a that stuff have you eaten, anyway, so you know it like that?"

"Jack Mitchell's family had it every time they had a fancy party. I went to all their parties. I just remember that one year, Mrs. Mitchell almost had a stroke because they served the wrong type. The way she flew around that house like a balloon with the air let out of it was a great way to impress on me that what I was tasting wasn't supposed to be good." Hutch found himself chuckling at the memory. "All the Mitchells were outraged, so I had to pretend I was, too, or look like some sort of clod."

"I don't think anybody'd ever figure you for a clod."

"You'd be surprised."

"Okay, so maybe when you run into patio doors, or trip over your feet--"

"I get the picture. Thanks, pal."

"You really think I'm classy?" Starsky asked, dead serious. Hutch kissed the little crease between the dark brows.

"First class all the way, babe."

Dinner was delayed until much later.

**********

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