The Time for Easy is Over
-- Starsky, Rosey Malone
by Blue Starsky

SHSVS, Episode 615, Part 1

"Those're some good-looking balls you got there," Hutch said, as he watched his partner put another red glass sphere onto their tree.

"Thought you'd never notice," Starsky said with a wink. "It's nice to have Christmas in a house this year, even if we are just house-sitting, at least we're living together."

"Right," Hutch said, as he sat down on the couch and looked around the room. "You do look good in a house, gotta admit that."

"Thanks. That's a real compliment after we moved all those boxes over--" Starsky slapped his forehead. Why did he bring that up?

"I almost forgot about the boxes!" Hutch said, straightening in his seat. "Chris said we could use her decorations. I don't know why we had to bring more of our own."

"Because they're ours, how's that, Mr. Bah Humbug?" He put a candy cane on a branch just over his head. "And why did we have to bring pots and pans over here when they have a kitchen twice as big as either of ours?"

"Okay, okay." Hutch waved his hands in front of him. "Truce."

"A whole month in someone else's house." Starsky leered at his partner between the branches. "Sounded pretty sexy to me. How could I say no to your offer?"

"I didn't think they'd ever get out of here, though. Kept coming back with more things to tell us. You'd think they were leaving the baby for us to take care of instead of just the house and the dogs."

Hutch got up and walked around the room. "Chris is stressed out. Sick grandfather, new baby. She looked frazzled, and Verducci looked like he hadn't had any sleep in weeks."

"He's lucky Dobey was able to give him that much time off." Starsky thought for a second. " Someday we should take off like that."

"Someday we will. Count on it." Hutch was now standing by the tree. "I like the way the menorah looks over there." The partners had recently celebrated their second Hanukkah together as a couple.

"After that Passover Seder, Ma thinks you're ready to convert." He laughed.

"It's not like I cooked and orchestrated the whole thing. I just did some research and went along to New York to participate and help the two of you."

"Well, she was impressed." As they kissed, he reached to put a handful of tinsel on top of Hutch's head, but his partner knew what Starsky was thinking and caught his hand. While their tongues wrestled, their fists wrestled, too, the mass of tinsel strands crinkling by their ears.

When Starsky tossed the tinsel on the tree, a familiar pain struck, and he frowned as he brought his arm back to his side. "Damn."

"What's up?" Hutch asked, poking through a box of candy canes.

"Still got this kinda ache in my stomach. Been a few days now." He looked at Hutch. "Remember me tellin' you about it before?"

"Starsky, that wouldn't have happened if you hadn't had the eight-course enchilada extravaganza at Tomatillo's yesterday."

"You didn't do much better, askin' if they had beef that was less fatty. 'Sides, we're in the neighborhood now. What do you expect me to do? Gotta support my special places. 'Specially if I know the chef there personally."

"Used to know him," Hutch corrected.

"Used to," he agreed. "How was I supposed to know that Norberto wasn't workin' there anymore?"

"I don't mean that." Hutch pointed the business end of a candy cane at Starsky. "But we were on dinner break and you spent twenty minutes trying to impress the waiter because you knew the chef."

"Twenty minutes. Right," Starsky answered sarcastically. Hutch was exaggerating wildly, and it was clear that he was trying to appear aloof. Starsky knew better. Hutch was looking forward to this Christmas as much as he was. Did Hutch know how well Starsky read him? How well he could see through his partner's façade of indifference? Starsky saw Hutch's hidden smiles, and to have his partner's true acceptance and admiration energized him all the more.

He went over to the counter where the ornament boxes were and picked up the note Chris had left for them about caring for the house, the plants, and the dogs. "She should be a novelist." He laughed as he turned to page three. "Says the third Saturday of every month a whole bunch of people bring their dogs to a neighborhood park at eleven." He stopped and flipped the page. "There's a map. Told their friends that their house-sitters may or may not bring the dogs this month."

Hutch, who was eating a carrot, walked over and started to read over his shoulder. He smiled and read from the paper. "You don't have to talk to anybody. The dogs like to run and play together. We usually pack a snack, and sometimes we just sit by ourselves at a picnic table. Nobody cares or thinks twice." He threw the greens from the carrot in the trashcan. "Want to go with me and watch a bunch of dogs run around?"

"You askin' me for a date?"

"Yeah, and if it's a cool day, you can wear the sweater someone gave you for a Hanukkah present," Hutch said.

"Who gave me a sweater?" Starsky asked with a smirk. Hutch had given him a beautiful dark blue sweater and a pair of blue jeans. Hutch was always giving him new blue jeans. The thought made him smile.

Starsky walked into the bedroom to join his partner, just as the light of dusk was fading into the dark of nighttime. Hutch's hair was still wet from the shower, and the belt to his robe trailed behind him like a tail, attached to one loop by only a couple inches of fabric. Starsky pulled off his shirt and set it on the back of a chair. Two arms opened and he was enveloped by warm, damp skin. He inhaled the aroma of his Hutch.

"You want to turn off that hall light?" Hutch asked him.

Shaking his head, Starsky pulled the robe off his partner before taking a long taste from that luxurious mouth. Finally able to pull his face away, he saw the slight liquid remnants of their kiss that remained on Hutch's lips. "Damn," he said, placing a hand on either side of that face. "That mouth of yours is gonna be the death of me someday."

"It's our first night here," Hutch said. "This house, our house for the holidays." For a second, he glanced toward the window, looking over Starsky's shoulder. The moonlight caught his face, illuminating him and brightening the blue of his eyes, which gave them an ethereal glow like a cat's.

Starsky's thumbs smoothed along his partner's cheekbones. An animal's gonna screw me tonight. An animal that walks by night.

"Our first night here," Hutch continued, "and we've got tomorrow off. Got our stuff moved in, finally. You, uh, feel like something off the special menu?" He stretched as he spoke, and as his body lengthened; Starsky, in his arms, felt his back sensuously elongated as he was brought along for the ride. The men shared this simple sensation--so ordinary yet so seductive.

"I don't care, blue eyes. Just so long as I'm the main course off that menu." He could feel a familiar tingle disperse in that small area behind his balls and kissed his partner, sucking in Hutch's tongue to illustrate his offer. The flavor of Hutch, so subtle, so refined.

The hands that grabbed him during their kiss were the hands of a man who'd been given a free pass out of this world--a man who was eager and ready.

Starsky jiggled his ass in the best pre-horizontal mambo move he could, deliberately playing the tease. He could hear Hutch's nails scratching against the denim that kept him from the flesh. That flesh was becoming as needy as his partner's hands. "Ya can't get in there 'til you get the cover off, babe," Starsky said, leaning back. The cheeks of his ass fit so perfectly into those hands.

The head of Hutch's cock bumped above the waistband of Starsky's jeans, rubbing his skin, and he felt the hair there growing moist. When they separated, the air struck that dampened area, feeling like the fingers of a cool hand scattering across his belly.

Hutch walked to the center of the room and motioned for his lover to stand before him. Starsky hadn't removed his jeans, because he knew Hutch would find pleasure in doing so for him.

All at once, Hutch's hands were like the speeding tires of the Torino, screeching fingers raced along Starsky's chest with such vehemence that Starsky feared the hair might catch fire. When they slid over areolas and flew past a couple of speed bumps, he worried that his brain was the thing that would catch fire.

In the dim light from the hall, he watched as experienced fingers undid the top button of his jeans. He heard a low sound emanate from deep within his partner. The sound landed somewhere around Starsky's inner thighs, making the flesh there tremble. Oh, shit. It's getting bad. I could come just from seeing those fingers pry open my pants to get to my cock.

"I'm taking these off of you." It was said matter-of-factly. "And putting something even better on top of you." Hutch was in one of his precision down-to-business modes, and his fingers were shaking. Clearly, he was trying to ease down the zipper carefully because Starsky was going commando that evening. It seemed to take all the self-control Hutch had not to yank down the zipper quickly to get to his favorite source of high-impact protein.

One of these days, Starsky knew if he kept skipping the underwear, Hutch was going to lose that self-control, and his cock would get zipper burn. He lifted his hips as though that would help get the jeans off faster.

"I've been waiting all day for this," his lover said, as he looked up at him before taking Starsky's cock in his hands.

Again, Starsky was eager to get started, his hips gyrating even faster than Hutch was moving his hand as he knelt down.

Hutch flashed a Pepsodent smile, which hardened into seriousness as his tongue snaked out to lick away the first drop of excitement that had percolated to the tip. "Hey, this is the kind of candy cane I like best. Yeah, we'll still get all sticky, but you're my favorite."

There was no time to get used to the sensation of suddenly being swallowed into that slippery, private heat. Hutch's tongue-tip was flitting around inside, slapping and slathering against his cock, warm and wet. And then it felt as though Hutch had multiple tongues. Starsky's sensitive, aching cock was in the miniature carwash--or--cock wash of his dreams. Adding to the stimulation was the fact that Starsky could never predict where the slithery muscle--reminiscent of those soaking elongated fabric flaps--would strike next. Half whip, half liquid-silk caress.

The suction was exquisite; he was sucked long and deep into velvety warmth--wet, satiny heat. Hutch's fingers dug into the pubic hair, light skin contrasting the dark hairs of his groin. Curls swamped his face as full lips moved close. When Hutch's nose hit the pubes, Starsky got a momentary glance at how his partner would look with a wiry, bushy, dark mustache and beard.

He almost started to laugh as he sometimes did when he saw it, more out of astonishment than the literal humor of it, but his partner wasn't about to let sight be the sense Starsky focused on. When Hutch took a big whiff, Starsky was a goner; it was completely erotic. The beautiful chiseled features, his Mister Blond America face, grinding his nose into the sweaty pubes with Starsky's cock down his throat. And still Starsky knew that his incredible partner wanted more.

Hutch let go of Starsky's balls and reached around, smacking his butt cheeks, a familiar signal between them to spread their legs.

At once, Starsky was startled as if by a bright light. Someone must have ripped away the fabric of the darkness, and the unadulterated light from the stars had rushed into the room. "What're you boys doin' in there?" He heard the imaginary cop say as he looked in on them, aiming his flashlight.

Shit, he hadn't even come yet, and already Hutch was making lights go on behind his eyelids. Then his mind tried to get in touch with the real world again. He opened his eyes, and the reality of the light hit him.

"What the--?!" Leaning forward, he expected to find the strong shoulders, but they were no longer there. Was Verducci home again?

Hutch was standing, facing the door. "Who's there?" he asked with a booming voice.

"What the hell's going on? You turn on the lights?" Starsky tried to step forward but couldn't because his jeans were pooled around his ankles.

Hutch looked around suspiciously, that giant cat trying to sniff out danger. Protectively, he had a hand wrapped around Starsky's arm.

"Quit messin' around, Blondie." Starsky laughed. No response. "Hutch." His partner didn't hear him. To get his attention, Starsky clapped his hands together by his partner's ears. Darkness. The lights had gone off. After a second of surprise, it dawned on Starsky that their friends must have had the Clapper light switch mechanism installed in their bedroom. He laughed so hard, he had to lean forward against Hutch for fear of falling over, especially with the faded denim shackles at his feet.

Then his lover was again illuminated only by the dim light from the hall. Here was Hutch, standing tall, his body still holding the sheen from sex-kindled sweat, cock at half-mast. At the same time, he was in heavy cop mode. A naked, sexy man who was also this serious authority figure.

"Don't have your Magnum, but you're still packin' heat, babe." Starsky laughed.

Hutch let out a deep breath and looked at Starsky. "Why do I get the impression the lights are going to be going on and off a lot in this room for the next month?" He smiled.

"What if they'd walked in right then?" He cracked up again. "Hey." Starsky pulled Hutch to him and kissed him. "Whad'ya say you pick up where you left off?"

Hutch's fingers wove through Starsky's hair in a brief, loving massage before he chuckled and returned to his knees, his hands stroking the sides of Starsky's thighs.

Unable to resist, Starsky clapped his hands and the lights came back on. This was too easy.

Hutch looked up at him. Eyes like iridescent sea glass began to close. They were covered slowly behind narrowing lids, lash-tufted bivalve shells. He wondered when the blue glass would hatch and show themselves once more.

"Just thought I'd watch ya," was all Starsky said.

Warm fingers wrapped around Starsky's cock. "You do that, partner." Hutch opened his mouth as if to take in the erection, but stopped just before. "And take notes, too. I wanna be on the receiving end next, so hang on and I'll show you how it's done. Oh," Hutch added as though it was an afterthought, "I really don't think we ought to have any spankings while we're staying here."

Starsky laughed at the thought of the lights flashing on and off--illicit Morse code for the neighbors to see.

"Now, watch the master at work." Hutch mimed the act of unzipping Starsky's jeans, which were long gone and purely invisible. A thumbnail brushed against the shaft of his cock, offering a sensation so erotic that Starsky felt as though he was being cut in two. Hutch reached inside the imaginary fly and pulled out the fervent cock, which was impatient to be devoured.

Hutch grabbed it, sucking it back to being fully engorged very quickly. How could he do this to him so fast? There was something added, wicked, about being in someone else's bedroom.

Hutch reached around and, gently this time, took hold of Starsky's ass, pulling his body closer until Starsky's entire hard cock was in his mouth. The visual heightened the tactile once more when he noticed Hutch was wearing that otherwise impossible dark mustache and beard. As Hutch sucked Starsky, he began to separate his buttocks, then swirled a finger around the small opening, making it pucker.

Grabbing Hutch's hair, he moved his hips, his cock going in and out of that beautiful mouth. A growl ripped from him as he emptied himself into Hutch's throat. Hutch greedily swallowed all he had to offer. Starsky was floating in the ether, vaguely aware of Hutch pulling him onto the bed and holding him tight, whispering love words, while Starsky struggled to come back to earth as his body struggled to stop shuddering.

Hutch's kissing was hard and passionate. The kiss became more demanding, sensual. Their tongues twisted together.

Starsky opened his mouth farther, making his offering clear.

"You're amazing, Starsk. Thought you might be too tired--"

He didn't let him finish. "Lay it on me, blue eyes," Starsky said, as he pulled his partner on top of him. "Show this ass the best you got to give. Kiss me again--but not on the lips."

Hutch licked an inner thigh and grinned, and Starsky was already trembling. He pulled his knees back until they were near his nose. It was almost funny to Starsky that had he and Hutch not gotten together like this, he probably never would've been anywhere near this well acquainted with his own knees as he had become. He was ready for Hutch quickly, his body relaxing to welcome his partner's hefty member and enjoy it voraciously.

Hutch was the white dragon moving down to consume him, grinding and heaving and pumping until the release of white hot fire. And the dragon was a huge, crumpled, wilted, trembling blond comforter draped on top of Starsky.

Starsky rubbed Hutch's light hair, the ends of which rested on his chest. And there was that contrast again, dark hair, light hair, so perfect together.

I took your fire, Starsky thought, and you've shown strength by claiming me. I also showed my strength as I endured. Endured and asked for more. Maybe I'm the one who conquered you, this big, strong Nordic man lying in a wasted heap across my naked body. He stoked my furnace and then collapsed from the effort.

"This is weird. It's like having them over to our place, but it's not our place."

"I know," Starsky said, as he wrapped foil around the potatoes. "We've only been here a week, and already it feels like our place."

"We've got some of our stuff around. Our stuff in the closets and drawers." Hutch tore lettuce leaves as he spoke. "Too bad Cal can't make it. Pretty soon Dobey'll only have one kid at home." He added the garlic he'd chopped to the salad dressing.

When Starsky walked by, Hutch dipped a slice of cucumber into the thick, white dressing and held it up to his partner's lips. Starsky opened his mouth, and Hutch fed him the moist disc, leaving only a small drop of the dressing on his lip. Starsky chewed slowly and as lasciviously as he could, performing for his blond. Ahhh, the enjoyment of cucumbers in their lives.

"You've got… Uh…" Hutch said.

Starsky nodded before they kissed. By the time the kiss was over, the drop of dressing was no more, and both men had garlic breath. The doorbell rang. "Damn," Starsky said. "Just when it was gettin' good!"

"Smells good in here," Dobey said, a high compliment, indeed.

"Well, you don't exactly invite your boss over and feed him something you don't think he'd like," Hutch said.

"Feel free to admire the decorations," Starsky said with a laugh, as he took their coats.

"This room is beautiful! Look! A giant reindeer; that's the biggest one I've ever seen!" Rosie exclaimed, running to the four-foot stuffed red reindeer in the corner of the room.

When Edith was about to say something, Hutch motioned that it was all right.

"I can see one reason the station is as decorated as it is," Edith said, looking at all the decorations in the living room. "Are these things you brought over or--?"

"Both," Starsky said enthusiastically, as they sat at the table and served the meal. "Chris said we could use some of their things to decorate. She left boxes out for us." He took a bite of meat. "I like to decorate the station. In our job we see so many terrible things, so much unhappiness, so much cruelty. It's fun to just throw garlands and candy canes around instead of throwing punches."

"He nearly took my ear off with one of the candy canes he threw around this morning," Hutch said.

"Aw, bah humbug." Starsky laughed.

"Well, Starsky," Captain Dobey said, "you're a better cook than I thought you would be."

"Harold!" his wife snapped.

Starsky laughed. "It's okay, Edith. We're used to it." He sat up straight and looked at his captain. "Ya see, Cap'n, we don't do as much take-out as we used to 'cause we haven't had a raise in forever."

"Right," Hutch agreed. "That's one reason we agreed to house-sit for Verducci. Make a little extra cash. Starsky can get that personality transplant he's needed for so long."

"That might've been funny, partner. Might've. If you only had a brain," Starsky said in a sing-song voice, which made Rosie laugh.

"I swear you boys are just like Cal and his friends when they're together." Edith laughed. "Don't men ever grow up?" As she spoke, they heard a series of small dinging sounds.

"Of course we do," the captain said. He was turning the top of the Swedish brass angel candle chimes that had been placed at the far end of the table while they were eating. The candles were lit, but apparently it wasn't going around quickly enough for him. What they'd heard was little angels' wands striking the chimes more and more quickly as they passed by. "We have careers and support our families just like women do. I don't know why women always ask questions like that." Rosie leaned against her dad and watched the little angels go around in circles.

"Don't burn your fingers doing that," his wife told him.

Starsky laughed, and Hutch gave him a quick glance.

The conversation continued during dinner.

"I don't want to forget to congratulate you two," Edith said. "Harold tells me you're being awarded the Silver Star."

"I always thought a medal was just what my leather jacket needed," Starsky said with a smile.

"It isn't just a medal; you also get a ribbon and a citation. You should be proud. It's 'for displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.' I think that's how it's worded," the captain said with a big smile on his face. "Belanger and Tinker. No one's ever brought down the heads of two houses in one swoop before. This sent a lot of underworld figures scurrying--undercurrents felt here, LA, San Diego. The chief knows the LAPD's been looking at the two of you since then."

Starsky was touched. When Dobey spoke, he seemed to show the same amount of pride he might have had if he himself had been the recipient.

"Word is we have to go to a press conference, too," Hutch said, a look of mild distaste on his face.

"Don't scoff. It's the BCPD's highest honor." Dobey wiped his mouth with his napkin before continuing. "Your pictures will be taken at the news conference. Then taken again at the ceremony."

"I'll practice my smile." Hutch laughed.

With Hutch sitting on his left side, Starsky and his partner sometimes bumped elbows as they ate--Starsky with his fork in his left hand, Hutch with his in his right.

"Who'd've imagined Chief Ryan would be handing us medals?" Starsky said. "Just goes to show ya. He may not like our style, but our record speaks for itself." He pushed some vegetables around on his plate. "It'll be a great way to start off 1981."

"You bet it will. The Department can really use this kind of recognition. Publicity."

"Must look pretty impressive to Captain Robb over at the Sixteenth Precinct, too," Starsky said, cocking his head. Dobey and Robb had a friendly rivalry going, though neither would ever admit it.

"Robb will get his turn some year. It's about time the Ninth got singled out." The captain smiled as he poured more dressing on his salad.

Mrs. Dobey set down her glass. "How big is this house?"

"Not that big, really. The two bedrooms. A yard for the dogs to run around." Hutch pointed out the back window, and Rosie looked so she could see the dogs there.

"It's working out really well. Good sized fridge, hot tub; the dogs are fun to run with--"

The captain interrupted. "Retrievers?"

"They're Dalmatians," Starsky continued. "Have to thank Verducci for not having pit bulls. I'm not that much of a dog person." He took another bite of his steak, then continued talking about their public living arrangements. "There's a bedroom for each of us. Just the right fit."

Hutch was walking to the kitchen to get more coffee. "Nice neighborhood for jogging. I made sure I got the bedroom where the window faces east, so I'd get the morning sun." He pointed to the bedroom door before refilling Dobey's cup then sitting down. "Wakes me up."

"An' we can just head out to work. I don't have to drive 'cross town and wait while my partner takes twenty extra minutes to comb his hair and throw a bunch of garbage into the blender."

Hutch nudged him with his elbow, but it didn't silence Starsky.

"Before I agreed to stay here, too, I asked Verducci if they had a blender. He said he didn't think they did, so I said, 'Then I'm there'."

"Hey, come on!" Hutch chided.

"Well," the captain said, "we don't like to say anything, but Hutchinson's eating habits are well known down at the station."

"Those mashed up health drinks smell worse than they look!" Starsky said.

They'd chatted a little more before Edith started looking side to side, a worried expression on her face. "Rosie. Where's Rosie?"

Everyone stood up. "She can't have gone far. She was just here," Dobey said.

"Okay, let's fan out an' find her," Starsky said. "I'll check my room." He went into the far bedroom, even checking the closet. No Rosie.

"Here she is!" Hutch said, his head out the door of the other bedroom. Starsky went back into the hall, leaving the door to what was really his and Hutch's bedroom wide open. Everyone crowded outside the door, looking in to find Rosie asleep on the bed. It was a bare mattress, with a few jackets laid on it. She was using a small pile of folded towels for a pillow. The room was packed with boxes. The partners had planned to move them into the garage, as Verducci had encouraged them to do, so that the room was useable as a bedroom. It certainly wasn't in its present condition.

The closet was open. It contained nothing but a few coats, some of Chris's dresses and more boxes. Since the baby still slept in a crib in the master bedroom, they hadn't even begun to make it into a nursery yet. Starsky worried that it was clear this room was used more for storage, and that neither of the partners slept in here. The door to the first bedroom was still wide open and everyone could see the large bed, pillows, sheets, and covers in a jumble. The shirts they'd worn yesterday and a pair of jeans were draped on nearby chairs. Another pair of jeans was hung on the bedpost.

Edith went in and woke her daughter, while Starsky, Hutch, and Dobey stood in the hall. What can I say to explain this one? Starsky thought. The only other information to go through his mind was a series of swear words. Hutch put his hand on Dobey's back and they walked back past the spare bedroom out to the living room. Starsky closed their bedroom door and followed them.

They had planned to have the room cleared out and looking like a used bedroom well before Verducci and Chris got home.

With Rosie now half-asleep and eager to get home to her own bed, the Dobeys didn't stay much longer. After they left, the partners hung out for a while in silence. Starsky sat. Hutch paced.

"Didn't help that the closet door was open."

"It sure as hell was," Starsky said before thinking back to the other bedroom the Dobeys had seen. "They saw all our clothes except the underwear. At least I hope they didn't see the underwear. Hope they weren't looking that high up." His laugh was forced.

"One of us should've worn the same jeans today as yesterday, then there wouldn't've been two pairs on the floor in there. As though that would've solved it," Hutch said sarcastically.

Starsky closed his eyes. They'd arrived home late and left early that morning. It wasn't like they always left their clothes strewn about. "Could've both belonged to just one of us, but no chance they'd think that after seeing the other room crammed with stuff."

"Could'a, should'a. Instead of wasting time with that, we should be focusing on the real issue. What the hell do we do now?"

They rinsed off the dishes, leaving the washing until the next day.

"My heart's still racing. Can't remember the last time we chased a suspect that far." Starsky pulled a blank report from the filing cabinet then handed the form to his partner. He took off one of his shoes and turned it upside down. "I knew there was a rock in there!"

"Thank goodness she was wearing high heels, or we might still be running after her," Hutch laughed as he slid the paper into the typewriter. "So when do we get computers for these reports like they have over at the Tenth?"

Starsky shook his head. "Hey."

Hutch looked up to find Starsky's hand extended over the top of the typewriter. He took it and they shook hands.

"Another job well done, partner. This one was a monster. Everyone thought she was the secretary, the girlfriend, something, and it was her all the time."

"I can still hear her screaming in my ear," Hutch said. "She's screaming down in holding now, you can count on that. Both of them, probably." He began to type.

"Think of it. Maybe I'll go into business with my mother. What should we do? Bake cookies? Sew dresses? Care for wayward youth?"

"Scream at rock concerts?" Hutch suggested before the bell on the machine went off and he shifted to the next line.

"Naaaaaaah. We wanna make some real money. Let's mom and me be contract killers. Sound good?"

"Hear you guys caught the Bloody Christmas killers."

Starsky looked up. It was Pete Babcock, another detective in their precinct.

"Yep." Starsky wheeled his chair over and poured himself a cup of coffee. "Still can't believe it's all over."

"Well, congratulations." He started to walk away but then came back. "Sure you didn't time it this way so you'd solve the case right before you got your medals?" He slapped Hutch on the back before walking out of the room.

"Long day," Hutch said, after pulling the completed report out of the machine.

"Tell me the last one that wasn't," Starsky said.

They put the form on Dobey's desk, grabbed their jackets, and clocked out.

"Hmmmm," Hutch mimicked the sound his partner made. "That feel good?"

"You know damn well it does," Starsky retorted, his breathing becoming shallow.

Hutch applied pressure, squeezing randomly, his fingertips pulsing on and off, and Starsky felt his balls rise and tighten. Shit, he's good at this. Hutch's thumb found the crease of skin on the underside of Starsky's scrotum and he played Starsky's balls like a manic pianist going like fire over the keys. Starsky bit his lip and spread his legs more, pressing into that thrilling hand. As soon as he closed his eyes, the tempo suddenly changed. This was something new.

Starsky looked up to see his partner holding his scrotum in the palm of one hand, adjusting a small bedside lamp with the other. Oh, God, he thought. What's he gonna do now? Hutch's touch was light, fingertips drawn slowly over the surface of Starsky's skin. "They're all yours, babe," Starsky said, smiling as he watched Hutch examine his balls. He wanted to lie back and just absorb the sensations, but if Hutch was going to put on such an erotic performance, no way was he not going to watch as well.

"Starsk, what is this?"

Starsky laughed. "All your doing, babe."

Hutch reached up and took Starsky's hand, then wrapped both their fingers around his scrotum. Hutch put his hand behind Starsky's and squeezed lightly.

"You wanna see me rub myself?" he asked slyly. "Always knew I could get you off just watchin' me."

"Starsky, wait a second. I want you to feel this and tell me what it is."

He took a few breaths before responding. Hutch seemed serious. "What? Feel what?"

"What is this?" Hutch pressed Starsky's fingers round and round over one particular spot. When he took his hand away, Starsky continued feeling the area.

"That little bump? I don't know what it is. Probably nothing."

Hutch sat up straight, one knee bent in front of him, and the other leg extended, looking him in the eye. "Starsk, it may be nothing, but it also may be something. How long has it been there?"

Starsky stopped rubbing the spot and sat up. "How should I know? You're the one who takes care of that area for me." He smiled but Hutch didn't smile back.

"Buddy, you like a certain kind of, um, attention." He rested his head on Starsky's shoulder, his voice softening. "I don't usually spend much time in that exact area." He smiled briefly and raised his head. "This little bump wasn't here the last time I was."

Starsky felt the spot on his scrotum again, trying to rub the little lump between his thumb and forefinger. "I don't know. Doesn't hurt. Maybe it'll go away."

"I think it's something you should get checked out. Make an appointment with Dr. Boyce."

"Boyce?"

"He's the urologist," Hutch said. "Remember I saw him two years ago? He'll be able to tell you what it is."

Starsky sighed. "All right, all right. But I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill. Probably just some kinda pimple." The smile Hutch gave him wasn't very big. He patted the spot again, trying to figure out what it was.

Hutch put his hand under Starsky's chin. Starsky raised his head and they faced one another. "It's probably nothing. Could be an infection. Something the doctor could clear up in no time. Might not even be that. No reason to think it's anything serious." Starsky could feel each individual finger as it rubbed the back of his neck. Hutch's voice softened once more. "It's your body, your call. If I were you, I'd get it checked out. I-I'm asking you to do that. I love you and I'd like to see you make sure it's really nothing."

"Okay, I'll have it checked out," he said without hesitation. No question. If his partner felt that strongly about it, he'd let the doctor look at his pimple. Only he wished it were on his nose, like when he was fourteen, instead of on his testicle.

Hutch reached behind him and turned off the lamp. He came in close to Starsky until their bodies were clasped together on the bed, where they rolled until finding a comfortable position--this time, Hutch on his back, Starsky on top of him. Starsky felt the cool air on his back, and, as he unsuccessfully reached behind him blindly trying to capture the covers, Hutch tilted his head up and was able to grab them and pull them up over the both of them. He wrapped his arms around his lover, massaging Starsky's back under the covers.

"This mean you're on Mother Hen duty this week?" Starsky said. Dobey had teased them through the years about mother-henning each other now and then. He rubbed Hutch's temples.

"Depends on how you look at--"

He couldn't finish the sentence, because Starsky had moved his fingers down to play with his partner's lips. Hutch startled him when his tongue suddenly darted out and licked him.

"Delicious!" he said before they shared a kiss.

Fewer than two days later, Starsky gave his partner a bit of news, almost as an inconsequential aside. "Oh, got an appointment with Boyce for Monday."

"Starsk, you want to talk about?"

"There's nothing to say. We got this Dobey thing goin' on. At least that's something we can sink our teeth into, something we know enough about to plan for. What're we gonna do about that? Other stuff, I'm doing just fine." Why was he lying to Hutch? Why was he lying to the one person to whom lying was futile, the one person who always knew if he was lying? He could tell Hutch still wanted to try and get him to talk about it, talk about his thoughts and worries, but thankfully, he let it be.

They'd skirted around the issue with Dobey for almost a full week. Several times, they started to discuss it but then abandoned the subject. There was an uneasiness in the air at work, and for the past few days, they'd found themselves avoiding contact with their captain altogether. It was time to decide what they were going to do.

Hutch sat on the couch beside Starsky. " Okay, let's see what we've got. Why do we tell him? Why don't we tell him?"

"We don't tell him and we're implying that he's more our boss than our friend. We're implying that we're more afraid of what he'd do as the captain. We don't respect him enough to be honest with him." This was frustrating and Starsky was starting to confuse himself, but he continued, trying to formulate his thoughts. "If we don't tell him, there'll be a wedge driven down the middle of our relationship. It was inevitable that he'd find out." He rubbed his neck. "But why do I feel like I don't want to tell him this?"

"And we're supposed to be the ones on a mission to make things better. We've never treated him like a stranger, Mr. Boss. " Hutch saluted to emphasize his point. "Are we gonna start doing that now?"

"So what happens when we tell him?"

Hutch scratched his head. "You're asking me? There must be a million different things that could happen." He shrugged, a look of disgust on his face.

"A million, huh? I can think of two or three. If he goes by the book, he does what? Splits us up. They give us different partners." Starsky's stomach tensed as he said it.

"Somebody'd have to explain that to Ryan who's got our medals warming and ready." Hutch was looking off into the distance. "Our cooperation working as a team is part of why we're getting those things." He rested the beer bottle on his thigh.

"Right. Now we know there's no way Dobey's gonna tell anybody. We've all been through too much together." Starsky got up and got a glass of water. He poured a little bit of it into the African violet that sat on the shelf in the kitchen before returning. "He's told us to disappear, told us to get out there and do whatever we had to do to break a case. Probably won't even tell Edith, though something tells me she figured it out before he did."

Hutch stood up and stretched. "You thinking he might not go by the book?"

"You know that's what I'm thinking." Starsky walked over to stand directly in front of his partner. "Puts him in a really bad place. He should split us up. Could even put some other reason for it on the books, but that's what he should do according to the brass."

Hutch reached forward, wrapping his fingers around Starsky's forearm. "It's late. We've been over and over this. How 'bout we put it, and us, to bed for the night? Otherwise, Dobey'll see two half-asleep zombies wearing our clothes tomorrow."

Starsky nodded. It's all serious now, he thought. Consequences. Loving someone has consequences where you might lose your job, lose some friends. He shook his head as they walked into the bedroom.

"You want to shower first...before me?" Hutch asked, clearly so in tune with Starsky's emotions to know that some alone time might be appreciated.

Starsky looked at him for a second before responding. Then for some reason, a smile came to his face. A smile. Where'd that come from? It didn't take long to figure out the answer. In one quick and well-practiced motion, he had his partner in his arms and was giving him one of those kisses they'd called "tonsil diving." It was as if inhaling Hutch's breath empowered and grounded him. When he pulled back, Hutch's lips were as wet as his were, and a smile was on his face, too. Starsky unbuttoned the remaining buttons on his lover's shirt and pulled his own t-shirt over his head. "How 'bout we both shower first?"

Hutch was now in just the black bikini briefs Starsky had given him for his birthday, having set his pants over the back of a chair.

"I think you and I need to, um…." Starsky grabbed hold of the waistband of Hutch's underwear. "We need to connect somehow. Remind each other what the hell this is really all about." One good downward yank had the briefs around Hutch's knees. "Tell the rest of the world to fuck off. Whad'ya think of that?" Now Starsky was free to touch his partner's bare skin, and he did just that.

"What do I think of that?" Hutch used one hand to unsnap Starsky's jeans and pull down the zipper. He could do it left-handed, too; Starsky had witnessed it happen several times. After quickly pulling down the jeans, warm fingers eased down the blue Speedos. He watched the removal of his clothing while maintaining a sexy leer on his face.

This is what Starsky loved--having Hutch look at him as though he were the most delicious dessert imaginable. The Speedos now completely off of him, the two men stood facing each other. Hutch reached to cup the balls, rolling them in his hand, squeezing lightly. "You tell me if anything hurts you," Hutch whispered, his eyes locked onto Starsky's. "If anything makes you uncomfortable, tell me. Otherwise..." That was all that needed to be said. Hutch loved him, loved his body, no matter what.

They didn't talk much as they shared the shower, enjoying letting their soapy hands talk to each other's bodies. Hutch lathered up his friend's skin, rubbing, caressing, and working the muscles as Starsky's own personal masseur.

Starsky held out a hand to his partner. "Let me wash your cock."

Hutch smiled and put his hands on his hips. "You bat those lashes at me, Mister, you get to do anything you please." His erection seemed to battle with the washcloth, its hardness and growing size more difficult to get a hand around. Also it didn't want to move along, getting stuck as if he were trying to slide the cloth over the trunk of a tree. It was Starsky's favorite thing to wrestle with. "I think you're clean now." He leaned against the shower wall. "You better get me clean, too."

Hutch did so joyously, lathering up Starsky's dark pubic hair before rinsing him over and over. He then squatted down and brought the erection into his mouth.

"Suck it for me, partner." Starsky knew he was doing something with his hands, and could see that his fingers were ransacking Hutch's hair. He just wasn't conscious enough to predict his movements or control them. "You know what I want. Yeah, that's it, that's right." He leaned against the shower wall.

Hutch moved lower and began to lick Starsky's balls, which were heavy between his legs. Placing small kisses along Starsky's sac, the tongue slid across his skin. Hutch managed to pull them both into his mouth, loving each one, rolling it around in his mouth. He was a little more gentle than usual, but it set Starsky off just the same. Starsky squatted, flaring his thighs outward to give his partner greater access.

"Don't stop, don't..." His cock rolled around Hutch's face. "Please, don't stop." What Hutch did with his mouth was shooting Starsky's mind and entire body out of this world. He looked down. Hutch was smiling. Shit, he's smiling with my friggin' balls in his mouth. Starsky wanted to howl, but the best he could manage was a staccato moan. The lascivious smile, complete with bulging, X-rated Dizzy Gillespie cheeks, was his partner's latest superhuman, supersexual feat, and one that caused him to cry out and grip the strong shoulders that much tighter.

Hutch's tongue moved back to his cock, pulling it into the wet furnace just as Starsky's vision blurred and his body shook. These were the small tremors that he knew preceded the final blastoff. He was consumed by a fiery white light. The sense of touch ruled his universe, and he had tunnel vision, seeing only the blond head--hair darkened slightly by the water--taking his cock to task, giving it a famous Hutchinson tongue-lashing. The mouth was on his cock, Hutch's two-day growth of beard now rubbing against his balls, Hutch's fingers squeezing his ass.

The pleasure Starsky was enduring came close to devouring him; soon he would be shattered into a million sparks. The warm water drenched his back, keeping the fire at bay for a second more, but seeming to tease him into giving it up to Hutch that much quicker. His body arched, and it felt as though he were sending a geyser into Hutch's hungry mouth.

Soon, Starsky reached down to take Hutch's arms, pulling him up. And when they stood face to face, Starsky wrapped himself around his partner, taking his mouth in a deep, long and loving kiss. God, he'd needed that, and, God, he needed Hutch.

Hutch stepped back and spread his legs. Hutch turned, handed him the dripping wet cloth, and whispered. "Your turn."

When Starsky squatted in the corner, where they were all but out of the spray of the water, Hutch's hard cock stood straight and sturdy, just inches from his lips. Starsky closed his eyes and licked gently across the swollen crown. Hutch's gasp nearly knocked him over.

Each time, the first touch of his tongue to the smooth tip of his lover's erection seemed to send a drum roll pulsing through his veins. He was running the pyrotechnics show, and he could tell by the sounds and squirms of his audience what was especially appreciated. These things were done more often. The goal was to pull off the most spectacular fireworks display behind his partner's eyelids.

He put all thoughts out of his mind, focusing only on the swelling creature in his mouth. His tongue traced the ridges, followed familiar paths. He could not believe how much he loved this man's body--its flavor and appearance. Letting his tongue wash up and down the shaft, Hutch's broken whimper went to Starsky's heart and groin, and he was determined that in moments he'd have to carry the boneless, spent carcass of Ken Hutchinson to bed.

Moving up onto his toes, he plunged farther down on the hot, engorged cock, fingers applying wet pressure between Hutch's balls and asshole as his partner squirmed above him. The moment of climax came, and Starsky was ecstatic as he felt Hutch's warm, thick essence spurting down his throat. Starsky smiled up at Hutch, and when the now soft penis fell out of his mouth, he caught it in his hand.

Hutch laughed and leaned forward against him.

Starsky stood up happily, kissing him and supporting his weight.

They took their sweet time drying one another off. Starsky glanced out in the hall as they wandered to the bed. He noticed the other bedroom, filled with only boxes, while this, their bedroom, was full of love and support for whatever was in the future.

Still, sleep didn't come easily tonight. Starsky stared at the ceiling, feeling as though he was about to fall off to sleep, but still awake nonetheless.

Hutch, whom he thought had fallen asleep an hour ago, was either still awake or had reawakened, rolled onto his side and began rubbing Starsky's chest. "Hey. We always knew this was bound to happen sometime."

Starsky rolled on top of him and kissed him before he could say any more. "Yeah, I know. And, no, I don't have any regrets about us. Don't even bother askin'. I regret the way we have to stay so secret, regret the fact that we'd run the risk of getting our heads blown off by some brother cop who found out--no doubt a young punk cop with half our experience and nowhere near our brains or arrest record..." He pressed the side of his face against Hutch's warm body, and they were quiet for a while. " Don't married people have some kinda rule about not bein' angry in bed--even if they're not angry at each other?"

"Married people?" Hutch asked before raising his head to kiss his partner's forehead. "Yeah, let's have that rule. We'll only be angry in the living room." Hutch was using that low, soft tone of voice that could dissolve Starsky completely, even in the beginning of one of his mightiest tempers. "Dobey's kind of the last one to know, the last of the people who really matter."

Starsky looked up at him and said quietly, "He'd have to split up a couple'a married people who were partners."

"Starsk." Hutch rubbed his hand down his arm. "Don't say something like that, and then go hiding behind those eyelashes." He laughed a little, and Starsky opened his eyes. "Captain Dobey will do whatever he thinks is right. Do we respect him enough to tell him? I think it would be dishonorable not to be honest. It would dishonor what we've been through, the times he's helped us out of jams, the respect we have for him."

"He's gotta know, gotta be told." Starsky nodded. "When?"

"This weekend? Have him over for lunch or something? On our territory."

"Okay." He laughed.

"What's so funny?" Hutch's eyes looked so crystal blue in the moonlight.

"I was just thinkin'. If we tell him here on a Saturday, maybe he'd come over in something besides a jacket and tie. Then our chances would be better. Like he'd be less official." He sighed. "So, you wanna plan how we'd handle different partners?"

"Be careful there," Hutch said with a wink. "Don't even know if we're going to be split up, and already you're talking about handling this new partner of yours."

Starsky smiled.

"Whad'ya say we wait 'til we have to deal with that. We're young, capable, got money in the bank. We've got options."

Hutch's lips were so slick and supple beneath his tongue. He lay back down beside his partner. It wasn't just the sex or anything as superficial as that. They were supposed to be together. Starsky grinned and rolled his eyes a little at the melodrama they were suddenly embroiled in. He was starting to feel better.

Hutch hovered over him and began rubbing his thighs and stomach in a repeated pattern like arches--stomach to thighs, down almost to knees, back up to thighs, over to stomach, back down the thighs. And finally venturing beneath his stomach, fingers following Starsky's dark treasure trail, one hand took hold of his cock, and the fingers of the other found their way to his scrotum.

Probably noticing the look on his face, Hutch wrapped his arms around Starsky's body, pulling him up, hands rubbing down his back. "Hey, up there. Going over and over this in your mind won't get us anywhere, right?"

Starsky inhaled and exhaled, pushing a lot of the worry out with the breath. Hutch had taught him how to do that. He'd always thought it was a lot of hogwash, but those California cleansing breaths, accompanied by those warm Hutchinson hands, were really working tonight. He smiled. "You planning on us getting somewhere tonight, partner? We already had a pretty good time in the shower for a couple of old coppers."

They shifted positions so they were both sitting up, facing each other. Hutch caressed the side of Starsky's face, five fingers wandering back into his hair. The other hand wandered once more to his genitals. "Oh, yeah, I think we better take one of our trips here in bed tonight, babe. Only question is, who's gonna drive?"

"Shit, Hutch. Aren't you ever satisfied?"

"You aren't just a one-course meal, partner," he said, dropping kisses from his jaw down his neck to his shoulder.

On to Part 2