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Part 1

Charlotte Frost

Part 2

Hutch felt a tremendous weight, even as he threw his jacket aside and unsnapped his shoulder harness. "Hi there, boy," he wearily greeted The General. The barbecue was over, and any moment Starsky would arrive home, since they'd driven in separate cars. No doubt, Starsky had every intention of continuing the discussion that had been interrupted earlier in the afternoon.

Girlfriend went berserk near the door as Starsky drove up.

"Jesus Christ," Hutch muttered, not up to a confrontation. After numerous badminton games, a quarter of flag football, and too many beers to count, he was dead tired. He went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. He was peeling off his clothes when he heard the front door slam. Thankfully, there were noises of Starsky greeting Girlfriend. Hutch took his opportunity and ducked into the shower while still removing his briefs. He wished he'd closed the bathroom door, but it was too late now.

He showered while listening to Starsky come down the hall and then go into their bedroom. The shower spray felt good and Hutch wanted to stay under it forever. At least, Starsky wasn't coming in the shower stall to continue the argument which he'd tried to start what now seemed like a million years ago.

Spoiled prick, Hutch thought, grateful to feel his anger return. Who the hell is he to tell me I shouldn't have done the right thing and instead have been biased?

But he felt apologetic for the harsh thoughts a moment later. He wrote a damn good story. An incredible story. If only Munsell's hadn't been even more incredible....

Then he wouldn't have had this dilemma. And the dreams about the crippled child in the snow wouldn't have returned.

* * *

Starsky was clothed and sitting on the bed with the light off, head bowed, when Hutch came out of the bathroom, still toweling himself off. Starsky looked worn out, too, and was very still.

"Just answer me one question," Starsky said in a sad, weary voice. "Just answer yes or no. Did you vote for Munsell's story for first place, and mine for second?"

Hutch sighed inwardly as he moved to the dresser to pull out a pair of fresh briefs. He supposed it was a fair question. As a judge for the contest, he had no obligation to answer. As Starsky's life partner, he was doomed to swallow his own medicine. "Yes."


Hutch wanted to blame this all on Belinda Davenport. Her little game of volunteering people was a horrible thing to play. She'd fucked up his nice, neat, perfect life by picking out people to judge her stupid, fucking contest.

Yet, Hutch grudgingly had to admit as he pulled back the covers on his side of the bed, if it hadn't been for the contest, Starsky would never have written such a beautiful piece of work.

He got in bed and closed his eyes, wishing desperately for sleep, even if it meant having the dream again.

"You happy now?" Only the slightest hint of anger colored Starsky's voice.

Please, don't start this. But Hutch knew this argument had to happen and they might as well get it over with. He didn't open his eyes. "What do you mean?" He barely managed to sound indignant.

"You proved how you were so hell-bent on sticking to your principles - doing the `right' thing - that you became biased in the opposite direction."

Hutch felt his heart twist. The absolute calm in Starsky's voice told of his intense hurt. "That's nonsense," he snorted, feeling a similar hurt poison his own soul. He wanted to lash out at Starsky, rail at him. How dare Starsky put the person he supposedly loved in this impossible position....

Hutch felt Starsky shift to face him. He kept his own eyes closed.

"There's no way in hell you ever would have voted for me for first place, is there? It wouldn't have mattered what I wrote." Raw hurt now. "No matter what, you were going to prove that assholes like Gibson couldn't be right, and that our partnership wasn't going to influence your vote." Then solid anger. "Since when are you afraid of assholes, Hutch?"

"No," Hutch whispered, wishing he could somehow find the words to express the darkness inside himself. He forced his eyes open. He was too tired and too sorry for Starsky's hurt to feel anger of his own. "It wasn't like that, partner." The other only glared at him. "Once I'd read your story, I was planning on placing it first. But then I read Munsell's and....," he swallowed thickly, hating the salt he was going to rub into the wound, "it was better."

"Fine, Hutch." Starsky began to undress, pulling sharply at his clothing. "It really doesn't even fucking bother me that Munsell's was better. It just bothers the shit out of me that you were so hell-bent on not voting for me." He slammed his clothing to the floor.

Hutch closed his eyes and rolled away as the bed rocked harshly with Starsky getting beneath the covers. Please let me fall asleep....

* * *

Gary Peterson was out in the snow. It was a big storm and he hobbled in one direction, found himself at a drift too high to breach, so turned in another direction. And found another drift too high for a kid with only one leg.

Hutch continued to watch as little Gary appeared so lost and kept turning around in a circle, looking more and more panicked, as the drifts built up around him. His clothing was old and worn. He was freezing to death. All because he had only one leg.

There was nothing Hutch could do about that now.

* * *

The anguish swelled, and Hutch woke with a start. It had only been a dream. Again. But now he knew the boy's name. Oh, Gary. Poor Gary. How could I have forgotten? I'm so sorry. The memory was unbearable and had been deeply buried long ago.

Beside him, Starsky lay stiffly.

Hutch glanced at the bedside clock. He'd been sleeping maybe an hour. Sleeping and dreaming while Starsky lay awake, angry and hurt.

Tell him you're sorry, a part of Hutch insisted, so we can make up and be okay again.

Being sorry hadn't helped little Gary Peterson.

A weight seemed to settle in the pit of Hutch's stomach. He struggled into a sitting position at the edge of the bed, his back to Starsky.

I'm not sorry I did the right thing, he realized. Only sorry that he can't understand.... Hutch drew a deep, deep breath... then slowly released it. That he can't understand how very, very important it was for me to do the right thing.

Tell him, a voice insisted. And then Starsky would understand and everything would be better.

But his thoughts were so jumbled. His memory was bombarded with an intensity of feelings that no small boy should have to bear.

He knew Starsky was staring at him. He had to get away, sort out his thoughts, find some way to tolerate the unwanted memories. He stood.

"Don't leave." Soft, pleading.

Hutch took a step toward the doorway. "I need to breathe," he said simply, hoping Starsky wouldn't take it as rejection.

"I'm not mad anymore."

Oh, Starsky. His partner's capacity for forgiveness was one of the most amazing things about him. I just want to leave the room, and all of a sudden he's not mad anymore. He felt his eyes water at how simply Starsky perceived things.

Hutch swallowed.

"Please don't leave," Starsky said again. Sound of the mattress being patted. "Come back to bed. `M not mad anymore. In fact, I admit I've been a spoiled prick. Okay?"

Hutch wanted to turn around. Put his arms around Starsky and hug and kiss him and make love to him, so there would be no more poison. So this whole mess could be put behind them. But pleasure would only lead to a temporary salvation. "I have to tell you something," he admitted in a choked voice. But he still wished he could take some time to sort out his own feelings first.

"Sounds heavy," Starsky noted. More patting of the mattress. "Come on. Okay? I'll listen. Promise. No interruptions."

Hutch wanted to say In a while, but he couldn't deny the plea in that voice. Had never been able to deny it.

Avoiding the dark eyes that were watching him, Hutch slipped back between the covers. He willingly reached for the arms that reached for him, but couldn't let himself relax completely. He and Starsky lay close together, holding each other by the forearms. He knew Starsky had meant it about not interrupting when things remained silent. He also knew, with tender amusement, that such a resolve wouldn't last long.

He said, "Did you hear about Gunderson's nephew a few months ago?"

"Lost his leg?" Starsky asked. "Some sort of climbing accident?"

"Yes. When I heard about it - that day the writing contest was announced - it seemed to trigger something. I started having dreams. They were about a little one-legged boy, lost in the snow in Minnesota." He wasn't sure how to continue.

"That's why you been moody so much lately?" Starsky wondered. "Havin' bad dreams?"

"They came and went. I had them when I was feeling unsure - annoyed with you expecting me to automatically place your story first. After I'd read some of your story - saw it on the desk - they went away, because I knew I could vote for you in good conscience. But then when I read Munsell's, they came back. I didn't understand why. Then, tonight - just now - I had it again. And it wasn't just any one-legged ten-year-old boy lost in the snow. It was somebody I once knew."

Starsky drew a breath of apprehension.

Hutch waited, still feeling the depth of anguish he'd kept buried for so long. It seemed like such a landslide. He wanted Starsky's sympathy, compassion - forgiveness - but he couldn't get that until he told of what he had done. "When I was a kid, every year our school would have the students sell candy to raise money. Chocolate bars. They'd give us all chocolate bars to sell around the neighborhood."

"My school did that, too," Starsky put in, his tone telling Hutch he didn't need to explain about the process.

"Yeah, well, I never sold much. Wasn't my thing. I'd walk up and down our block and maybe the next one over, but that was it. It was never important to me to sell a lot." He drew a heavy breath and released it, feeling Starsky's hands tighten supportively on his forearms. "When I was in the fifth grade, my great aunt from Maine was staying with us. Her husband had died, and she was having all sorts of health problems. Seems like she was in and out of the hospital all the time, so she was staying with us for a few months. She mainly just sat in the rocking chair, watching TV. But she took an interest in me. Doted on me in a way that I liked." Hutch felt a flush of affection long past. "She was always asking me what had gone on at school and that sort of thing. I enjoyed getting attention from her.

"Anyway, that spring, the school was selling candy again, and to encourage the kids to sell more, they offered a beautiful 10-speed bicycle as a prize for selling the most candy bars. The bike was cool, but I didn't give much thought to ever owning it, because I wasn't interested in working that hard to sell candy. But when my aunt asked me what had gone on at school, I told her about the bike. She told me to bring her five chocolate bars and she'd give me the money. I thought that was nice of her." Hutch snorted as a sense of betrayal set in. "I thought she really wanted the candy."

A finger massaged his am, Starsky having obviously picked up on the unpleasantness of the memory.

Hutch waited until he could breathe again. Then he said, "There was a boy at school, Gary Peterson. He was from the poorer end of town, but he pretty much got along with everyone. Most of us felt sorry for him because, unlike us rich kids, his parents made him earn anything he got. And he wanted that bicycle. More than anything. It wasn't the kind of thing he would have ever been able to get on his own. So, he was bound and determined to sell the most candy. Most of the kids I hung out with knew it was a foregone conclusion that Gary would win the bike. It became an everyday thing, asking him, `How many did you sell?' He was up to some incredible number, like eighty or something, that the rest of us couldn't even imagine. He was even going out to other neighborhoods. Selling candy was what he did with all his time after school and on weekends.

"Anyway, my aunt started asking me regularly `How many did Gary sell?' I-I-I," now the feelings of betrayal were aimed at himself, "would tell her. If Gary had sold five bars the day before, she'd tell me to bring her six and give me the money. I started realizing she didn't want the candy at all, she was just trying to help me out. Trying to help me win the bike, even though I'd never made a point of saying it was important to me to have it." Hutch drew a deep breath, the dichotomy of his feelings toward his aunt so poignant. He closed his eyes so he could continue. "I finally started realizing what she was up to. There was no way Gary was going to win that bike. A-a-and I felt so... confused. So utterly, utterly confused. And scared. Alone. Because when the other kids were asking Gary how many he'd sold, and oohing and aahing over it, I didn't dare say anything, because I knew I hadn't really sold anything. I hadn't earned any of the money my aunt was giving me for the school. And I didn't want the other kids to know what was going on."

Starsky's finger stroked gently along his thumb.

Hutch waited a long moment before he felt he could speak again. "Those final days that the sale was going on, I wanted so much to lie to my aunt when she asked me how many Gary sold. But I couldn't. I couldn't tell a bald-faced lie like that. I just couldn't. And I was so... confused. At that age, I wasn't able to put it into words. I was a little kid. But now I realize that what made the situation so unbearable was that my aunt was an adult. And she was doing the wrong thing. How can a kid know what's right more than an adult? I kept thinking - wanting so much to believe - that it was okay that my aunt was buying all the candy. But I knew it was wrong. And I just didn't understand why she couldn't see how wrong it was. Besides, adults always know what's best for children, right?"

The mattress shifted, and Hutch was grateful when a comforting hand settled in his hair. He wanted so much to yield to its tender feel. To let himself rest against Starsky's strength. To be made love to. But he still had to face the final, horrifying chapter of this buried part of his life.

"The day when they announced the winner of the bike felt like doomsday." Hutch heard the quiet density of his own voice. "I dreaded that Friday afternoon more than anything. We were all gathered in the gym, and then the principal stood up and, after a big speech, he announced that the proud new owner of the bicycle was Kenneth Hutchinson." Hutch stopped. For nearly a minute.

After drawing a deep breath, he unsuccessfully attempted to swallow down the thickness in his throat. "Everyone was shocked. My friends looked at me like they didn't know me, as though I had somehow betrayed them because I hadn't let them in on what I'd been `doing'. Like, they thought I'd been pounding the pavement all those weeks. But, my God," Hutch felt the deep pain now, "Gary Peterson was just... devastated. Just looked like the wind had all blown out of his sails. He didn't say anything. Just turned away and walked out of the gym.

"I started to walk the bike home and my friends were wanting to ride it. I let them. It had started to snow - a heavy spring snow - but they were having fun. They seemed surprised that I didn't want to get on it first, but I could hardly even stand to touch that bicycle, so I was glad that they took turns taking it home.

"My aunt had gotten real sick again and went back to the hospital the day before. She went into a coma and died without me ever seeing her after I'd won the bike." Hutch felt the poisonous mixture of sadness and vindication even now. And guilt about feeling she'd gotten what she deserved.

"Anyway, I got that bike out on Saturday morning. I rode it for about two minutes on the snowy streets, and that was all. I hated it. Couldn't stand it. Wanted nothing to do with. So, I started walking it over to Gary Peterson's house. It was over a mile away, and I wouldn't ride that bike," he said, remembering the bitter determination so vividly. "I wasn't even sure what I was going to say to Gary. I guess I was just going to give it to him. For no reason. I hadn't even thought through what I was going to say. When I went up to the walk and knocked on the door, his mother answered. Her face was all red from crying. I asked if I could speak with Gary, and she said Gary had gotten hit by a car on his way home from school the day before, and he lost his leg." Hutch waited a long moment, then released a breath. He just now realized, "I never saw him after the ceremony in the auditorium. His family moved away as soon as he was well enough to travel."

Gentle fingertips massaged Hutch's hand. Starsky said, "You winning that bike had nothing to do with him getting hit by a car."

Of course, Starsky felt obligated to say that. Hutch felt a swelling of tender affection. Then he told the truth. "Yes, it did. The guy driving the pickup said Gary walked right into the street without even looking up. That wasn't like Gary. But he was so despondent after losing the bike..." Hutch swallowed thickly, feeling the anguish - so long hidden - overtake him now. In a small voice, he said, "I can't believe how I've blocked this out all these years. I didn't remember anything about it. Nothing at all. Even when I was having the dreams. Not until tonight when I realized who it was I was dreaming about."

"Thank God for the ability to block things out," Starsky said. "You were a little boy, Hutch. A good little boy. You couldn't help what your aunt was doing. You had no say about what adults did. You didn't deserve to carry around what happened to Gary the rest of your life."

Hutch had always found his partner's words to be so soothing. And so right. He reached over and brushed his thumb along a stubby cheek.

"So this time," Starsky continued, his voice still gentle, "you made sure you did the right thing."

Hutch shook his head sadly. "That still doesn't help Gary."

Starsky rolled closer, smelling of dirt and dried sweat, and clasped Hutch by the cheeks. His warm breath blew across Hutch's face as he whispered, "Gary had to find his own way. Things happen, Hutch. Shitty things. Regardless of what was going on in his mind, Gary was the one at fault, not you. And he's had to live with the consequences."

"Wonder whatever happened to him," Hutch said.

"Well, from how you've described him, I doubt he'd approve of you feeling bad about it all these years later. You were never responsible for his actions."

Hutch very much wanted to believe that. But someone had to be responsible. "I know my aunt only bought all the candy bars out of caring and concern for me. There was nothing the least bit mean-spirited about what she was trying to do for me. It's just..." Again, he felt the confusion of a ten-year-old boy.

"Just?" Starsky prompted in a whisper.

"Just..." Hutch felt his mouth twist, "that she should have known how wrong it was."

Starsky kissed him on the nose. "I know this isn't going to help, but the point of selling the candy was to raise money for the school. Even if you didn't really `sell' all that candy, you still, through your aunt, raised the most money for the school. So, even if, say, the school officials had known what was going on, they still would have had to give you the bike." He shrugged. "They just may not have been very happy about it."

"It was wrong," Hutch said simply, finally starting to feel a sense of having served his sentence. "It was just plain wrong, and my aunt should have known that and not helped me do the wrong thing."

"And I was trying to get you to do the wrong thing," Starsky said with apology in his voice. "I was wrong to have assumed that you were going to vote for me."

It was both a relief, and painful, to hear Starsky admit that.

Starsky shifted to one side on his elbow. "It's just - well, you know, I'm no Ernest Hemingway." His tone was now one of confession. "But when the contest was announced, I just got this idea to use the Torino, and... Man, I really loved that car."

Hutch felt his heart swell. He squeezed Starsky's hand. "I know you did."

"I thought I had this neat idea."

"You did have a neat idea," Hutch assured. "An incredible idea."

"Yeah, and... I just wanted to write it so bad. Not just because of the Torino, but there's a part of me that wanted to tell about me and you, and our lives on the streets. I guess... maybe that's part of why I wanted to believe - to assume - that you would vote for me. So, I'd know that I'd done a good job. I guess I knew all along, deep down inside, that you'd do whatever you damn well pleased." Affectionate snort.

Hutch put his hand on Starsky's hair and rubbed with a brief motion. It felt so good. Making up would follow.... he wanted that very badly. Ever since they'd settled down and bought a house together, they'd gone through phases of intense lovemaking, and other phases of having minimal interest in sex. The past couple of months, the latter had definitely ruled. Now Hutch was eager for the pendulum to swing back.

"I'm glad you did the right thing, Hutch. I guess, if I'd known you'd voted for my story for first just because it was my story, then I always would have wondered if you truly thought it was any good or not."

"It was a beautiful story," Hutch said. "Maybe there's some more of those in you."

"Naw," Starsky quickly shook his head. "That's the only one I wanted to tell."

Hutch was glad to stay away from the topic of Gary Peterson. He even genuinely felt some of the scolding disbelief that colored his voice when he next spoke. "You mean you bought that big, expensive typewriter and now you'll never use it again?"

Starsky shrugged. "We can use it at the station."

"Somebody in some other department will probably steal it. It'll stick out like a sore thumb, it's such a huge thing."

Starsky edged close again. "Speaking of huge things sticking out...." He threw the covers aside.

Hutch felt blood pool at his groin. He watched as Starsky pushed his underwear down his hips, releasing turgid flesh. He reached for it.

Starsky pushed his hand away and rolled on top of Hutch, his face soft and tender. "Gonna love you, sweetheart."

Hutch put his arms around him and squeezed tight, so grateful that Starsky always seemed to know exactly what he wanted.

Starsky inhaled deeply with his head turned toward his armpit, then grunted. "'Cept I stink really bad."

Hutch squeezed tighter. "Doesn't matter." When his grip relaxed, he started pushing the underwear farther down Starsky's hips. He loved how Starsky wriggled to assist, his firm flesh making frequent contact with Hutch's own cotton-clad member. He inhaled deeply of Starsky's raw, masculine scent. His hips pushed upward.

Starsky kicked his the clothing off and clasped Hutch's hands. He lowered his head and Hutch felt stubbly five o'clock shadow scrape against his flesh as Starsky's lips melted against his own. He thrust upward again and firm, leaking flesh teased his center.

Starsky pulled back and regarded him tenderly. "I love you so very, very, very much."

Hutch's chest swelled as he looked back into those worshipful eyes.

A gentle thump, thump, thump was heard beside the bed. Girlfriend's little tail wagging against the hardwood floor, Hutch realized. From the corner, The General shifted in his bed and whimpered softly. Being family members, both dogs tended to expect expressions of love to include them.

Starsky's eyes lit with amusement while still holding Hutch's within their gaze. Hutch grinned back. Eyes unmoving, Starsky said, "Go back to sleep, boys and girls. This special kind of love between Uncle Starsky and Master Hutch has nothing to do with you. Go to sleep."

They held their breaths, listening until the little thump gradually died down.

Starsky growled and pressed his lips against Hutch. Hutch melted as he eagerly returned the contact.

Then Starsky pulled away and kissed him on the neck. He slid down Hutch's body, deliberately rubbing himself against Hutch's groin. Hutch groaned, arching up so that Starsky could remove his underwear. A row of wet, deliberate kisses were planted down his belly. A long kiss at his pubic region as his stiffness teased along Starsky's jaw.

Hutch closed his eyes and a moment later the head of his penis was enclosed in wetness. "Ohhhhhh," he groaned, wanting it so much. He was gripped in firm hands, and that moist suction focused just on the head, eager tongue working the underside so perfectly....

Hutch spread his legs wider. "I want to come," he directed, so Starsky wouldn't stop. He reached down, eyes still closed, and pet the curly head, wanting so much to be made love to... despite the awful thing he'd done over twenty years ago.

He whimpered, telling Starsky how close his orgasm was. As he'd hoped, that beautiful mouth suddenly filled with saliva, one hand went to the base of his cock... and then the head of his erection was being swallowed, creating the most perfect sensation....

Hutch cried out as his balls tightened and his seed raced down his barrel and emptied into Starsky's throat - Starsky's perfectly moving throat, creating the most exquisite sensation Hutch had ever known. He cried out one last time, loud and deep, wanting Starsky to know he never got tired of being treated like that.

Starsky gently released his ultra-sensitized organ, then swallowed loudly. Hutch shuddered again when a kiss was placed over the tiny slit. "God," he gasped, feeling the waning ecstasy tantalize his nerves.

Starsky kissed each of his thighs.

Hutch closed his eyes, relishing the love that had bound them for so many years. He drew a deep breath, gathering strength, then rolled over onto his stomach. He raised himself onto his hands and knees, hoping Starsky would understand what he wanted, why he'd chosen this particular position.

Moisture tickled his left buttock, an eager tongue laving along his skin. His right buttock was taken in a firm grasp, then firmly massaged. Silence, save the sounds of pleasuring, and then the attention applied to each buttock was reversed.

Hutch rocked back, encouraging the hand to grip him harder, Starsky's mouth to take in more of his quivering flesh. Wet nips across his backside....

Hutch spread his legs more, and thumbs parted him. A moment later he felt dripping wetness at his anus. And then a darting tongue. Hutch drew in a hissing breath, and rocked back more, his thighs quivering. The tongue was washing him now, patient tenderness along his opening.

Any other time, he would have loved it. But not now. "Fuck me."

His thighs were gripped. Moist flesh pushed at him, and his well-trained body opened, trying to capture the slippery tongue. His backside was always eager to take in any part of Starsky. Sometimes he wondered if his asshole had as much a mind of its own as his cock.

He spread his legs even farther, making room for something larger.

"I know, Hutch." Gentle, whispered words.

Hutch exhaled, making a deliberate attempt to relax, even as his chest swelled. His Starsky would please him as quickly as possible. Impatience wasn't going to help.

Sound of wetness, the feel of a finger stroking him, gently massaging his entrance, spreading the saliva. He rocked back again, wanting it now, trying to impale himself.

The finger pushed, forcing him open. Continued deep inside him.

He rode it, gripping the slender digit, enjoying the stimulation of his nerves. Usually, the finger was lubricated with grease. This time, there was only saliva and he could feel the satisfying contours of the knuckles.

The finger rotated, stabbing at him, and Hutch drew in a hissing breath, wriggled his hips, wanting more.

A steadying hand was on his buttock. The digit pulled back. More fumbling at his entrance, and then the familiar feel of two fingers exploring inside him, stretching him. The titillation as much from knowing that a part of Starsky was inside his body, as the movements of the digits. Hutch exhaled a steadying breath, his body swallowing as much of Starsky's hand as it could.

Gentle pat on his buttock. "Hold still now."

Hutch obeyed, quivering with anticipation. He listened as Starsky made spitting noises. His scrotum tightened, knowing that this, too, was only going to happen with saliva. No ointment. It would make the penetration more difficult, but he'd feel every ridge and indentation of that generous cock. Feel its deliberate motion as it loved him.

Inside him, the fingers parted wide, poking into the walls of his rectum. In a familiar gesture, they remained parted as they pulled out, his sphincter muscle trying to retain them as they withdrew to freedom, his nerves noting the extra stretching.

Hutch's buttock was firmly squeezed. The harsh breath behind him gently cautioned again, "Hold real still, baby."

Powerful thighs took their place behind Hutch's legs. Instinctively, his own legs spread even wider, making more room. A flush spread along his backside as moist firmness, encased in baby-soft skin, butted against his center, emphasizing his vulnerability. Hutch took a deep, deep breath, then released it slowly. He waited.

His anal membranes parted as a demanding thickness pushed past them. "Ohh!" his voice trembled at the delicious conquering. It was always so perfect anyway, but he wanted it particularly badly right now. And Starsky knew it.

He made an effort to hold still, to not push back, to let Starsky enter him. It was big, this part of his love which was forcing its way within. Demanding part of Hutch for itself.

Hutch gasped as wiry hair pressed against his rear, the final inch having reached within. His anal walls were stretched satisfyingly wide.

Hands on his back. Rubbing firmly up his body. Warm, welcome heat. Now they branched out to his sides, then felt beneath to his chest, rubbing up and down - deep, loving strokes - at the smoothness there.

"Yes," he pleaded, amazed, even after all these years, that Starsky had known exactly what he'd wanted.

Pleasant, reassuring friction as the hands moved up and down his front. Over his belly. Over his nipples. Back and forth across his chest.

A stubbly cheek rested against his back.

"Oh," Hutch gasped, not able to articulate it any better than that.

"Love you," Starsky said. "I love you so very, very, very much."

Hutch's left nipple was squeezed.

He closed his eyes and tried to rock back, but realized he couldn't because he was already fully impaled on a loving spear.

"Nothing I love more," Starsky said thickly, "than being inside you." His hands were still moving. "Loving you. Showing you how much I love you."

Hutch's spine was kissed. His muscles flexed around the piercing thickness, wanting it to move, even though he also wanted it to last.

"Ah, Hutch," Starsky said appreciatively, having obviously felt the tiny movement. He withdrew just a little, then pushed back in.

The small motion teased Hutch's nerves. "Fuck me."

This time the back of his shoulder was kissed, leaving a heavy breath of air over the spot of moisture. The thickness moved, and Hutch encouraged once more, "Yes."

Both nipples were pinched this time, gently tugged between massaging fingers. His insides were gently massaged, too, by that undulating spear.

Starsky grunted with each stroke. His fingers pinched more, and Hutch groaned again, his body prepared for the relative harshness. "Love me," he demanded.

The flaring shaft pulled out more, and then pushed in with stronger thrusts. Demanding hands now grabbed at Hutch's pectorals, as his prostate tingled through his rectal wall. Starsky grabbed at Hutch's shoulder with one hand, took his partial erection in the other. He thrust more purposely, groaning now.

Hutch shivered at the deep sound. He gasped just as Starsky gripped his balls, loving the pleasure that shot through them - such a perfect contrast to the inner massage - even though he knew he couldn't come again. "Ah, buddy," he gasped.

"Ah, Hutch," Starsky grunted against his back. "Oh, God, Hutch. Oh, God." The motion intensified, lean flanks slapping against Hutch's ass, the noise and contact satisfying as flesh met flesh.

Hutch groaned.

"Hutch," Starsky gasped. "Hutch.... HUTCH!" He released Hutch's scrotal pouch and grabbed his thigh, the fingers of his other hand digging into his shoulder.

Hutch closed his eyes as Starsky's cry waned, and his muscles gradually relaxed, making him feel very happy.

"Ah, Hutch," Starsky groaned softly, kissing Hutch's spine. Both hands gripped Hutch's waist and he moved backwards, slipping out. They collapsed to the bed on their backs at the same time, Starsky panting loudly.

Hutch reached over and let his hand drop amidst the thick, sweaty curls. He stroked along them while Starsky reached to the nightstand for a hand towel. He lay back with legs spread and coaxed it along his shrunken flesh. "Man," he whispered appreciatively, cleaning himself. "Can't believe sometimes how good it still is. We must have done it a hundred times by now."

Hutch felt himself smile at the instinct to keep score. His eyes were still closed as he felt the bed shift, Starsky turning toward him. He heard the other say, "I love doing it with you so much. Loving you." A hand stroked his forehead.

"Mmm," Hutch said simply, appreciating the contact, and letting himself be pulled down into sleep.

He was startled awake a moment later when Starsky said pleadingly, "I want you to understand that your opinion means a lot to me. That's why it was so important that you vote for me. I mean, you know a lot more about this writing stuff than I do. I wanted.... I wanted... your approval. That's all."

Hutch lay a hand against a furred stomach, trying to leave it at that. Trying not to wake up and remember why they had made love so intensely.

Starsky had shifted even closer, smelling heavily of dirt and sweat. A hand was petting along Hutch's hair now and Starsky whispered, "Really, Hutch, that's the only reason I was making such a big deal out of it. Not to win for its own sake. But to know that you... approved."

"Of course I approved," Hutch said simply, trying not to think about how negative he'd been about the whole contest from the start. He hadn't offered a single word of encouragement to Starsky during all those weeks that his partner worked on telling his special tale. He hadn't because being put in the middle, between what was right and pleasing someone he loved, had been too unbearable.

He was a coward. "I'm sorry," he said simply, the words coming out more thickly than he'd intended. His eyes were still closed, and now he squeezed the lids tighter. Sorry for how I treated you. For what happened to Gary Peterson because of me.

Fingertips gently stroking down his face, along his eyelids.... "Sorry I didn't stop to think about the pressure I was putting you under."

Finally, Hutch opened his eyes. "You had no way of knowing," he said gently, enjoying the sincerity in his partner's dark orbs.. "I didn't even know."

There was a long silence as Hutch closed his eyes again. He listened to a heavy sigh, then Starsky asked, "Do I stink too much to sleep with?"

"Just go to sleep," Hutch suggested, trying to regain the peace of slumber for himself.

The mattress rocked, and Hutch took the opportunity to roll over to his other side. His last conscious recollection was of an arm being thrown protectively across his back.

* * *

Sarah Goodson from R&I was flipping through the The LAPD Review as she paused at Starsky and Hutch's desk. "This is such a cute story!" she gushed. "I've never read anything like it."

Starsky shrugged, grinning at his partner to share the moment, then said to her, "Well, I don't know if I'd use the word cute, but...," his grin broadened, "I'm glad you liked it." He'd received many similar compliments since the newest issue of the magazine had been published out a few days ago.

"Think you'll write for the contest again next year?" she asked.

"Uh...," he decided to be straightforward. "No, not really." He wasn't sure how to put his thoughts into words. "I guess you could say that was the only story I had in me."

"Too bad, because it's a great story. I think it should have gotten first place."

"Thanks, but Munsell's story was great, too." Starsky had read it when it was published in last month's issue, and he'd had to grudgingly admit that it was an outstanding bit of writing.

Sarah turned to Hutch, as though being polite and making an effort to notice him. "So, you going to be a judge again next year?"

Hutch quickly shook his head and snorted, "I'd better not be. It's not fair for anyone to be `volunteered' two years in a row. I'll go on strike if Belinda sends me another one of those letters next time."

Sarah and Starsky laughed. Then she groaned, "Back to the salt mines." She headed to the door.

Starsky watched her leave, appreciating her feminine form.

"Stop," Hutch scolded beneath his breath.

Starsky chuckled and turned his attention back to the file that was open in front of him. He studied it a few moments, then found his eyes wandering to his partner. Hutch's head was also bent over a file folder.

Their making up had taken place over quite a few weeks. Starsky was sorry for the bad memory his participation in the contest had dredged up, and sorrier still that such a young Hutch had had to go through such a terrible experience in the first place. But he believed that adversity made one stronger, and their recent adversity had done a lot for their sex life of late, as well as making them simply kinder toward one another in day-to-day life.

"Hey," Starsky said softly.

Hutch looked up, blue eyes curious.

Starsky grinned. "We on for tonight?'

Hutch looked away bashfully, a smile forming beneath the mustache. "We're on."

Starsky went back to his file, squirming in his chair to ease the ache forming between his legs.

"Maybe we can find an excuse to leave early," Hutch's quiet voice said across from him.

Starsky's grin widened.

The End