This is a missing scene, which takes place between the end of "Sweet Revenge" and its tag. Comments can be sent to:

"I love 'im, too, ya know," Huggy said to Hutch.

"Huh?" Obviously, the detective was lost in thought, sitting in front of the window to Starsky's hospital room, staring at his sleeping partner.

Starsky had finally become conscious yesterday and opened his eyes while Hutch was talking to him, much to Hutch's surprise and delight. The doctors said everything pointed to a full recovery from the shooting Starsky had suffered at the hands of Gunther's henchmen, but they cautioned that he still needed a lot of sleep. Everyone was barred from the room unless the patient was awake. He was snoozing at the moment, so Hutch and Huggy were in the corridor watching him through the glass.

"I said, I love 'im, too," Huggy repeated, eyeing the blond intently.

"I know you do, Hug. You're like family to him. And to me." Hutch turned and smiled wearily at his old friend.

"Not what I mean, Sherlock."

"What, then?" Hutch asked, looking tired and confused.

Everyone was aware of what a living hell Hutch had gone through while Starsky was near—or at—death's door, but only Huggy knew the fear and heartbreak he himself had been suffering. Now he was giddy from relief and joy at Starsky's miraculous recovery, and he needed to share his pent-up feelings with someone who felt the same. It was time to tell his secret, if it was a secret. "I love 'im like you do," he said. It was uttered in a low voice, so no one passing near could overhear, but Hutch heard him clearly.

"What's that mean?" Hutch asked warily.

"Means I still want 'im. After all these years. Still want what we had in high school. Ain't that crazy?" He turned his head to glance at Starsky, and a look of longing flashed across his face for a few seconds.

"What're you saying?" Hutch asked, sounding shocked.

"Ya mean he never told ya 'bout us? Thought you fellas knew everything 'bout each other," Huggy replied.

"I thought so, too," Hutch said with concern.

Huggy thought Hutch looked horrified, so, not knowing how to take that reaction, he said nothing.

"Tell me about it. When? How?" Hutch trailed off.

Huggy shot him a look. "Ya ain't gettin' no dirty details from me. The Bear don't kiss 'n' tell."

"But, Huggy, you're saying you and Starsky? You and Starsky were lovers?" Hutch asked, definitely appearing upset, Huggy thought.

"Does that surprise ya so much? Why?" the black man asked his very blond friend, wondering if it could be that Hutch did have a racist bone or two in his body.

"Why? Why? Because Starsky isn't gay!" Hutch answered vehemently.

Oh, we're touchy about labels? I see, Huggy thought to himself. "No, I guess he's not. Guess we were just two teenagers experimentin'. But I loved it, and I loved him. But then he got drafted when he graduated, and he was gone a coupla years. We never talked about it when he came back home. Then he went to the Police Academy and then he met you. He'd been actin' different since he came back. Didn't seem interested, when I'd make advances, if ya catch my drift. Then he brought you to meet me and I could see you were the new object of his affections. Huggy knows when to butt out, so to speak."

"Now you're saying you thought Starsky and I were lovers?" Hutch asked accusingly, his face flushing bright pink.

"Is grass green? 'Course I did. With his history . . . " Huggy shrugged.

"But all the ladies, all the girlfriends?" Hutch asked, bewildered.

"Figured he still swung both ways, like in high school." Another shrug. A long glance at the sleeping Starsky. Finally he turned back to see Hutch staring alternately at him and at Starsky, with a mixture of emotions playing across his face—surprise, anger, hurt.

Without a word, Hutch got up and started walking down the hospital corridor.

"Hutch!" Huggy called out, hurrying after him.

Hutch ignored him.

Huggy caught up to him near the door to the stairwell. "Talk to me," Huggy said.

"Not now. I can't," Hutch replied, trying to pull free of Huggy's grasp on his arm as he went through the door.

"What's eatin' you, man?" Huggy asked, following Hutch into the stairwell.

Hutch didn't respond.

"Is it me 'n' Starsky? That was years ago. Like a past life. He's not cheatin' on ya wit' me," Huggy assured Hutch.

"We're not lovers!" Hutch snapped.

"Ohhh," Huggy said slowly. "So that's it. So you're jealous of me? Because I've had Starsky and you haven't?" He had assumed Starsky and Hutch were lovers; theirs was too intense a bond for them to just be friends. But if he had assumed wrong . . . .

Hutch just stared at Huggy.

"Fool! No, fools. The both of you. So in love with each other, and you've never gone to bed together? Whatsa matter wit' you chumps?" Huggy asked in exasperation.

"How do you know we're . . . ?" Hutch started hesitantly.

"What? That you love each other? Everybody knows, man. 'Cept you bozos, apparently."

"You said he wasn't interested, when you tried to . . . to get romantic," Hutch stammered.

"I said he wasn't interested in doing it wit' me," Huggy explained. "That's because he was in love wit' you."

"But how do you know that? How do you know he loved me that way?" Hutch asked, with hope in his voice.

"Trust me, friend, I know," Huggy said softly, giving Hutch's arm a little squeeze before finally letting go. He knew Hutch wouldn't try to leave now.

Hutch leaned back against the stairwell wall. "But Starsky is so . . . so macho. I can't imagine he'd ever want to . . . to . . . " His face flushed pink again.

"Well, he used to want to. A lot," Huggy answered.

Hutch looked unsure. "How'd it happen? How'd it start?"

Huggy smiled. "With 'South Pacific.'"

"What?" Now Hutch looked thoroughly confused.

"We were both in a parody of it in high school. Starsky played Bloody Mary. I shoulda been Nellie, 'cause I was 'in love with a wonderful guy', but I was one of the sailors. Ya know 'Bloody Mary is the girl I love'?" Huggy sang tunelessly.

Hutch stared at him like he was a brother from another planet.

"I wasn't the cool cat then, that I am now," Huggy said, standing up a little straighter and tugging his leather jacket down a bit.

Grinning at Hutch's dubious expression, Huggy continued, "So we were rehearsin' in his bedroom after school one day, and at the end of that song, wit' 'im flirtin' wit' me, really getting into playin' that island mama, I kissed 'im. As a joke. But he kissed me back. I already had a crush on 'im. Think it was that black ass of his. Not the color," he emphasized, seeing the look on Hutch's face. "It's the shape. Never seen an ass like that on a white boy before. Anyway, we started really kissin', and one thing led to another, and we were in a bedroom." He smiled suggestively, eyebrows wiggling.

"How was it?" Hutch asked, his curiosity getting the better of his manners.

"Fine. The boy was fine. He has a natural gift for sex. He can make it so good." He paused a moment, absently looking at his jacket zipper as he played with it. "Seems like it was just last year, not twenty years ago. I ain't never forgotten how good it was, 'cause I ain't never had it so good since. I miss those afternoons," he said wistfully.

Looking up at Hutch, he said with a trace of bitterness, "If you and Starsky don't get together now, after what's happened to 'im, and after what I've just told you, then don't bother comin' 'round Huggy's no more. You're too stupid to be my friends." He turned and opened the door, then proceeded down the hospital hall.

"Huggy!" Hutch called after him.

Huggy stopped and turned around.

"I'm sorry," Hutch said sadly, shaking his head. He seemed at a loss for words.

Feelin' guilty again for somethin' that ain't your fault. Poor dumb honky, he thought fondly. "Ya can't choose who ya love, or who loves you," Huggy said, gently patting Hutch's back, then continuing down the corridor.

Hutch caught up to him and slung an arm around his shoulder. "Thanks, friend," he whispered in Huggy's ear.

"Sure," Huggy answered. "I love you, too, ya know."

"What?" Hutch stopped dead in his tracks.

"Like a brother. Blonds aren't my type," Huggy said with a smirk.

"Oh," Hutch said, frowning slightly.

"Don't matter. Think Starsky likes 'em—look at that smile," Huggy said, as they reached the window to Starsky's room. The patient was now awake and a big grin appeared on his face as soon as he saw the guys. He glanced happily at Huggy, then looked lovingly at Hutch, who grinned and reached to touch the pane.

Seeing the transparent love positively glowing from their faces, Huggy smiled. "You're gettin' a second chance now. Don't blow it again. Blow your partner instead." He laughed at his own poor joke, as he opened the door to Starsky's room.

Hutch groaned, but smiled and nodded, then followed Huggy in.

Huggy noticed Hutch couldn't stop smiling now. He laughed to himself, Hope he doesn't jump Starsky's bones in the hospital bed.

He wasn't at all surprised to find them together in that bed a few days later, when he, Hutch, and Captain Dobey staged a little late-night celebration in Starsky's room. He just hoped that the next time Starsky and Hutch shared a bed, they weren't both fully clothed, and he and Dobey weren't in the room with them.

The End