This story was originally published in the zine The Fix #13. Published by In Person Press in 1995. Special thanks to Eve for typing up the story. Comments on this story can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org who will forward them to the author.
Home For The Holidays
Hutch had been against the party from the beginning, the "mandatory costumes" most of all. Yet when confronted day after day by Starsky's enthusiastic and plaintive urging, he found his resistance breaking down more and more. It was nearly Thanksgiving before he agreed to co-host the party with his partner, his agreement resulting in Starsky's bone-breakingly tight embrace. From that moment on, Hutch heard little about anything other than Starsky's party plans.
By mid-December Hutch was scarcely able to bear the sound of the word "party," particularly when coupled with "the best ever" or "out of this world," Starsky's favorite descriptive terms. Determined not to dampen his partner's fervor, however, he simply bought another bottle of aspirin for his now-constant headaches and said as little as he could.
With the party scheduled for the Friday before Christmas, Hutch realized he hadn't thought of a costume yet, his spirits sinking further when calls to several costume stores informed him everything had been rented out. Finally deciding he could go as a street-weary cop--himself, essentially--he put the matter out of his mind.
"Hutch? Hutch, get in here--now!"
In the process of hanging mistletoe above the kitchen doorway, Hutch got off his chair and sighed as he went toward the sound wondering what his partner had gotten into now. At the sight of Starsky perched on a precariously leaning ladder beside the Christmas tree, nearly falling into it, Hutch couldn't help but laugh, ignoring Starsky's glare as he came forward to steady the ladder and help his friend down.
"You were the one who wanted a 'nice, big tree,' remember," Hutch grinned, still chuckling. "You got your wish. What do you have and where to you want it? I can probably reach it a lot better than you."
"It's the tree topper, what does it look like?" Starsky cradled the large ornament in his hand. "Be careful now, don't break it. That sucker wasn't cheap."
Staring at the bright red and white, glitter-coated replica of the Torino, complete with a hole in the bottom to rest atop the tree, Hutch could scarcely believe his eyes. "Starsky, I know you love that car, but as a Christmas tree top?! Are you sure?"
"Stop making smart remarks and just put it up there, will ya?" Starsky retorted irritably. "And make sure it won't fall off. It'd be just like you to make sure it does."
Making a wry face, Hutch climbed up the ladder his partner had vacated and easily placed the ornament atop the middle branch, shaking his head incredulously even as he did. Pulling back to see if it was straight, he had to admit the toy car was colorful, the replica very well done...as he got off the chair, Hutch looked from the tree to Starsky with a critical eye.
"It's definitely you, I'll say that much," he acknowledged. "One of a kind. The rest of the tree looks traditional anyway. You did a nice job."
"A compliment? I don't believe it." Starsky looked around the room. "Looks like we've almost got it all finished, don't we? Everything's really together for the party tomorrow night."
"Well, it certainly should be as long as you've been working on it," Hutch responded, returning to finish with the mistletoe. "I suppose you've had your costume ready since Thanksgiving too."
"Just about," Starsky nodded. "I've got yours too. I figured you'd do something unoriginal like come as yourself or something, so I got a costume for you too."
Knowing how greatly he and his partner's tastes differed, Hutch heard warning bells, and gazed down on his friend with a frown. "Is it decent?" he asked dryly. "Or will I have to spend the whole night in the john? I remember one Halloween you wanted me to go as Baby New Year and just gave me an over-sized diaper to wear."
"Yeah, and you would've looked adorable in it," Starsky retorted. "No, I knew you'd never go for that. I'm Baby New Year this time. I got you something else that's got lots of coverage."
"Yeah, but what kind?" Hutch muttered, deliberately quietly. "You aren't really just wearing a diaper, are you? That's indecent, Starsk."
"Why? Are you saying I don't have the body for it?" Starsky bristled. "I'll bet I'm the hit of the night. Just hurry up and finish what you're doing so we can start cleaning in here. With our big bash tomorrow I wanna finish up and call it quits early tonight."
Deciding it was too late to start an argument, either good-natured or serious, Hutch remained silent and finished the assorted placement of mistletoe. He imagined it would be well utilized as always, particularly the sprig above the bedroom door...he imagined "Baby New Year" would take full advantage of the room before the following night was through.
By an amazing stroke of luck the two detectives had managed a three-day weekend off for the party, a respite Hutch was certain they both would need by the time the gala was through. He found himself shaking his head often all day that Friday, watching Starsky attend to the last-minute preparations like an excited kid. He refused to admit that by late that afternoon even he was looking forward to the night's events.
Until the time came to dress in their costumes. Starsky's somewhat nervous presentation of an over-sized square box set off Hutch's inner alarm again. Setting it down on the bed he removed the lid carefully, frowning as he observed what seemed to be a mass of pink fur... His bellow of "Starsky!" as he pulled out the rest of the costume could easily have been heard several blocks away.
"Starsky, you moron, what is this?" he shouted. "You want me to be a pink rabbit? With ears?! And--oh God, it has a tail too."
"Well, of course it has ears and a tail," Starsky said calmly. "Rabbits have those things, you know."
"Maybe rabbits do, but I don't." Hutch looked up to see Starsky's curly head peering around the edge of the bedroom door warily. "Starsky, how could you do this to me? Especially when it's too late to do anything else?"
"That was kinda the idea." Starsky ducked out of sight when Hutch threw the rabbit ears toward the door. "Hey look, you said Baby New Year didn't have enough clothes to suit you, so I figured this would do the trick. Come on, Hutch, at least try it on," he wheedled. "I bet anything you'll look cute."
"You'll look cute when I get through with you later," Hutch grumbled, already knowing he had no choice. "Where's your costume, by the way?"
"In the bathroom. I was just on my way to change when I heard you yell. I'd say we could race to see who gets dressed first, but I know I'd win hands down. I'll meet you in the living room when you get through."
As he struggled into the form-fitting costume, Hutch muttered several less-than-nice words, amazed he was actually willing to go to such lengths for his friend. Then as he was attaching the tail an image appeared to him, the vision of Starsky's sparkling eyes earlier that day... Hutch's scowl slowly transformed to a smile in appreciation of his friend's child-like love of the holidays. For one evening, he supposed, being a pink rabbit couldn't do him much harm.
Finally finished dressing, including the ears and tail, Hutch made his way out to the living room. The furry feet and padded legs made him feel as though he were waddling, and he was forced to watch every step he took. For that reason he wasn't aware of his partner's attire until he was well into the living room. Then, abruptly, he choked.
"You--weren't kidding," he sputtered, his eyes traveling from Starsky's head to his feet. "You really are Baby New Year."
"Well, that's what I told you," Starsky replied, sounding insulted. "Don't you believe anything I say? I think you're a terrific Easter Bunny. How about me?"
How about you indeed? Hutch wasn't sure what to think, his eyes inexplicably drawn to Starsky's crotch. In addition to an over-sized diaper all Starsky wore was a Happy New Year banner diagonally draped across his chest, the rest of his body exposed, the contents of the diaper clearly well endowed. Hutch felt himself blushing at the unexpected turn of his thoughts.
"What's the matter, did I forget something?" Starsky looked down at himself, adjusting the giant safety pin on his right hip. "You're looking at me kinda weird."
"Well, you are weird, Starsk, let's face it." Hutch covered his embarrassment with the light-hearted quip. "It's okay, I guess--what there is of it. Aren't you afraid you'll get cold?"
"With all the people that'll be here?" Starsky scoffed. "No way. This place'll be packed an hour from now. And I'll be the hit of the party, just you wait and see."
"I've already seen plenty," Hutch said pointedly. "Everyone else will too. Better watch it around the punchbowl, Starsk," he cautioned. "A little too much around the right companion and..." He let his voice trail off, wriggling his eyebrows suggestively.
Turning around to adjust the tail on his costume, Hutch missed Starsky's reaction to his teasing until he finished and looked up again. Then he regretted the extent of his jesting, seeing a truly worried look on Starsky's face. He padded over to soothingly pat his partner's arm.
"Hey, I was only kidding," he said softly. "It really is a good costume, Starsk. I'd never have the guts to wear it, but it looks good on you. It should drive all the right people pretty crazy too."
"I don't know, maybe it's a little too much. Or too little." Starsky adjusted the folds of the diaper nervously. "I'd hate to, you know, show anything."
"I don't think you need to worry," Hutch assured him. "It fits loose enough. I'll keep an eye out if you want, though. Just in case."
"Would you?" Starsky asked, brightening. "Hey, now that's bein' a real pal. I'd rather have you see--something--than somebody I don't really know."
Shaking his head and chuckling at the absurdity of the conversation, Hutch was relieved when the doorbell rang, ending Starsky's concerns at least temporarily. As the evening progressed and the house filled with gaily attired people, Hutch was surprised just how closely he found himself watching his partner, how his eyes seemed drawn to the curly dark head. More than once the cobalt blue eyes met his from across the room, always lingering long enough to cast a warm smile his way.
By the time the crowd began to disperse, Hutch was thoroughly confused and more than anxious for some quiet time--preferably not alone.
It was well into the early hours of Saturday morning before the last guest finally left, allowing "Baby New Year" to collapse. Hutch was already sprawled on one end of the sofa, his rabbit ears tossed on a nearby end table, and the back of the zippered suit open a few inches for air. He opened one eye and glanced over when Starsky dropped down beside him, surprised when his friend fell sideways to rest his head in Hutch's furry lap with a dramatic sigh.
"Man, wasn't this just the best party ever?" he asked happily. "Everybody had such a great time. And the costumes! Weren't some of those the most incredible things you've ever seen?"
"I supposed incredible is one word for them." Hutch reached down to ruffle Starsky's already tousled hair. "Baby New Year certainly seemed to have a good time."
"Yeah? Did he?" Starsky looked up. "I was so busy makin' sure everybody else was taken care of I kinda forgot about myself."
Lying on his back, Starsky's eyes moved up toward the ceiling, leaving Hutch to follow his gaze, curious. His heart skipped a beat when he realized what his partner had spotted, recalling the mistletoe he'd spontaneously hung from the ceiling earlier that day. And he all but stopped breathing when Starsky's gaze once again turned to him, and he recognized the mischievous twinkle he knew all too well.
"Starsky, you wouldn't," he growled, knowing as Starsky sat up exactly what he had in mind. "Starsk--"
But Hutch's words were cut off then in mid-sentence as Starsky quickly shifted positions to grab hold of his shoulders and plant a hard kiss on Hutch's mouth. Though he resisted at first, his posture rigid, Hutch had no defense when the kiss melted into one of affection rather than dare--instead he moaned softly as he raised a hand to entwine his fingers in Starsky's curls.
Somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered if Starsky still might be playing, if this might be a residual effect of his post-party high. But there was something in the way Starsky's mouth sought his that told him something different, that said this was a special time just between them. Giving himself over to the embrace and dissolving in it, Hutch prayed his hunch would be right.
His free hand sliding down, it came to rest on Starsky's shoulder, the bare skin warm beneath Hutch's touch. When Starsky shivered a moment later, Hutch knew it was not from a chill of cold. Rather it was the same sort of chill that was coursing through his own body, a body rapidly becoming super-heated by desire and need. It was all Hutch could do to refrain from pulling off the fur rabbit suit right then and there.
"Aren't you a little warm in all that fur?" Starsky murmured a moment later, almost as if reading Hutch's mind. "There's nobody here but us now. I wouldn't mind if you wanna get comfortable."
"Well, it is a little confining." Hutch was suddenly reluctant to move. "You're sure?"
"I'm sure." Hutch wondered just what he'd asked when he saw Starsky's intense expression and the smoldering need in his eyes. "You can always be yourself with me."
Choosing not to question the multiple meaning of the words for the moment, Hutch moved forward to the edge of the couch, fumbling behind him for the zipper only to find Starsky's fingers already there. Numbly dropping his own hands back to his lap, Hutch held his breath as his partner pulled down the encumbrance slowly, his fingers lightly skimming Hutch's bare back as he slid it down.
By the time he finished, Hutch was breathless, incredibly aroused by Starsky's sensuous touch. He leaned back, desperate for more. Apparently interpreting the unspoken request, Starsky caressed him, running his open-palmed hand down the length of Hutch's long back. Then his hand stole around to the front, across Hutch's chest, and the blond detective groaned.
"Why don't you take this thing all the way off?" Starsky suggested, his voice more seductive than Hutch had ever heard. "I think you'll stay warm enough."
"Mmm. It certainly seems like you have," Hutch responded, appreciatively eyeing his friend's costume as he stood up. "I didn't notice you having any over-heating problems, though."
"Not until now anyway," Starsky chuckled, gesturing down at himself as he rose. "Looks like you were right before about my costume--around the right person this thing really can be dangerous."
Glancing down as he tugged the fur suit off, Hutch almost stopped where he was, the sight of Starsky's flagrant erection tenting the diaper the most erotic sight he'd ever known. Hurriedly pulling the suit off his upper torso, Hutch paused and reached out for Starsky, unable to resist touching the arousal he knew he had caused. Starsky closed his eyes, moaned, and rocked his hips forward in response to Hutch's tentative touch.
"Aw, babe," Starsky murmured softly. "Oh yeah, gimme more." Hutch closed his fingers around the thick fabric, resisting the urge to slip his hand inside. "Geez, Hutch! That feels so good."
"You feel good," Hutch whispered, stepping close enough to slip his free arm around Starsky's back and pull him in closer. "I want to make you feel as good as I know how, Starsk. Is that okay?"
"Anything's okay as long as you don't stop touchin'," Starsky told him, his breathing growing more unsteady all the time. "You're sure, though--you don't mind?"
"I don't mind at all," Hutch replied, smiling. "I've been wishing I could be alone with you all night. Just let me get this damned suit off and I'll be glad to touch you forever if that's what you want."
Which wasn't far from what actually happened, Hutch thought later, lying beside his partner in a tangle of bedclothes on the bed. It hadn't taken long before they had forsaken the living room for the more comfortable bedroom, before Starsky was touching just as much as Hutch... Hutch sighed contentedly at the memory.
"You still awake? I thought you were sleeping." Starsky's voice sounded heavy, almost drugged. "You aren't havin' second thoughts about what happened, are ya? Hutch?"
"Only the second thoughts of memories," Hutch replied, smiling. "How about you?"
"No, I think I've known for a long time this was gonna happen." Surprised, Hutch turned on his side, propped his head on his hand, and gazed down as Starsky went on. "Why do ya think I got that dumb Baby New Year costume? I was hopin' it might turn you on. I figured it was a long shot, but that was better than what I'd had."
"And that's why you made me into an Easter bunny?" Hutch couldn't follow the logic there. "To keep you warm, I suppose?"
"No, I just thought you'd look cute in it," Starsky admitted, shrugging. "All furry and cuddly, kinda like a big blond bear. Besides, I didn't figure you could get too mad at me for it since it was kinda neutral."
Shaking his head, Hutch smiled as he reached down to play with his partner's disarrayed curls. "You're crazy sometimes, you know it?" he said fondly. "But I love you anyway."
Hutch was surprised then by how abruptly Starsky sobered, by his serious gaze. He met it steadily, frowning, as he waited for his friend to speak. "Do you love me, Hutch?" he asked. "Really? 'Cause this is more than just a game to me. This is--what happened here tonight between us was really special to me, and it would mean a lot if it did to you too. This isn't comin' out right, but I think you know what I'm saying--I hope."
"I think so," Hutch nodded. "You're saying you'd like it if I cared, too." Starsky gave a quick nod. "Well, you don't have to worry, partner," Hutch reassured him. "Tonight was special for me, too. I can't say I know where things will go between us from now on or how often this can happen, but I do know I liked it, very much. And yes, I do love you--just like I always have."
Hutch returned the powerful embrace Starsky invoked then, closing his eyes against unexpected tears. For the first time he felt he knew the true meaning of Christmas, as if he had found his way home for the holidays at last. As he returned the kiss Starsky gently presented, Hutch realized he was home--his home would always be in Starsky's arms.