Well, I was working on Moving On, but this little scene wouldn't leave me alone. I had to write it.
BTW, for those of you following Moving On, I am in the process of trying to recruit a beta reader; which, is turning out to be more of challenge than I originally expected. If you are interested in possibly being my beta for that story, please PM me.
Please review :)
They were surrounded by darkness. Sitting, silently in the Torino, parked in front of Metro. It was then that Starsky finally asked Hutch the question that had been weighing so heavily on his mind.
"You slept with her. Didn't you?" Starsky's voice was quiet and sad, and Hutch felt guilty then.
"Yes," Hutch answered, equally quiet. He didn't lie, he didn't have to. Exclusivity was never a part of their agreement.
Starsky sighed heavily and stared at the steering wheel. Hutch thought, for a second, that he may have seen tears in his partner's blue eyes.
"I'm sorry," Hutch said, and he meant it. Even though he knew that he hadn't done anything wrong. Not really, anyway.
"Nothin to be sorry for," Starsky responded quietly, but he still avoided Hutch's eyes.
"You've been with girls too," Hutch reminded, "even after we started doing-" He hesitated, not quite sure what to call their relationship. "Starsky, what exactly are we doing?"
Starsky bit his lip and shook his head, and Hutch gathered that he really didn't know either.
"I'm sorry," Hutch repeated. He was at a complete loss of anything else to say.
"Can I say something and you promise you won't get mad?" Starsky looked to Hutch, his eyes unsure, and his body language even more so.
"Anything," Hutch assured.
"I don't wanna do what we're doing anymore."
His heart dropped to his knees, and Hutch opened his mouth to respond, but Starsky held up his hand and continued.
"At least not how we're doing it," Starsky whispered and shook his head. "I don't want to share you with Little Miss Ballet, or anyone else for that matter. I want you to myself."
Hutch blinked in surprise. That certainly hadn't been the proclamation he was expecting.
"So you want to be exclusive?" he verified.
Hutch cleared his throat, his mind going crazy with his partner's request. How long had Starsky felt this way?
Hutch found himself trying to mentally calculate just exactly how long it had been since Starsky had been with anyone else. Realizing he wasn't sure, he bit the bullet and asked the pressing question.
"How long have you wanted it to be that way?"
"Not long," Starsky admitted, eyeing Hutch with a sly look. "Don't worry, blintz, it isn't like I've been holding a torch for you all this time," Starsky offered the blonde man an adoring smile, and Hutch found himself smiling too.
"I mean, it didn't used to bother me. I don't think I even realized that I felt that way," he paused and, glanced at Hutch before continuing, "that is, until I came to the hotel the other morning, and I realized that you and Anna had been... well... doing whatever it was the two of you were doing, "Starsky shook his head, trying desperately to purge the memory.
"What changed?" Hutch prompted; he felt anxious to be privy to such an important revelation.
"Remember when you were sick with that random plague a couple of months ago?"
Hutch snorted and shook his head. Like he could ever forget. It still felt like his body would never be the same.
"Well, I mean, there you were in the hospital. Dying. I was doin' everything that I could think of to find Callandar, but in the back of my mind, I knew we were gonna run out of time. And then, all I could think about was how I was gonna lose you. Everything just felt so hopeless, and I think I realized it then."
"Realized what?" Hutch asked softly, feeling more than a little emotional over where this was headed.
Starsky turned his body and angled himself in the seat of the car. Making eye contact with Hutch, he reached out and grabbed his partner's hand in his own.
If the moment hadn't seemed so important, Hutch might have pulled away, or chastised his partner for such an irresponsible display of affection. But he didn't, too immersed in Starsky.
"I love you," Starsky disclosed in a soft whisper, "not as a friend. Not as a buddy, or even a pal. I love, love you."
Hutch was a little taken aback by Starsky's sudden admission. But once he took a moment to think about it, he made a realization of his own.
Taking Hutch's silence as rejection, Starsky pulled his hand away and moved in his seat. He returned his focus on the darkness outside.
"I'm sorry. I know that's probably not what you want, but I just can't do this one foot out the door shit anymore. I can't handle the thought of sharing you with anyone. It has to be all or nothin'."
Hutch's head shot up at the end of Starsky's decree and he looked at his partner.
"Hey," Hutch soothed, his voice deep and smooth. It was comforting, and Starsky found himself making eye contact once again. Hutch offered him a warm smile.
"If you want all of me, baby, you got it."
"Really?" Starsky asked, shock all over his face. That was not the reaction he was expecting at all.
"No more random girls?" Starsky asked suspiciously, clearly not convinced.
"No more random girls," Hutch affirmed.
"Just like that?" Starsky's question was skeptical, and it was Hutch's turn to feel unsure.
"Yes, just like that. That's what you just asked for, isn't it?"
Hutch hadn't meant for the words to come out so assertively, but they had. And at his partner's familiar tone, Starsky's own tenor changed completely. Suddenly, it was as if they were bickering about any other topic.
"Well, yeah, but I though you would at least give me your whole 'I gotta think about this speech'; you don't normally jump into stuff like this," Starsky looked at Hutch doubtfully. "Are you sure this is what you want?"
"Yes!" Hutch exclaimed, irritated. He was quickly becoming frustrated; although, more with himself than with Starsky. "You are the one who just asked me, remember? If you want to be both feet in, we can be both feet in."
Starsky eyed Hutch warily, and Hutch felt like he was on display. He was nervous. What if Starsky refused his proposal? That idea seemed unlikely; especially since Starsky had been the one to bring up the idea, but the thought of rejection overwhelmed him, just the same.
It was a few moments before the dark haired man broke into a grin.
"Okay," Starsky agreed happily.
"Okay!" Hutch growled. He was trying to shelve his annoyance. What was it about a simple conversation with Starsky that could ignite his temper?
Both men looked away from each other. Hutch trying to calm his frustration, and Starsky with a huge smile on his face.
"Hutch?" Starsky questioned.
Starsky looked to Hutch, disproval coloring his handsome features; his previous thought was quickly replaced with another.
"Let's not fight. This is a good thing," Starsky scolded.
Hutch covered his eyes with his palms and groaned. What was he getting himself into? And what on earth was Starsky thinking, wanting Hutch all for himself? Didn't he know that it was only a matter of time before their personality differences forced them apart? And what would happen then, when their separation was between two committed romantic partners, rather than a meltdown between friends.
How would they function then?
Hutch looked to Starsky, and he found his partner offering him a reassuring smile, and at that moment, none of his reservations seemed important. Because, it was then, that Hutch realized that he had never seen anyone look so beautiful.
If he was lucky enough to be loved by his charismatic partner, Hutch would do everything in his power to honor him. He pushed his previous doubts to the back of his mind and allowed himself to be reassured by the essence that was David Starsky.