Nikki Harrington

Set after the end of the series.

Alone in a hotel room after one too many attempts to get Starsky to prove he loves him, Hutch hears a song on the radio that sums up his entire relationship with Starsky. But has he left it too late to put things right?

An established relationship angsty story.

Written: June 1999. Word count: 5,049.

This story originally appeared in Starsky & Hutch A Love Story 2 which was published by Devious Developments Press in 2004.

Hutch looked around the room in surprise as if he really didn't know what he was doing there. And just what are you doing here Hutchinson? Sitting alone in a hotel room when you have a perfectly good home 200 miles away? The answer was simple – he no longer had a home, just a set of memories. Home only means one thing, Starsk – you. And since I no longer have you, I no longer have a home – a plain fact of life. So why don't I have you any longer? Another simple answer – because I finally went too far. Finally pushed you beyond your endurance, and did the one thing that even you couldn't forgive me for – I fucked another man. Correction, Hutchinson, you let him think you'd fucked another man.

Hutch groaned, and sitting back full-length on the bed, he ran his hand through his hair and drifted into thought. We had some great times didn't we, Starsk? Even before we became lovers in the final physical sense. I knew that I loved you more than I'd ever loved anyone in my whole life, knew I'd never love anyone as much. But the real revelation was the fact that you loved me. In spite of everything I did – or maybe even because of it – you still loved me. We survived everything, my addiction, Gillian, Kira – Hutch groaned again as he thought of Kira. I really pulled a fast one there. Why? What was I trying to prove? That she wasn't worthy of you? That I wasn't worthy of you? Or that you didn't need women, when you had me? Maybe somewhere along the line all three had gotten mixed up together.

Forcing himself to stop thinking of Kira, Hutch allowed his thoughts to return to their pre-lover phase. The stage when they were just partners and best friends. Not that what we had could ever be called just. Hutch knew that the alcohol he had consumed since arriving was not making his thought pattern coherent, but knew too that he couldn't stop. He was also aware that he was numb, partly from the alcohol and partly because he was hurting so deeply. I can't cry, I should be able to; I've just fucked up the one worthwhile thing in my life. So why can't I? Unbidden, something Starsky's mother had told him once, when she was talking about her dead husband, came into his mind. "Some things go too deep for tears".

Yes, we survived it all. All the shit the Department and the criminal world threw at us, endless attempts on our lives. The streets every day, having more guns being pulled on us than I care to remember. Survived my ‘weird women' as you used to call them. We even survived my ‘games'. Me always testing you, testing your love, your loyalty and your friendship. Testing the ‘me and thee' that became the only thing we had to cling to on all too many occasions. We survived my hurting you, damn it! Starsk, did you ever really stop to think what I was doing? No, of course not. You loved me too much, forgave me anything and everything. Even all the women I took away from you – screwed and then dumped – you didn't even seem to mind that, Starsk.

Hutch reached for the bottle of vodka he had brought with him and was only marginally surprised to find it almost empty. With a shrug, he poured the remainder into his glass and, sipping it slowly, returned to his memories. We even survived Gunther – although God knows how I got through that one. We survived him and finally became lovers, something that brought with it a whole lot of new things to survive. God, the arguments – but the making up was so good. Not this time though – this time there'll be no making up. We held on to each other when there was no one else to hold on to. We got through IA demanding our badges and we won a victory and a half – first openly gay cops on the force. Do you remember Peter Whitelaw's face when we went public? He looked as though a huge victory had been won for Johnny, and in a way it had. Hell, Starsk, that was something I never thought I'd have be able to live through – but we did. ‘Me and thee' as always.

And the other times? You getting your degree. Oh Starsk, did I ever tell you how proud I was of you? Did I ever tell you that I never stopped smiling all the way through the ceremony? And you, you and your bitching about not wanting all the formal stuff – you loved it really. Then you came to me, flung your arms around me and kissed me right there, in front of all those people. You didn't care what anyone thought – you never did. When I told my folks, I really wanted to rub it in, let them know that they'd been wrong about you all these years. Not that it mattered to us, what they thought. Even when they finally disinherited me after we'd told them that we were living together as a couple. You held on to me so tightly that night, taking away all of the pain, because even though I said it didn't matter, you knew that I was hurting. You always knew me better than I knew myself.

Why couldn't they have been like your mom? She was so damned proud of you – of us. I still remember her introducing me as, "my Davey's life-partner". She always gave us her bed when we stayed with her, never asking, just telling you where to put our stuff. She'd have loved your graduation; I wish she'd have been there for it. That's another thing that we got through – her death and the whole Jewish mourning thing. I learned quickly there, Starsk, but then you'd insisted that I learn something about the ritual once we became lovers. You wanted me to know what to do when… Hell, I never could think of your death, Starsk, because I always knew that I'd never survive it. I never told you that I had no intention of living when you died, never told you how glad I was to get off the streets- anything to try and keep you safe. Where was I? Oh yes, your mom's funeral. You never hid what we were. I know you said that's what your mom would have wanted, but you encountered a lot of opposition. A Gentile playing a leading part in a Jew's funeral. Your lover – your partner – that's what you told people, and as your lover, I had a role to play and you made damned sure that I played it.

We shared so much, both before and after becoming lovers. We gave and took equally – but I had to continue my hell. Had to keep forcing you to tell me you loved me. I had to force you to keep proving it – especially in the last few months, when my ‘games' became more demanding, hurtful, darker, even dangerous. I took risks with our love – risks that I'd never taken before – and pushed us to the edge. I knew exactly how to hurt you. And I did. Why? I don't know, Starsk. Not really. I only know that everyone I've ever cared about, I've destroyed – but knowing it and being able to stop it are two different things. Yet somehow I knew that you'd stand by me.

Hutch shook his head, trying to force away his painful memories trying instead to remember the pleasure. Oh God, Starsk, I remember the nights of passion, the times when we didn't even make it to the bed. I remember the times we didn't even get undressed completely. The times one of us came in our pants because we were so desperate for each other, desperate and unable, unwilling to stop.

We'd always touched each other even before we became lovers – but it was different once we shared that first real kiss. The kiss that gave so much, invited, offered, promised and took. We suddenly found that we couldn't keep our hands off each other, not in the squad room, the locker room, the elevator – not even in Dobey's office. As for in the car – I sometimes wondered why we didn't have an accident. I remember the morning after the first night as though it was yesterday. We had to stop off at my place for me to change. All you'd done was rest your hand on my knee – something you did all the time – and I came there and then as though we'd been touching for hours. I don't even remember logging out – but we did. We logged out, went to my place and… We didn't even shut the door that time; we were out of our minds with desire for each other, a desire that has never died. I remember all the different ways we made love. The tenderness, the long drawn out mornings when we'd get up, shower and shave then change the bed and slip between clean sheets – getting up again hours later. They were great times. But the quickies were great too. We even made out in that damned car of yours, something I didn't even do as a teenager, yet you made it all seem so right. I know that I couldn't wait either until we got home – but the risks we took.

But it wasn't just about sex – hell, it was hardly about sex at all – that was just incidental. It was about love, the true love that so few people find in a lifetime, the true love that I threw away with my damned games. Once again Hutch picked up his bottle and, finding it empty, picked the phone up instead. He asked room service to bring him another one. Once it had been delivered, and the bellhop tipped, he poured himself a large measure and sat back down on the bed, returning to his thoughts.

You always knew exactly what I needed. When I needed to be held, stroked, penetrated, sucked – how did you know? I know that sometimes, when I had to have you inside me – to be assured that I really belonged to you – it had to be quick and hard. I know you hated taking me so quickly, so unprepared, because you knew that you were really hurting me. But they were the times when I needed that physical hurt so much. It wasn't force, Starsk, how could it have been when I wanted it – no needed it – so much? I remember how sometimes on those occasions, our tears used to mingle together – mine from the physical pain, yours because you hated hurting me. I made you take me without lube. You used to beg me not to, but in those moments all I wanted was you inside me – I had to have you hard and fast. Sometimes those were the most amazing climaxes I ever had and, if you're honest, it was the same for you. Oh, Starsk, why? How can I live without it? Without you? If I could turn back the clock, take back that night, I would – but I can't. My damned pride – and yours – won't let me. How can I now come to you and say, "I didn't fuck him," after I let you believe I did? Oh God, that night…

Hutch finished his drink and tried not to think about it, but it was like trying not to breathe – impossible. He sighed, poured another glass of vodka and running his hand again through his hair – used to love you doing that, Starsk – let his mind go back to the final insult. We'd been bitching at each other for days, weeks even. No matter what shit we'd been through during the day though, we always made it up at night. I remember your mom telling us, "Never go to sleep on a quarrel." We never did – until last night.

Sex had become faster, more demanding. I took more and more and you let me. You gave totally of yourself, and yet I still wanted even more. We started to quarrel about me not clearing up my stuff – an age-old quarrel – but that was only the tip of the iceberg, the catalyst. There was something deeper, something more, something more fundamental and rather than try to understand, we pushed each other away. I remember slamming out of the house, telling you where I was going, what I intended to do. And I went, I went down there and picked up the first guy that I could find – who was the total opposite to you – well, once I was just drunk enough.

You came after me, as I guess I knew you would. You saw me coming out of the room – dιjΰ vu – and you confronted me, hit me. Hell, I'd been hit by you before, and hit back too. This time though, it was as you were a man possessed and you turned your complete anger on me – something you'd never done before. You dragged me to the car and forced me into it, all the time demanding, "Why did you fuck him?" I let you believe that I had. We got back to our place and the argument, to end all arguments – if you can call a monologue an argument – started.

"Why'd you fuck him?"


"Fuck it, Hutchinson, I've put up with every bit of crap you've thrown at me over the years. I've put up with you screwing my girl friends, talking down to me, showing your superior education and I've put up with your ‘prove you love me games'. I've stood by your through everything – everything. So why this, babe?" Their own special endearment – the one used for years, even before they were lovers – had slipped out even in the middle of the tirade. "Why the fuck d'ya do it? Aren't I enough for you?"


More quietly, you went on. "I know we've not been the best recently, but a man – why a man? A woman would've been easier to understand somehow. If you were looking' for the final ‘prove it game' – you've found it, lover, and I'm not sure that – much as I love you – you haven't gone too far this time."


"Say something, anything. Defend yourself, say you're sorry – damn it, you usually do! Or is that it, Hutch, sorry' has become so fuckin' easy to say these days? Has it become like ‘I love you' – so easy to say, but not so easy to mean? Well?"

My shrug was almost disinterested. I didn't have any fight left – or any answers.

You really lost your temper then, Starsk – even I recoiled from you. I know I'm stronger than you, but I really thought you'd deck me one. But no, your tirade just went on for a few more minutes.

"So what now? You wanna fuck me, do ya'? Okay – how? Where? Or do you want me to fuck you? Hard and fast – as always when you screw up? Well, tough, I'm not fucking you now – but you can have me. Go on, I'm here, fuck me like you fucked him."

Your hands went to your belt and I watched in fascination, wondering if you'd really follow it through. Suddenly all the anger went from you and you slumped forward, head down. Oh, Starsk, I wanted so much to take you in you my arms, to tell you I was sorry. To tell you the truth – to tell you that I didn't fuck him – that I couldn't get it even slightly aroused. But that, by God, I was now so hard; I thought I was going to burst my pants. It wasn't the first time that had happened. I – and you – often got aroused when we argued.

Maybe it was because part of our minds knew what resulted as a consequence of our rows – some of the best sex we ever shared – some of the best loving. But I didn't move to you. I didn't say those words; I didn't try and make it up. I just stood there – still silent – watching you, knowing that I deserved everything thing you'd said. I was almost rejoicing in hurting so much.

Finally you looked up, and said in a gruff, weary, yet strangely gentle voice, "Go to bed, Hutch, go shower and I'll lock up. We'll face this tomorrow." And you moved to the door, locked up and then – went to the spare room. I didn't sleep that night. I waited until I heard you snoring, then got up, packed a few things and left. I was unable to face you telling me you couldn't – or wouldn't – go on with us any longer. I drove here to this room – my life over, and it's my own fault.

Hutch forced his mind away from the events of the night before and groaned. He looked around the room again as if really seeing it for the first time. Nice room, as hotel rooms go, but it's empty, bare, devoid of feeling – just like me. Oh, Starsk, what are you doing now? Are you looking for me? How did you feel when you woke up this morning and I'd gone? Why have I destroyed the one worthwhile thing in my life? If only…

If only I could put the last few months out of my mind. My father's death and my mother's insistence that, even though they'd disowned me, I go home and pay my respects. Respect. That the last thing they ever gave me – gave us. But I went, you made me – told me if I didn't I'd regret it one day. You even said that you'd stay in LA, said it would be better if you did, but I wanted you with me – needed you with me – so you came. My mother was barely civil to you; her friends and neighbors were outwardly hostile and rude – even some of my childhood friends couldn't believe that I'd brought you with me. They all saw it as flaunting my ‘perversion'. We got through it, but somehow that was the beginning of the downward spiral. I overheard so much in those two days, they say eavesdroppers never hear well of themselves – they don't! I don't know, Starsk, but suddenly it sullied everything we had. I know it shouldn't have done, know that what they thought about us shouldn't have mattered – only we mattered. But somehow I let it. I had to know that you loved me in spite of the comments, because, babe, I knew that you'd heard them too – knew in fact that some of the things that were only said behind my back were said directly to you. Knew that Uncle Tom even told you that you were partly responsible for my father's death, because of what we were. You didn't know that I heard that, but I did – and I blamed myself. Illogical, but there it is, Van, Gillian and now my father – not to mention everyone else whose life I'd screwed up.

I couldn't talk to you – wouldn't talk to you – you were getting caught up in lecturing. So instead I started to push you, a bit more each time, demand time from you, demanding that you showed me you loved me.

But it wasn't just Dad's death – it was the whole damned mess we were living. Criminals seemed to be overrunning the streets, and even though we weren't on them, we saw the results every day. Saw the rapes, the beatings, the murders, the kids – oh, Starsk, the pedophile ring. Everything, it just all built up and I couldn't see any way out. The corrupt cops, hell, where did they all come from? I know there'd always been some, but suddenly it seemed as though they were around every corner. Then there were the comments about us. The snide, bitter, dirty comments – comments that made me almost ashamed of our love. Things like: we shouldn't be allowed to be around the rookies, shouldn't be allowed in the locker rooms when anyone else was – and worse. Most of our fellow cops accepted us, had no problem with us – but there was that couple of new ones. Coming after Dad, it just pushed me deeper into myself.

My resolve was fading fast, my innocence had gone years ago, but this was something more, I wanted out – or thought I did. But I knew I could never tell you. You loved the force, and you loved lecturing. You'd even started to enjoy – well, put up with – the paperwork. You seemed to find a meaning, outside of me. Whereas my only meaning seemed to be you – and that scared me. Scared me so damn much, Starsk, that I panicked and rather than pull us together, my need for you started to push us apart.

The need I couldn't tell you about, even when you asked. The emotional need that had always been there, had always been fulfilled, but now was more intense than ever. So I hid it with sex, with all the physical stuff. When you probed, I suggested bed, when you pushed me, I simply pushed back – used your mom's words back on you. Got you into bed, and loved you until you couldn't think anymore, couldn't ask. And for the first time ever, you stopped asking. Maybe you were just trying a new track, a new way of getting the information – but it didn't work. We just bitched more and more, skirted around the edges. Until last night when, finally burned out and tired of everything – I had to play ‘prove it' one last time. My final card, Starsk, my ultimate trump – only it backfired. Deep down, I didn't expect you to believe me – never thought you would.

The radio that had been on ever since he'd walked into the room, ever since he'd tried to banish the silence, was now playing a song that seemed vaguely familiar to him. He listened, put down his drink, and moved quickly across the room to turn up the volume. Then he stood almost spellbound – it said everything. The haunting words of Chicago's Hard to Say I'm Sorry – telling of broken love, of broken dreams, of realization and of forgiveness – reverberated around the room:

Everybody needs a little time away, I heard her say, from each other,

Even lovers need a holiday, far away from each other,

Hold me now, it's hard for me to say I'm sorry, I just want you to stay.

After all that we've been through, I will make it up to you, I promise to,

And after all that's been said and done, you're just a part of me I can't let go.


Couldn't stand to be kept away, just for the day, from your body.

Wouldn't wanna be swept away, far away from the one that I love.

Hold me now, it's hard for me to say I'm sorry, I just want you to know.

Hold me now, I really wanna tell you I'm sorry, I could never let you go.

After all that we've been through I will make it up to you, I promise to,

And after all that's been said and done, you're just a part of me I can't let go.

As Hutch listened to the words, tears finally threatened to choke him, but he forced them back and persuaded his alcohol-affected mind to focus. The song put everything into perspective. They'd been through everything together – life, death, pain, pleasure, friendship, love – they were part of each other, the best part. It's true, Starsk, a little time apart sometimes helps – helps put what we want most from life into perspective. Like this 'trip gave me some space, made me realize that I can't, and don't want to, live without you. He knew that they could make it up. He had to go back and tell Starsky the truth. Knew that he had to stop forcing Starsky to prove his love. He didn't need to have it proved any longer. It was suddenly as though he had sobered up, totally, with complete clarity and reason – and much more importantly, belief. He knew that Starsky loved him, only him, loved him unconditionally, loved him in spite of his faults, and knew that they'd be okay.

He thought about driving straight back and confronting his partner, no matter where he was, but he was only too conscious that he'd had far too much to drink for that. Better to stay the night and set off early tomorrow. Tomorrow, you're lecturing to the new lot of rookies, I'll surprise you. Even if you'd looked for me today, you wouldn't let the new lot down. Picking up the phone, he rang room service again and ordered a pot of strong black coffee, scrambled eggs, orange juice and lots of water.

The 200-mile drive was nothing, especially as the song that had brought him to reason was played a couple of times during the journey.

Hutch made good time and pulled up in front of the station less than four hours after leaving the hotel. He walked into the hall and was surprised to be greeted with a few cordial nods and a couple of, "glad to see you're better" comments. So you didn't say I'd run out on you then? I wonder if you told Dobey the truth though? Returning the nods with a faint smile, he made his way to the lecture room. As he approached, he heard the sound of his lover's voice delivering a talk, on street-work, in his own indomitable style. No one else tells it like you, Starsk, no one can match your style, your panache, your – damn it, even I can't put a name to it. But it's all yours, lover – and you're all mine.

He slipped into the back row, silencing the welcome from a fellow cop with a cutting gesture. The other cop simply gave a half smile, shrugged and turned away. Starsky was coming to the end of his presentation and was giving the impression of being totally relaxed and at ease with the world. But you're not, Starsk, I can tell. I can see the pain you're trying to hide in those deep blue eyes of yours – the pain that I put there. No, Hutchinson, we put there. There never has been any ‘I' as far as we're concerned. What was it your mom said, Starsk, apart from her ‘Never go to sleep on a quarrel'? Ah yes, ‘It takes two to make and two to break a relationship'. Did I ever tell you just how profound your mom was? I guess you knew that anyway. I can see the dark circles under your eyes, the sure sign that you haven't slept. The slight twitch of your fingers, the sub-conscious turning of the ring I gave you a few years ago. Did you look for me? Of course you did. You always would, even if only to ensure that I was safe, even if you couldn't forgive me. Always and forever and that's what it will be, Starsk – I promise you.

He was brought back to reality by the clapping. A sign of appreciation showing that, in spite of everything, Starsky had lifted the recruits and had fired them up. Hutch moved swiftly into the shadows at the back of the hall and waited while the young cops – God, were we ever that young, ever that innocent? – filed out, talking loudly and approvingly about Lieutenant Starsky's talk.

Starsky was alone in the room now, tidying up his papers. I don't know why you always make notes, you never use them. He looked up suddenly – can you sense me, Starsk? – glancing towards the back of the hall. Hutch realized that both of them were holding their breath. He walked swiftly down the hall, coming to stop in front of Starsky. Now that he was face to face with the man he loved more than life itself, some of the confidence he'd felt earlier began to vanish. What if you don't want me back? What if you can't forgive me? What if your only concern was my well being? What if…. Then he looked into his lover's eyes and read understanding, forgiveness, relief and a deeper love than he'd ever seen there before. He started to speak, "Starsk, I –"

But he was interrupted. "I know, babe, I know – hush now." Hutch looked down into the blue eyes, and knew then that Starsky knew the truth. His confidence returned and he enfolded his lover in his arms. My lover, my life, my own. I'll never hurt you again, Starsk, never play those stupid games again, I promise. As Starsky moaned and leaned into him, Hutch simply dropped his mouth and kissed his partner, deeply, urgently and yet gently. You're right, there is no need for words. He heard the door to the back of the hall open... and then heard it gently close again. But he didn't stop kissing and holding Starsky – nor did Starsky let go of him. Hutch didn't care who saw, no one could hurt them, together they were invincible. As they stood there, locked in an embrace, the final line of the song came into Hutch's mind again. ‘And after all that's been said and done, you're just a part of me I can't let go.'

He only realized that he'd spoken it aloud when Starsky gave a small gasp and in a voice gruff with emotion said quietly, "You've heard it too?"

Hutch didn't speak. He simply dropped his head and kissed Starsky again – this time with passion and desire. He felt both returned in full, together with the overwhelming love that came only from his partner.

"Let's go home, sweetheart," he heard Starsky say. Then his hand was captured and he was led to the back of the hall. They stopped once more to share another deep, longing kiss, and then hand in hand – much to the amazement of the cops in the hallway – they made their way to Starsky's car.



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