Candy and Bears
Candy and Bears
Hutch glanced up and over the desk at his partner. "Starsk?" he asked, his voice going softer. "Remember the name of the store owner? I forgot to write it down."
Starsky gave him a distinct glare. His arms were crossed. His eyes were narrowed. Even his curls looked rebellious.
"Hey." Hutch raised his hands, palm up. "You know we didn’t have time."
"We always have time if you need to stop somewhere. And we were already there! And I didn’t get any breakfast."
"Candy isn’t breakfast," supplied Hutch, bending back over his work, to peer at the blank spot where he should be typing the name of the store owner.
"I just wanted to buy a few gummy bears. Wouldn’t have made you eat any. But you had to…"
"Starsk, not now, I’m working, okay? Jamison. Henderson. Something with a ‘son.’"
"Hutchinson?" suggested Starsky.
"Huh? No, not that."
"Gummy bears aren’t really candy, anyway. I mean, they’re made from fruit juice or something, so that’s definitely breakfast."
"Starsky, gummy bears aren’t made of fruit juice." Hutch gave him a disapproving look across the desk.
"Then why do they taste like fruit? You know candy apples? I bet you don’t think they’re fruit either, but have you ever bit the whole way down? There’s a core and everything."
"Gummy bears don’t have a core." Hutch tapped the space bar several times, leaving room for the owner’s name. "And we were in a hurry."
"Hmph." Starsky crossed his arms again and leaned back, his chair squeaking.
"Starsk, why don’t you just get some candy from the vending machine?"
"I’m out of money."
"When has that ever stopped you?" Hutch shifted in his chair, dug into his pocket, and brought out a handful of change.
Starsky gave him another distinctly hard look, narrow-eyed.
"Man, you’re really a bear this morning!" Hutch grinned a little.
"Don’t say it!" threatened Starsky, raising his hands in protest.
Hutch blinked. "Say what?"
"You were going to say something about the wrong side of the bed, weren’t you? I hate it when you say that. I’ll have you know both sides of my bed are the right ones."
Hutch shrugged. "Okay, whatever. Do you want the change or don’t you? Why are you so grumpy, anyway?"
Starsky’s hand reached out, hovered over Hutch’s palm, and then he picked out several quarters, dimes, and nickels.
Hutch drew his hand back and gazed at his handful of change. "You left me some pennies. Thanks."
"Well, you offered." Starsky pocketed the money, shifting in his seat so he could get his hand into his tight jeans pocket. A smile threatened to spread across his face, though he struggled to keep the grumpy expression there.
Hutch smiled at him, and Starsky’s smiled after all, reluctant, wide, white. "I guess I could get you some candy too. Since it was your money."
"No thanks." Hutch bent his bowed shoulders back over the typewriter. He tapped a key experimentally, shook his head, then winced. "D’you have the White-Out?"
"Why do you say that? Why do you think I’m the one who always has it? I type better than you any day." Grumbling, Starsky rummaged in a drawer, and put the small white bottle on top of Hutch’s typewriter. "Don’t use it all up."
"Why? If you never need it, you shouldn’t care," teased Hutch, unscrewing the lid.
Starsky made a face at him and hopped up. "I’m gettin’ some breakfast!"
A few minutes later he returned eating a Hershey’s Almond bar. A little bit of chocolate decorated the edge of his mouth.
"Real healthy, Starsk." Hutch tsk’d, shaking his head slightly.
"Aw, shut up, Blondie." Starsky scuffled fingers through Hutch’s hair on his way past, grinning a little.
"Hey!" Hutch tried to swat his hand away. "Don’t you get chocolate in my hair!"
"Probably good for it." Starsky sat down on the edge of the desk and swung one leg. "Chocolate is good for you, and so are almonds."
"So is real food, Ollie."
"So is not having your partner tell you what you can or can’t buy."
"Are you still on about that? We were in a hurry." Hutch stared at the chocolate bar in Starsky’s hands, then reached across quickly and broke a corner off.
Starsky pretended to swat at his hand to keep him away, but he was grinning. "Yep, a real healthy breakfast. Even you think so. Hey. Hutch. You’ve got chocolate on your face. And your hands." Starsky nodded to him, eyes twinkling.
Quickly, Hutch wiped the back of his hand across his face, then rubbed his hands on his blue jeans.
"Real cultured, Blintz." Starsky finished his candy bar and dug into the pocket of his leather jacket.
"You’re not eating more candy, are you?" Hutch stared at him.
"No. Why would I eat more candy? I gotta save room for lunch. Chili," he added with satisfaction. He drew out a handkerchief and wiped his hands and mouth carefully.
"Chili." Hutch made a face, with a small shudder.
"Don’t worry, just regular chili, not that extra spicy stuff you hate."
Hutch did not look convinced.
"And it was Robinson."
"Huh? Oh, that name I needed." He backed up the typewriter armature so he could fill in the blank, tapping out the letters carefully, one big finger at a time. "Thanks, Starsk. But nothing will convince me to try any chili you suggest ever again—no matter how hot you say it isn’t."
Starsky grinned. "Say that five times fast."
"No matter how hot you say it isn’t, no matter how hot you say it isn’t, no hatter mow hot yoy saw it…" Hutch stopped and blinked at Starsky, frowning.
Starsky’s grin widened. "You’re wonderful, Hutch. You could be in Vegas."
Hutch poked his partner in the belly. "Not unless you’re there too."
"Yeah," said Starsky, pushing his finger down. "Well, of course."