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Stand-In

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It was Starsky’s whistling, or maybe the noise that the plumbing always made when someone turned the shower off, or possibly the way the setting sun was slanting through the windows that roused Huggy from his post-coital slumber. Regardless, Huggy had no complaints as he opened his eyes just in time to see that perfect ass disappear into too-tight jeans.

Of course gratitude was followed by a pang of longing. One David Michael Starsky, who had no qualms about rubbing off against another naked dude, was still holding on to a certain virginity. Huggy had asked him once if he was saving it for a certain tall, lovely blond, and Starsky had snorted derisively. “Hutch would have a stroke at the idea of having sex with another guy.”

Huggy rolled his eyes at the memory. Starsky was whip smart, but suffered from a certain type of blindness.

“Huggy, do you have a shirt I can borrow?” Starsky sat down and pulled on red socks and blue tennis shoes, giving Huggy another few seconds to admire sculpted arms and chest. Huggy nearly asked what had happened to Starsky’s shirt, when he remembered that Starsky had used it to clean them both up.

“Do I look like I would have anything that fits you? In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not exactly the same size.”

“C’mon Hug, Hutch and me, we’re going to see Sue Ann sing, and I don’t want to be late.”

“You hate that hillbilly music.”

“Yeah, but I’m gonna get Hutch up on stage.” Starsky bounded up and disappeared into the closet without a trace of irony. Huggy took advantage of the moment to close his eyes and engage in flights of fancy.

Starsky, both typically and cluelessly, shook Huggy from his self-pity by emerging from the closet, dressed in gold satin and brown leather fringe. “Okay if I borrow these, Hug?”

‘Of course,’ Huggy wanted to reply. ‘I know you’ll return them nice and neat when you’re done with them, come borrow them again when you’d rather have something else but you’re settling for them because you can’t have what you really want. Or maybe you’ll finally figure out that they’re not really what you want. Either way they’ll be here. I’ll be damned if I know why, but they’ll be here.’

Instead Huggy got to his feet and walked over to the chest of drawers, sliding the top one open. “No problem. Just gotta add something.” He pulled a dark blue scarf from the pile and took the few steps back to Starsky. Normally he would ask permission, but he felt emboldened, not from some kind of false sense of confidence, but from some small spark of defiance, and slid the scarf around Starsky’s neck and tied the knot in one deft motion. “Now you’re good.”

Starsky broke into a grin that was not as wide as one that was usually bestowed on a certain blond. ‘Second best for second best,’ Huggy thought.

“Thanks, Hug,” Starsky got all the way to the door, hand on the doorknob, before doubling back to place a lingering kiss. “See ya.”

Huggy closed the door behind him and lingered until the sound of Starsky’s footsteps was replaced by silence.