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Viewing Life Upside Down

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"So what exactly did you do with Anna Akha—" Starsky made a huffy breath and tried again. "Akka…Anna Ballerina?" He looked up from oiling and cleaning his weapon at his kitchen table.

Hutch didn't answer, not sure where this was leading. He took a long pull on his beer to stall for time. Was Starsky teasing him for his blatantly obvious behavior on Friday morning? He couldn't forget Starsky's innuendo filled grin when he walked in to the hotel room and found Hutch with his shirt buttoned crookedly, his gun under a table and his tie on a lamp. Anna's enthusiastic kiss and Russian accented "darlink" hadn't helped matters at all.

On the other hand—maybe Starsky really wanted to know. There'd been a time, admittedly years ago, when Hutch would have told Starsky just about every detail of a one night stand. "I gave whatshername my whatchamacallit," suddenly sprang to mind. But they'd both backed off that kind of locker room bragging. After each of them had lost a beautiful girlfriend to violent death, they'd become a little more protective of any special relationship. Losing love had both driven them closer to each other and also separated the fun one night stands from something more precious.

There had to be something more than just sex with a pretty woman, as enjoyable as that was. And besides, he and Anna hadn't…

"We did gymnastics," Hutch replied after a pause so long that Starsky looked over at him with speculation in his eyes. He drained the last of the beer from the bottle and hooked a second one from the six pack on the coffee table.

"Gymnastics?" Starsky said in disbelief, his fingers lightly clasping the barrel of his pistol.

"Yeah." Hutch shrugged and felt himself blush, which embarrassed him even further. And he wasn't at all certain why he was embarrassed in the first place!

Starsky's grin stretched from ear to ear. "What kind of gymnastics?" he asked with raunchy innuendo. "Vaulting? A little floor routine? I've seen the moves those Olympic gymnasts can do, I'll bet ballerinas are just as flexible."

"Starsky!" Hutch groaned, suddenly very aware of the way Starsky was thrusting the gun brush up and down the barrel. He gulped beer, feeling a warm buzz throughout his body. Beer didn't usually affect him so quickly. "I mean it. I walked on my hands."

"Hey!" Starsky's expression changed from wicked to delighted. "You really can? How come you've never shown me?"

Putting down the newspaper he had been pretending to read while waiting for Starsky to finish his chores, Hutch laughed. "Not exactly a necessary skill for chasing down suspects."

"I dunno." Starsky cocked his head as if imagining police work a la the circus. "Might come in real handy. Can you imagine the look on some pickpocket's face when you flip over and go after him on your hands?"

"I'm not that fast." Hutch rolled his eyes, secretly pleased.

"Yeah, but, Hutch!" Starsky jumped up and abruptly hauled Hutch off the couch. "You can do it and, in my book, that's terrific! Show me."

"Right here?" Hutch asked gruffly, backing away until his calves hit the edge of the couch.

Starsky shoved the coffee table to one side and waved his arms at the empty space. "You showed Anna."

"Well, because…" Hutch stopped, feeling confused and flustered. I wanted to impress her, was his first thought, but it was immediately waylaid by a tiny voice that insisted, but I want to impress Starsky more.

He took a cleansing breath and looked straight into Starsky's bright blue eyes. Why not? What would it hurt?

"C'mon, Hutch, what are you waiting for?" Starsky waggled his fingers and Hutch had a rush of something frightening and wonderful—lust, raw and pure.

Impulsively, he held up both arms, took a preparatory step and went over, landing securely on his palms. Momentum took his forward, right hand and then left, across the carpet. Upside down, he didn't have time to think, he only had to keep his balance and react.

He could hear Starsky cheering him on, and inclined his head just enough to look over at his partner. He caught sight of the familiar blue Adidas with the white stripes and was undone. His right wrist wobbled, but when he awkwardly shifted his weight, it buckled. He went down hard, slamming against the floor with enough force to knock the breath out of him.

Or maybe it was just from looking at Starsky from a different angle?

Where the hell had that come from?

"Hutch!" Starsky crouched over him.

Hutch found himself staring up at him wrong side 'round. Starsky's mouth was on top, his nose, and then those alluring blue eyes. He gasped and sat up fast, smacking his head against Starsky's.

"Damn!" Starsky groaned, rubbing his forehead. He laughed, his blueberry blue eyes bright with amusement—and something else Hutch couldn't quite identify. "The Amazing Wallenda you are not, but still…" He put out a hand to help Hutch stand.

Hutch grasped Starsky's hand, starting to get to his feet and felt something akin to an electric shock run up his arm. With a gasp, he jerked in surprise, pulling them both to the floor in the process. Starsky landed hard on top of him.

Really hard.

Hutch could feel the aggressive jut of Starsky's cock against his pelvis, and tried to crab walk backwards. Perversely, his own penis rose up to try and greet Starsky's as if to say "let's play!"

"Where you goin'?" Starsky asked in a silky smooth tone Hutch was sure he had never heard before. He sat back on his heels, regarding Hutch with amusement.

"Uh--," Hutch said stupidly. He hadn't expected a test! This was all so sudden and very, very arousing. He thought fast, feeling like Charlie McCabe when Marsha pushed him on the couch. "Walking on my hands!" he said with forced jocularity. "See?" Wiggling out from under Starsky, Hutch did a bridge, abdomen flat, his arms stiffened and knees bent at right angles. Too late, he realized that it shoved his erection right in Starsky's face.

Damn! He felt his cheeks flame and was glad that in this position, his neck was bent back so he didn't have to look at his partner. What would Starsky think?

"This the kind of gymnastics you showed Anna?" Starsky tapped a single finger on Hutch's groin, doing incredible things to Hutch's libido.

"Starsky!" he hissed, dropping down on his butt. "Wha…?"

"I’m pretty flexible myself," Starsky said quite matter-of-factly. He was sitting cross-legged, his cock practically drilling a hole through his jeans. "Wanna see?"

Not sure how things had progressed quite this far, this fast, Hutch nodded, his mouth dry as dust. Where was that beer he had? He spied it over on the coffee table, which had been shoved over to the wall. It could have been in Outer Mongolia—he couldn't have crawled over there for all the tea in China, not with Starsky captivating him so vividly.

"Yeah." Hutch breathed out, watching his partner intently. How had he never noticed Starsky's allure? Well, he had—but pretended to ignore the narrow hips, masculine chest and exotic, slightly asymmetrical features that were as familiar as his own face. Only suddenly bewitching.

"Been waiting for you to say that, Oscar." Starsky went to his knees, his back arched like a cat ready to pounce.

"Oscar?" Hutch asked dazedly.

"You're all golden, boy," Starsky purred, lowering himself like he was doing a push-up. "The academy's award." His nose hovered over Hutch's groin before he rose up again on straight arms.

Plank position, Hutch thought absently, surprised he had any intelligence left at all. "Starsky…"

"Yes?" Starsky sat back on his haunches, looking like some infuriatingly perky elf, with that mischievous and mysterious grin.

"What are we doing here?" Hutch revolved his finger in a circle to encompass everything that had just happened.

"Gymnastics," Starsky said, spreading his legs so that he bracketed Hutch. He leaned forward from the hips, placing both hands on Hutch's thighs.

"More like yoga."

"I stand corrected," Starsky replied smugly. "You have any…other positions you'd be interested in?"

God, yes! Hutch pictured Starsky sucking his cock, which from this angle seemed impossible unless he rocked back on his tailbone so that his groin was tilted up and maybe if Starsky went down…

"I can see the cogs in your brain going around like hamster wheels," Starsky said. "Stop thinking so much, Hutch."

"NO!" Hutch scrambled to his feet so abruptly that Starsky sprawled back, braced on his elbows. "Starsky…not that I am not…uh…" Double-negatives meant the opposite, right? Tongue-tied, he froze, holding up a warning finger, trying to corral his addle-pated brain. "Starsky, I…want to…very much so, but shouldn't we try to talk about this first? Plan, strategize?"

"If you do that every time, I am surprised you ever had a one night stand, babe." Starsky crossed his arms, obviously retreating. He snagged a beer from the six pack and popped the top, guzzling half the bottle in one go.

Hutch found himself staring at the arch of Starsky's neck, the way his Adam's apple moved when he swallowed. "Is this what that is?"

"And you supposedly went to the good schools," Starsky scoffed fondly. "Hutch, I get why you're scared. When I think about it at night, freaks me out, too. But sometimes, we just gotta act without analyzing every single move." He stood, walking over to the table to gather up the gun cleaning oils and rags. "And no," he said without looking over his shoulder at Hutch. "I don't want a one night stand."

Neither did Hutch. Never again. He wanted it all, steadfast love, someone true by his side. He wanted Starsky.

He'd had Starsky for years—there was one small step that would make the partnership complete. One small step that was considered so unacceptable that they could lose their jobs if anyone found out.

Hutch itched to down the other three beers in one go, get rip-roaring drunk so he didn’t keep coming up with excuses for why he and Starsky shouldn't do what he so very much wanted to do. "I want to stop thinking," he whispered.

"Come here." Starsky curled his arms around Hutch, threaded his fingers through Hutch's hair and pressed their mouths together.

Starsky smelled like gun oil and tasted like beer plus pure, unadulterated Starsky. Hutch felt his brain puddle inside his skull and surged forward, ready to go halfway down Starsky's throat to get more. Nothing else mattered. An earthquake could have cracked California in half, shoving the southern half of the state into the Pacific, and Hutch would not have cared in the least. He breathed through his nose, intoxicated by the heady aroma of his partner, and kissed him back.

Hutch wrapped his arms around Starsky, mashing their groins together. His cock was in heaven, but peeling off his suddenly overly tight slacks would be an even better idea.

Starsky seemed to read his mind. He wiggled enough to get his hands between their hip bones and groped for Hutch's belt buckle.

"Starsk…" Hutch breathed fast, thrusting his tongue into Starsky's mouth, going with the moment. His desire was building so fast, he couldn't have stopped even if he wanted to. Which he most decidedly did not.

Starsky had his mouth full, but Hutch could feel the corners of Starsky's lips turn up against his own cheeks. He gave a gasp that meant congratulations when Starsky got the buckle undone and ripped Hutch's zipper down in a single movement.


Hutch groaned against Starsky's mouth and practically fell over when Starsky grasped Hutch's cock with one warm, wonderful hand.

"Starsk!" Hutch cried out, panting. Awed, he left the incredible sanctuary that was his partner's mouth to watch what Starsky was doing.

"Feels…different than mine," Starsky whispered, sliding his left hand in a slow, easy way up Hutch's shaft. "Good, but different."

"Let me…" Hutch was having trouble forming words with such erotic stimulation. "See yours."

"Now?" Starsky looked surprised. He splayed his fingers wide, the thumb brushing Hutch's sac. "In the middle?"

Little flashes going off behind his eyes and his balls already tight with anticipation, Hutch forcibly shoved down his spiraling need, and nodded. "I want to see us both—together."

Starsky gave him a smile of pure sweetness. "You're a romantic at heart, Mr. Hutchinson. Don't let all those people who see you as a miserable old cynic know that."

"Who thinks I am a cynic?" Hutch countered, batting Starsky's hand away to catch Starsky's zipper and pull it down. He quickly peeled off Starsky's jeans and was gratified to see Starsky's cock spring forth; thick, long and ready to party.

"Nobody important…" Starsky sucked in a startled breath when Hutch wrapped his hand around Starsky's penis. "Fat Rolly…uh, Ernie Silver. People we wouldn't care…" He gave a little yelp. "What are you doing?"

"This?" Hutch bracketed Starsky's length with two fingers and slid both rapidly to the base.

Starsky's eyes nearly popped out and he nodded, grabbing hold of Hutch once again. "Take my hand, Hutch."

Realizing what Starsky had in mind, Hutch aligned their cocks and intertwined his fingers with his partner. The result was electrifying. The friction and rub of their bodies against each other was incendiary. Hutch had to lock his knees to remain standing. He was aware of the slightest sensations—the fact that both of them were completely dressed, standing in the middle of Starsky's living room, stroking each other to completion.

Starsky's skin, his crinkly hair, his musk…their cocks kissing, the fluid leaking out the ends lubricating the incredible experience…

Hutch arched, panting, and grabbed Starsky around the waist with his free hand. He felt Starsky latch onto him as they both climaxed together, vibrating in sync like a perfect chord on the guitar, completely in harmony.

Starsky fell against Hutch, burying his face in the crook of Hutch's neck. "Man…I…"

"Yeah," Hutch agreed weakly. There were no words. He'd been tumbled around upside down. Everything old was new again. "Come here," he whispered, pulling Starsky onto the couch.

Starsky was strangely subdued, curled against him in a way that made Hutch feel very protective. He ran his fingers through his partner's curls, aware of Starsky's sudden tremble—was that from fear or arousal? "Starsky?"

"This changes everything, doesn't it?" Starsky said soberly, scrubbing his face with his hands.

"Pretty much." That was the understatement of the last decade—and maybe the next one, too.

"But, I can't take it back." Starsky raised his chin as if facing up to something important. "I wouldn't ever want to." He still looked uncertain, and afraid.

"Not ever," Hutch promised.

Starsky's relief was palpable. With his hand cupping the back of Starsky's head, Hutch could feel Starsky's whole being relax into the caress.

"Oh, good, Hutch, 'cause…I liked it." He grinned, one of those Starsky full beam specials that lit the darkest corners of Hutch's soul. "A lot."

"I liked it more than a lot." Hutch tugged Starsky forward for another kiss. This one lasted a good long time. Starsky looked thoroughly slaked when Hutch pulled back, his lips red and swollen, his eyes a deep blue, the color of the sky before darkness falls.

"Which brings us back to—what happens now?" Starsky asked, spreading his hands. "We ain't gonna be able to keep this one…" He snickered. "Under cover and in our pants any longer."

"You do have a way with words, Mr. Webster," Hutch said dryly. "When did you get to be the sensible one?"

Starsky winked, which did nothing to quench Hutch's ardor. "I been taking lessons from a pro."

"I guess that's a compliment." He considered the statement, and realized that he was still unzipped, his flaccid cock lying on his thigh. "Oops." Hutch laughed, half embarrassed, tucking himself in.

Doing the same thing, Starsky nodded absently. "You've got a head on your shoulders, blondie—and a fine head down below, too."

"Starsky!" Hutch smacked him on the shoulder. "You were absolutely right. Before was not the time to strategize, but we sure need to now. We need to find a way to…"

"Have our cock and eat it, too?" The pun was a shade too forced but Hutch appreciated the effort.

He groaned on cue and looked down at his hands. If he looked at Starsky right then, and said love out loud, he wouldn't be able to keep himself off his partner. He needed to put voice to what had been inside him. "I think I've loved you for a very long time. Probably longer than I was even consciously aware of. We just clicked-"

"From the very beginning," Starsky finished his sentence.

"Exactly." Hutch glanced at Starsky out of the corner of his eye. So far, so good, his brain was still functioning and he could form words. "Which made no sense to me because…" He wasn't even sure he knew how to explain what he meant. "I wasn't expecting a best friend—kind of like love at first sight. I was married, for God's sake."

"I don't think we ever go looking for best friends, they just happen. And sometimes, it works out, and sometimes it's kinda lop-sided." Starsky suddenly stopped, a look of utter sadness on his face.

Terry. Hutch knew exactly who Starsky was thinking about.

"I wasn't really true to her, you know, Hutch?" Starsky said. "Maybe in the same way you and Van didn't work out. I'm guessing," he added hastily.

Hutch nodded; it all made a tragic sense, and he had to tuck his hand into Starsky's to share some of the pain.

"Because, Terry said I was her best friend, but she wasn't mine. You've had that position from day one." Starsky closed his fingers tightly around Hutch's, looking down at their link. "You're my forever, Hutch."

That deserved a kiss, which turned into two or three more. Hutch closed his eyes, savoring the feeling of his partner's lips, his tongue, the warmth of his embrace. Why did this mean so much more than any woman's had? Because it was forbidden, or simply because it was so incredibly right?

"I'm up to here with the one night stands and the sex with every girl who bats her false eyelashes at me," Hutch said running a finger along the curve of Starsky's ear and down to the long jut of his jaw line. "I want to spend every waking moment with you—not just seventy five percent of the time."

"But we got to keep up appearances, huh?" Starsky chuckled. "That tickles, stop!" He stood up and rubbed his lower back. "Want another beer?" He angled the coffee table more or less back into position and then retrieved his own bottle from the dining room table.

"I never finished this one." Hutch held up his Heineken and drained the entire thing. "But now I need another." After taking a bottle from the dwindling six pack, he considered the problem at hand. "We still need to double date, don't we?"

"And probably have…uh, you know," Starsky made a circle with his thumb and forefinger and inserted the neck of his bottle into the ring. "With all the stews and meter maids—not that it ain't fun…"

"It's just not satisfying anymore," Hutch agreed, standing. He couldn't tolerate being so far from Starsky any longer, and Starsky was only five feet away. "I didn't, by the way, with Anna."

"Didn't?" Starsky asked, his lips parted in confusion. He glanced down at his fingers still looped around the beer bottle as if he needed a visual aid. "Honestly? Because…" He chuckled. "I was…" Starsky shrugged, coming closer. "I dunno if jealous is the right word, 'cause I was hoping you were getting some. It always puts you in a good mood."

"Starsky!" Hutch retorted, incensed by the implication that he used sex as a mood stabilizer. He stepped closer to Starsky, drawn to him.

"Oh, come on." Starsky pretended to bonk Hutch on the side of the head with his beer. "Admit it! You're a whole lot nicer when you get laid."

"If that's true," Hutch said, waggling his eyebrows at Starsky. "Don't you think you should keep me…occupied?"

"You're changing the subject!" Starsky perched on the arm of the couch, straddling it like a saddle, the way he did nearly everything he sat on. "We gotta think this through…make it look like we're…"

"Not in love?" There it was, out in the open, irrefutable.

Starsky inclined his head, bowing to the evidence.

"The thing is, Starsk, people have been saying that kind of thing about us from day one," Hutch countered, sitting down on the couch which put Starsky's knee against his shoulder. "There have always been rumors, innuendos from those my mother would have called crude, rude and unrefined…"

Starsky laughed at his impersonation of Louise Hutchinson. "Your mother sounds nothing like that. Her voice is at least a soprano." He delicately traced a single lock of Hutch's hair, coming to the end and then laying his finger on Hutch's neck, against the carotid.

Hutch could feel the pressure of Starsky's finger bouncing with the pulse in his throat and wanted to kiss him, hard. There was a lingering sadness between them despite their joy in coming together. "Starsky?"

"I wasn't so much jealous of Anna," Starsky said softly. "As I was that nobody'd think one thing about the two of you together, even though you were different ideologies, different countries, whatever. A man and a woman is natural, and Anna could have what I couldn't…"

"I know." Hutch curled his fingers around Starsky's hand and tugged him down from his perch. "But now you got me, and-"

"I got you, babe," Starsky said with a crooked grin. "Does that make you Sonny or Cher?"

"I would never be Cher. I have blond hair or didn't you notice?" Hutch waggled his finger. "I'm Sonny, you're…"

"I'm not a woman!" Starsky protested with a giggle when Hutch poked his finger into Starsky's arm pit.

"I noticed," Hutch said. He attacked, ferreting out Starsky's ticklish places with glee, reveling in the sound of Starsky's laughter.

They weren't going to solve their dilemma in a day, and he was determined to enjoy discovering Starsky as a lover. They had the rest of their lives to come to terms with what society threw at them as a couple, but they'd face that together.

Always and forever.