There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls. ~George Carlin
There was a time when his nightmares were uncomplicated. Bears and knives and ropes in the darkness. Distorted
faces, laughing at him as poison burned through his veins. Snakes.
Now, it’s just one dream. The same one, playing over and over.
He dreams of bullets tearing into his partner’s body, punching through and leaving gaping wounds. A white jacket, stained
It didn’t happen that way.
He sits up in bed and pulls up his shirt to check that the scars are still there. He was the one who got shot, not Hutch.
And it was years ago.
His partner is safe, in his own bed, less than a ten minute drive away.
He can touch the scars with his own fingers, round white craters, indented. But even with the evidence at hand, he can’t
shake the terror that crawls along his nerves. The dream is still too vivid. He can feel Hutch’s blood on his fingers,
and the scent of death is in his nose.
But it didn’t happen.
He wants to call, but he knows it would be crazy to wake his partner up at— He checks the clock radio beside his bed.
Three o’clock in the morning. Hutch wouldn’t like being woken up over some stupid dream.
Hutch is fine. He’s asleep in his own bed, in his own apartment...
He thinks all he has to do is pick up the phone. Dial seven numbers. He’ll hear his partner’s sleepy voice on
the other end, everything will be fine again. Because he’ll know for sure then that it was just a nightmare.
But he won’t, because sometimes in his nightmare there’s a stranger’s voice on the other end of the line.
And because he remembers now that it’s been a long time since Hutch slept in his own bed.
Not since the game of closer, closer, but not that close, was finally called a draw. Not since Hutch had said he couldn’t
get married ever again, because he was already married to Starsky. And Starsky said they weren’t married, because they
didn’t fuck. So Hutch pointed out they were a hell of a lot more married than most married people, many of whom never
fuck either, for that matter. He said compared to married folks they spent more time together, knew each other better, gave
each other everything they needed...
Except sex, said Starsky.
Yeah, said Hutch.
And because Starsky knew Hutch better than anyone, he knew what he was thinking. Which is why he decided the hell with it,
and leaned over and kissed him.
A smack on the lips. Not romantic. He wanted to give Hutch one last chance to change his mind. It could still be just a
But Hutch grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him in closer for a real kiss. Then Starsky pushed him down onto
the couch and twisted his leg between Hutch’s knees. And Hutch arched up to meet him, his hands tugging at the buttons
on Starsky’s shirt.
It wasn’t their best effort, that first time. Starsky came too fast, before Hutch even got his jeans off.
And Hutch... Hutch got stuck, with a painfully hard erection and no way to relieve it. Nothing they did together seemed
to help. Nothing Hutch did alone helped either. The harder Hutch tried, the worse it got. They had to finally conclude
that Hutch’s performance anxiety was running the show, and there was nothing to be done for it. Hutch walked around
with an erection for half an hour before it finally went away.
They got better with practice.
And then with more practice, they got great.
First Hutch’s toothbrush showed up in Starsky’s bathroom. Then his clothes began to appear in Starsky’s
closet. In the end...
He stares at the phone, one hand absently rubbing the old scars under his t-shirt. His partner doesn’t sleep at his
own apartment anymore. Not ever.
The nightmare crouches at the back of his mind, a ghastly thing. He can still see the way Hutch crumpled, just folding down
over his feet, long limbs suddenly unstrung. The spreading pool of blood, black on grey cement, reflecting flashing lights.
He can still hear the sirens. He remembers the feel of Hutch’s chest under his hands and the way the blood gushed warm
between his fingers as he pressed down again, and again.
He can still taste the bitterness of blood on his lips as he tried to breathe life back into Hutch’s perforated lungs...
But it didn’t happen like that.