Hutch lay across his bed where he had collapsed next to his partner, pleasantly drunk and enjoying the slight breeze coming from the open window. He let his mind drift in the alcoholic haze, deliberately not thinking of the hangover that would come with the morning. Starsky lay across the foot of the bed, playing with the edge of the bedspread, seemingly in a similar state of mind.
“If we got in a fight, who do you think would win?”
Hutch struggled to raise himself on his elbows. Once he finally managed to prop himself up, he looked over at his friend. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“It’s a simple question. Which of us would beat the other in a fight?”
“I tell you what, let’s move the furniture out of the way and have it out right now. Then we’ll know.”
“No, no. I don’t want to fight you. This is a hypo, a hyper—”
“Yeah. A hypothetical situation.”
Hutch fell back into a prone position. “Can I ask just how you came up with this hypothetical situation?”
“I was just thinking about being a kid. You know how all kids have that argument about whether Batman or Superman would win in a fight.”
“So, in this fight between you and me, who’s Superman and who’s Batman?”
“You’re Batman. You’re broodier.”
“Bullshit. I’m an all-American kid from the heartland. I’m much more likely to be Superman. Besides, you’re crazy. That definitely makes you Batman.”
“Nah, I’m definitely more the Superman type. Ma always said I was an alien.”
“You were one of those kids who wanted to be a superhero when you grew up, weren’t you?”
‘What’s wrong with that? What did you want to be when you grew up?”
“Like, five or six.”
“A brain in a jar.”
It was Starsky’s turn to pull himself up onto his elbows. “What?”
Hutch gave the best approximation of a shrug he could manage while lying flat on his back, drunk. “I was very self-contained at that age. You know, not a lot of friends, kinda clumsy—”
“Clumsy? You? I don’t believe it.”
Hutch swung his hand out intending to slap Starsky on the shoulder, but in his impaired state, caught him right in the face. “Ow!”
“Sorry. No, wait a minute. I’m not sorry. You deserved that. As I was saying, I lived mostly in my head at that age. It wasn’t until later that I decided a body was a useful thing to have.”
“What brought you around?”
“In fourth grade, Suzy McGinty taught me how to kiss.”
“The best. Without her expert instruction I never would have achieved my current state of perfection.”
“Perfection, huh? Show me.”
Hutch turned his head and looked into his partner’s eyes. Starsky looked back at him, his eyes full of gentle humor, but also earnest. Hutch couldn’t believe what he was asking. “Are you serious?”
“C’mon. I’ve never experienced perfection before.”
Not allowing himself to analyze it any further, Hutch reached out and grabbed Starsky by the neck and drew him close. He pressed his lips to his partner’s, beginning a slow, steady grind against his mouth. He swept the tip of his tongue just inside Starsky’s lips as he brought his hand up from his neck, combing his fingers through the dark curls and rubbing the base of his head. He tasted beer and salt as he pressed further into Starsky’s mouth, massaging his tongue with his own. Finally, he pulled back, nipping gently at Starsky’s lower lip as he withdrew.
Starsky looked dazed. His mouth was swollen, and he was breathless.
“You’re right. You are Superman.”
Hutch started to laugh, but the sound was swallowed by Starsky’s mouth, closing again over his.