by librathree (8231282)
Episode related: It's a sort of
tag to Season Four's "Discomania"
Word count: About 3,400
Warning: Hutch/not!Starsky, although really, the pairing is S/H of course.
Marty opened the door four inches.
Hutch, already starting forward, caught himself as the four inches remained exactly that.
“Can I come in?” Sarcasm coated the polite words; though he was never rough, he’d never yet been polite to the kid. That was a lie neither of them would accept.
Marty shook his head, jaw clenched, ugly with stubborn fear.
“No. I’m not doin’ this any more.”
Hutch caught the automatic argument against the back of his teeth.
Marty blurted, “I’m tired of bein’ a substitute,” the words half hurt, half defiance.
“Marty –” Hutch began to protest – and heard, simultaneously, what Marty was saying and the tone of his own voice – not caring or concerned, but impatient, sarcastic, dismissive before he even knew what he was dismissing. Who he was dismissing.
He’d known it wouldn’t last. He never wanted it to. He hated it, every minute of it, even – especially – when they were fucking. He hated those minutes, those hard, slick, exquisite minutes, most of all. He didn’t even know how it had started, although he knew – knew it like getting shot – why. He even knew exactly when.
* * *
“You can go.”
The kid looked up. Looked around the interrogation room. “What, that’s it? No apology, no ‘thanks, Marty, for helpin’ us catch a guy who’s been killin’ chicks’? ‘You can go’?” He huffed a laugh, shaking his head, and got up, hooking a finger into the collar of his suitcoat, draped across the chair. “You cops got a lotta nerve, you know that?”
“What do you expect, flowers?” Hutch said. He was tired, tired and dissatisfied in a small, painful place that he didn’t want to even think about.
Marty stopped in front of him on his way to the door. Stopped and looked at him. Looked – not at the cop, but at Hutch, and Hutch found himself looking back. Dark eyes, dark, curly hair, a lithe, muscular body – but something else. Something Hutch had no armor against, because he’d never seen it in his partner’s face.
Marty blinked. Hutch felt a shift in his stomach, a certainty rattled.
“Nah,” Marty said, gently. “I don’t expect nothin’.” He slung his suit coat over one shoulder. “G’night, cop.”
* * *
And after a week of dreams involving mirror balls and sweaty dark-haired dancers, Hutch went back to Fever.
He circled the dance floor, seeing nothing but a mass of polyester and platform shoes, went to the bar and got a drink, then laid claim to one of the little-used booths along the wall and sat back to watch. His blank stare took sharp focus only when it caught a head of dark curls.
Hutch licked his lips. He’d come back here looking for something. It wasn’t Marty, he knew that (or sensed it – he was running on instinct, not reason) but when he spotted the kid, he felt that shift again, that twist in his gut. So he watched.
Watched everyone, then Marty and his partner, then just Marty, his young, supple body writhing in the close pants and swirling jacket, the shirt open to his sweat-damp navel. Watched the sexy, confident moves, watched the lights glinting in dark curls flecked with moisture, watched the muscled thrust of narrow hips, watched as one song faded into another, one long blur of pulsing sound and throbbing beats all around.
The kid slid off his jacket, tossing it aside and pushing up his sleeves as his dance partner laughed. Hutch had a quick, vivid memory – Starsky did that – and looked away, a fiery flush blazing across his skin. He grabbed his drink, squeezing the cold wet glass in both sweating hands and fighting to inhale.
The song played through and ended. Hutch didn’t look up, didn’t move or lift his glass despite a sudden desperate need to shift, to wet his parched throat. The lull startled him, almost into panic, and he moved to leave, but when the next song began, another mindless, driving disco tune, the knot in his chest vanished and he could breathe again. No one was looking at him, no one knew him, no one knew why he was here.
Hutch laughed weakly. Even I don’t know why I’m here.
He breathed in and out, three full, calming cycles, then risked a glance at the dance floor. Marty was gone, gone as if he’d never been there. Hutch’s body unclenched and he leaned back, sipping his drink, letting the music drown out everything else.
Later – an unknown number of virtually identical soulless songs, but exactly three and a half rum-and-cokes – during the gap of relative quiet between songs, Hutch sensed a body easing up next to his table.
“Well well well. Look who’s here.”
Hutch leaned his head on the back of the seat, looking up the hip canted, hands-in-pockets length of the man who stood there, backlit by the flash of the mirror ball.
“What is this, another case?” Marty drawled. “Or cop’s night out?”
“Cops are people too,” Hutch said, lifting his drink, prepared that Marty would move along after delivering his little jibe.
“Are you?” he said instead, waiting for an answer, a real answer, like a real person instead of a two-bit disco hustler. Giving Hutch a chance, too, to be a real person rather than a gun and a badge.
Hutch lowered the drink. “Yeah. We are.” He hadn’t meant it as invitation, but he wasn’t surprised when the kid slid into the booth across from him, still eyeing him in that too-direct way.
“Where’s your partner?” Marty asked, derisive.
“Not here,” Hutch said, clamping down the automatic protective surge. Starsky isn’t here, he won’t be here, this isn’t … this has nothing to do with … He shook his head. “I’m on my own tonight.”
“You were watchin’ me,” Marty said then. “I could feel your eyes on me.” He was still damp from perspiration, the curling ends of his dark hair dripping along his neck.
“I was,” Hutch answered, courtesy of the rum, probably. The last thing he needed was some punk hustler thinking he was a perverted cop, a potential blackmail target.
Marty smiled, knowing. “Maybe you are human.”
Hutch returned the smile. “Maybe.” He sipped, let the kid stare at him for a while, wondering what someone that young, that louche, saw in a tired, confused cop at least 10 years his senior.
“Can I buy you a soda?” he asked then, gently mocking.
Marty shook his head, still staring, measuring with experience beyond his years. Hutch was searching his brain for safe words when Marty bounced abruptly to his feet again.
“Come on, cop. Let’s dance.”
Alarm sweeping over him like a brushfire, Hutch let the kid grab his wrist, but stayed seated. “Two men? Here?”
Marty grinned – for a second, sinfully boyish – and said, “There’s a back room. Come on.” He tugged.
Hutch let himself be led, around the dance floor and the DJ station to a door at the back, hidden by the glittering fringe draped from the ceiling.
A blast of heat, sweat, cologne and frantic bass struck him as Marty opened the door and hauled him into a small room, wallpapered with mirrors and packed with male bodies in pairs squeezed together tighter than a spinster’s thighs.
The hand holding Hutch’s wrist slid around, slipping over his palm, fingers twining with his, intimate and startling enough to make Hutch shiver. A broad hand pressed his back and he was against Marty’s limber body, his cheek to the kid’s, his nose in the dark curly hair. He moved with Marty, awkward, stiff, half aroused, half horrified, painfully aware of the lean belly rubbing hot against his, of the warm breath on his face, the strong hands taking charge of their steps and direction.
Marty said into his ear, “You dance like shit.”
Hutch drew back, prepared to point out that the kid’s seduction technique could use some work too, but Marty ran expert hands down Hutch’s arms and up his sides, adding, “But you are hotter than hell.” He pulled their bodies flush again, said into Hutch’s ear, “And you smell fantastic.” He licked up Hutch’s neck and Hutch shuddered, his body igniting. “And you taste like sex.”
They moved together, not dancing now but hinting, teasing, and Hutch shut his eyes and gave in. Surrendering to the fantasy was like a belt of tequila, flowing in a hot tingle through his veins. Their hips met, nestling, grinding, the curve of Marty’s erection hard against his own cock, his blood taking up the pounding rhythm of the music.
He pressed his face to Marty’s neck, under the thick curls, and breathed in. The kid smelled good, fresh, cleaner than he probably deserved to, and Hutch opened his mouth to suck that tender skin. He felt the vibration of Marty’s groan against his tongue.
“Oh, Christ.” Fingers clutched hard, pushing him back. Prepared for rejection, Hutch saw naked hunger in that flushed face.
“Let’s get outta here.”
* * *
They didn’t talk during the short ride to Marty’s ill-lit, shabby apartment building. Hutch spent the whole time shouting down every half-formed protest in his own spinning head, protests he didn’t fucking want to hear right now. He needed this – needed something, God damn it – and this was as close as he was going to get, and that was all he wanted to know.
But when the door closed behind them and Marty slid the bolt, Hutch asked a question. Probably the least important question – and anyway Marty didn’t have any of the answers Hutch really needed – but it came out of his mouth just the same.
“How old are you?”
Marty turned away from the door to face him, dropping his suit coat over a chair.
“Just answer the question.” The cop tone came out, easy as drawing his gun, and Marty flinched.
“Man, you’ve seen my file. You know more about me than I do.”
Hutch didn’t say that Starsky and Dobey had seen the kid’s file, but he hadn’t.
“How old,” he repeated, not a question this time.
“I’m 23.” Marty looked him up and down, and he flushed, hot, almost like panic, all over his body. Like panic, or like horse – only his mind was brutally clear as Marty leaned against him, one hand cupping his balls and half-hard cock.
His inward gasp made Marty smile.
“It’s okay,” Marty said. “It’s okay to be hungry, man. Everyone’s hungry.” His gaze stroked Hutch’s long body. “You’re hot, cop, you know that? Yeah, you know it. Hot, and big …” He squeezed. “And you like me touchin’ you, don’t you?” Hutch kept his teeth clamped, panting through his nose, dizzy, but it was useless when his body shouted the truth, his hips thrusting, his dick swelling to fit that rubbing hand.
Soft lips touched his, wet tongue stroking, petting his mouth, asking to be let in, and he opened to it with a strangled sound of shame and need. Marty’s tongue entered, conquered, filling his mouth, stealing his breath. He caught it between his teeth and began to suck, ready to give as good as he was getting. He brought both hands up, fingers sinking into the lush curls – and froze.
Sensing it, Marty withdrew, his tongue popping free with a wet, obscene sound.
“You can touch me,” he whispered, his own hands curving around to squeeze Hutch’s ass, hard, as no woman would ever do. “I want you to.”
Hutch dropped his hands – anywhere, anywhere was safer –skimming them down Marty’s sweat-damp back, then digging his fingers into the lean muscles of the kid’s ass.
Marty grunted and covered Hutch’s mouth again, tongue-fucking it wildly as their hips ground together.
Then he broke free, growling, “How do you want it?”
Even as Hutch realized what he meant, Marty went on, “Either way’s fine with me, but I gotta get my hands on you now.” He worked through Hutch’s shirt buttons like a pro, grabbed his belt and yanked it loose. “I gotta see you.” He slid Hutch’s pants and underwear down and Hutch hissed in relief as his cock sprang free. Marty’s eyes widened.
“Oh fuck.” He sank gracefully to his knees and licked his lips. “I gotta suck you.”
He grasped Hutch’s thighs and Hutch’s legs turned to rubber when Marty’s mouth closed around him. He flailed, clutching at the wall behind him, sliding down, hips driving his cock into Marty’s throat. Hot and tight and perfect, just the hint of teeth keeping him on edge while Marty sucked and tongued him, and Hutch threw his head back and let it happen.
Marty’s hand slid between his legs, cradling his balls, and Hutch felt them tighten, felt everything tighten, close, so close …
Gasping, Hutch tried to swallow, failed, and looked down, knowing what would happen. Marty took him deep, and at the sight of those dark curls pressed between his thighs Hutch exploded.
* * *
He never gave Marty his number, and Marty never asked for it. Marty never asked for anything. Except, sometimes, when they were together and naked, he’d ask for something, with hands and voice, hot, grating, urgent, and Hutch would oblige without thought. He never thought when he was with Marty. Thought would ruin it.
Instead, Hutch would call, every few days, at the oddest of odd times, as if accidentally, and if Marty answered (sometimes he didn’t), Hutch would ask if he was busy, and Marty would always laugh, but he was never busy when Hutch called.
Unlike Hutch, when Starsky called. These days Hutch found himself busy a lot, rather than meeting his partner at The Pits, or on the basketball court, or at the beach. Every time, Starsky accepted his refusals with good grace, but with a growing note of concern that Hutch knew – when he thought about it – would have to be faced. He tried not to think about that, either.
* * *
Inevitably, Marty asked him, one day, for something he wouldn’t give. Nothing romantic – the kid wasn’t a fool – but for the first time Hutch said no to him in bed, and felt so bad about it that, also for the first time, they came close to doing something more than fucking.
Afterward, when Marty got up to take a piss and Hutch lifted his sleepy head to look at the clock, he learned the practical upshot of his guilt. He was late.
“Shit.” He sat up with a groan, feeling around for his clothes while he tried to clear his hazy head enough to do the math. Starsky would be waiting for him at The Pits, probably had been for more than an hour. Shit.
Marty came out of the bathroom while Hutch was reaching for his shirt with one hand and the phone with the other.
“I need to make a call.” He grabbed the receiver, caught Marty’s expression, said, “It’s local.”
Marty shook his head, hands outstretched, and leaned on the doorframe. “No problem. Go ahead.” And Hutch felt like even more of an asshole than he always did in Marty’s company.
Draping his shirt over a shoulder, he dialed The Pits.
It rang four times. “You got the Bear.” Huggy’s voice just carried over the rock and roll playing in the background.
“Hug. It’s Hutch.”
Within seconds his partner was on the line.
“Hutch? Huggy, turn down that damn’ juke box, willya? Hutch?”
Hutch waited ’til the music got cranked down a few notches, then said, “I’m here, Starsk.”
“You okay? Where are ya? I called your place, called the station—”
“Um … sorry. I got … sidetracked.” Hutch glanced up; Marty hadn’t shifted from the bathroom doorway, arms crossed over his bare chest, dark eyes fixed on Hutch.
“Hutch, are you okay?”
“Hutch.” Starsky’d resorted to the guilt-inducing monosyllable that always worked on Hutch; Hutch winced.
“Starsk, I’m okay. I’m just … I got caught up and lost track of the time.”
“Nothing’s wrong? You’re not … hurt, or in trouble, or something?” His partner’s tone said tell me, I can take it, whatever it is, we’ll fix it, we’ll deal with it, just spill it, you big blond dope. Pure Starsky.
Hutch smiled involuntarily. “I’m fine, worry wart. Just stupid. I didn’t mean to forget. I screwed up. Can we get a rain-check on pool this time, buddy?”
He looked at Marty and, as though a switch had been tripped in his own head, heard the warm, buttery affection in his own voice, 180 degrees from the way he talked to everyone else. From the way he talked to Marty, even when they were fucking.
Even if he couldn’t hear it, he saw it, like the mark of a slap, or a fist, on Marty’s face.
“Hutch? You still there?”
“Yeah. I’m here.”
Starsky’s voice was urgent. “You sure you’re okay? You been actin’ kinda weird the last couple of weeks.”
Chest tight, Hutch said, “I’m okay, Starsk. Just …” Shit, Hutchinson, you can lie better than that.
He cut in, unable to face Starsky’s concern here, in this seedy apartment, with Marty standing so close, naked, the air filled with the heavy smell of sex.
“I’m fine, Starsk. Sorry about tonight. I’ll see you in the morning, okay?”
His tone dubious, Starsky said, “Okay.”
Hutch hung up. Marty was still staring at him.
“Your partner.” The words were arrest, charge, trial and verdict. Hutch all but heard the bang of the gavel. Guilty. Life sentence.
* * *
And that was it.
Hutch hadn’t known it then, but he knew it now.
He braced his hands against the doorframe, keeping his voice down not for Marty’s sake – the neighbors knew the kid, knew what he did with his time – but for his own.
“You knew you were a substitute,” he said, and Marty shifted, the familiar defensive dance as he tried to dodge what he was feeling, what he was saying. You knew it before I did.
“Yeah. I knew it. But—” He clamped his mouth shut over the words Hutch heard anyway. But I thought you’d started to care. To give just the tiniest shit about me, you fucking bastard.
Hutch closed his eyes and Marty’s words hit him, short hot breaths against his face, like his grunts and curses when they were fucking, when Hutch was inside him, so close … so close that he could no longer see Marty.
“It don’t matter. I’m done with it.”
He’s a hustler, and you both knew you were using him even though no money changed hands, and you still managed to hurt him, you goddamned coward.
And because of that – because the kid was a hustler, yeah, and he was a substitute, but he wasn’t a whore – Hutch, for a moment, let down his own walls.
And there it was again, the flash of pain in the kid’s face, swiftly covered with a sneer and shifting eyes and fidgeting feet.
“Yeah, well, me too, cop.”
He shut the door, but Hutch was already walking away.
* * *
He went home, got out the brandy and a glass, set both on the coffee table, flopped onto the couch, looked at the bottle, and laughed. What the fuck was he going to do, get drunk? Drown his grief? He wasn’t grieving. This wasn’t a disaster, it wasn’t a broken heart. It wasn’t any fucking thing.
So why do you feel like shit?
Because you are shit, Hutchinson, you asshole. You deserve to feel like shit, because that’s what you are.
He was on his second glass when the phone rang.
He answered with a brusque, “Hutchinson.”
A second of silence, then, “You been drinking?”
Jesus. Only Starsky. Well, only Starsky and his mother.
“No maybe about it. You okay?”
“I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?” You even sound like a drunk, Hutchinson. Everything’s fine, I’m fine, I meant to do that, leave me alone.
Don’t leave me alone.
“Hey. Where you been? I been worried about you.”
“Out.” He drained the last of the brandy, set the glass down carefully.
Starsky waited, obviously expecting more, then said, “With who?”
Hutch shook his head, unable to speak, but the silence was enough of an answer.
“Hutch? What’s goin’ on?”
His “nothing” wouldn’t have fooled a stranger.
“Hutch. Is it … is it okay if I come by?”
Raw, defenseless, Hutch’s mind said no. No. Not now. I can’t. I can’t hide it. Later. Later.
“Hutch?” The tone, sharp with worry, prodded him to respond.
“Yeah.” Tell him no. Don’t do it. Don’t risk it.
“Hutch, I’m comin’ over.”
Hutch breathed out, a long sigh of surrender.