Starsky was singing. He sang all the way from Bay City to Tijuana where they were planning to spend the weekend. On Monday, they would bring a small time dealer back with them. When they crossed the border, Starsky started singing in Spanish. He only knew one Spanish song, which Hutch pointed out was not strictly true; he only knew one line of one Spanish song. He repeated it over and over until Hutch threatened to kill him. Starsky laughed and Hutch answered, “No Starsk, I mean it. I’ll take my gun and I will shoot you. Probably in the head. I’ll gladly spend the next 20 years in a Mexican jail if it means I never have to hear that fucking song again!”
“You sing then.”
“I’m not singing! Why do we have to sing?”
“I sing when I’m happy. And I’m happy, okay? C’mon. Sing ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’ with me. I’ll be Tony Orlando. You can be Dawn.”
Hutch stared out the window and counted cactuses. “Cacti” he thought.
“What?” Starsky said. “I’m more the Tony Orlando type than you are.”
“I thought you were the Paul Muni type.”
“Tony Orlando is today’s Paul Muni, Hutch. Ask anyone.”
“Can’t we listen to the radio?”
“There’s no good stations around here.”
“You’ve been saying that for the past three hours.”
They compromised. Starsky would agree to stop singing if Hutch agreed not to shoot him.
The next week Starsky started singing “I Will Survive” everywhere they went. He told Hutch he had decided to make it his theme song. “Everyone needs a theme song,” he said. “What’s yours?”
“The Sounds of Silence.”
“I know I’ll regret asking this, but why did you pick ‘I Will Survive?’”
“Because we did. In the last four years, we been shot, kidnapped, poisoned, my car blew up. And those were the good days. We survived quitting the force. We survived coming back. We even survived, you know, her.”
“Her” was Kira. They had an agreement. First one to say her name out loud had to kiss Dobey in the squad room.
“Yeah, but a disco song, Starsky? Couldn’t it be something a bit, I don’t know, deeper?”
“Listen to these lyrics, and tell me they’re not deep.”
“First I was afraid
I was petrified
Kept thinking I could never live
without you by my side
But I spent so many nights
thinking how you did me wrong
I grew strong
I learned how to carry on.
I will survive.”
He stopped and waited for Hutch to agree with him.
Instead he said, “Keep going, Starsk.”
“Don’t know the rest so well yet. I’m working on it.”
“Have you actually listened to the rest of the words? She’s singing about surviving on her own. She kicks the guy out. Is there something you’re trying to tell me?”
“No.” He pouted a little. “But I still like the first verse.”
Lying in bed that Sunday morning, Starsky started humming it again as Hutch disappeared under the sheet. He stopped about the same time he felt Hutch’s teeth scrape his cock. Hutch had finally found a way to shut him up.
After a few days, he stopped singing “I Will Survive.” Hutch wanted to ask why but was afraid he might start singing again if he did.
The next week Starsky chose a new theme song, this time for both of them, he said. He told him about it in the shower one morning. Partly because he knew Hutch would agree to anything when he was in the shower with him, and partly because he sounded better there.
Still, he looked a bit embarrassed when he told him.
“I gotta warn you, the song’s a bit sappy, Hutch.”
“Who sings it?
“Peaches and Herb.”
“I’m telling you right now, buddy, I will not be Peaches.”
“It’s called ‘Reunited.’”
Hutch decided to humour him. He was in a good mood. Starsky had a way with a bar of soap and a washcloth that made him want to sing a little too.
Starsky looked down and laughed. “I’m not goin’ to sing the national anthem here, it doesn’t have to stand at attention.”
He sang, a little off-key, holding the shampoo bottle like a microphone.
‘I was a fool to ever leave your side
Me minus you is such a lonely ride
The breakup we had has made me lonesome and sad
I realize I love you
'Cause I want you bad, hey, hey
Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited
'Cause we're reunited, hey, hey.’
There was silence in the
shower. Hutch's eyes were closed.
“OK, I’m ready," Starsky said, nudging him. “Make fun of me. I can take it. Just remember who’s holding your dick in his hand.”
“Good choice, really. It was beautiful.”
Starsky looked skeptical. “Will you say the same thing after I let go?”
“I love the song. I love you, you idiot. Sappy songs and everything. If we have to have a theme song, I can live with that one.”
Starsky was silent for a moment.
His voice was husky. “Does that mean you’ll let me shave off your mustache?”
“Don’t push it, Peaches.”
As they headed out the door an hour later, Starsky grabbed his leather jacket from the hook.
“Starsk, it’s going to be 80 degrees today. You don’t need the jacket.”
“Stop being my mother. I like this jacket. Oh, wait, I forgot.”
He came back a minute later with a set of ping pong paddles, a net, and a white ball.
Hutch just raised his eyebrows.
“They’re painting the squad room today, remember? We won’t be able to do much police stuff, so I figured we could keep ourselves busy doing something productive.”
“Like ping pong?”
“Why not? I figure hand-eye coordination is important in police work. Besides, I’m better at it than you.”
Hutch just laughed.
Starsky taught Hutch the words to ‘Reunited’ as they drove to work. They took turns being Peaches. Hutch made him pull over a few blocks before the station. He slid across the seat and took Starsky’s face in his hands and kissed him.
“What was that for?” he asked. “Not complaining, just asking.”
“No reason. Just never know how long I have to wait before I can do it again.”
Hutch moved back to his side of the seat.
“I’m going to beat your ass at ping pong, Hutch.”
“Three course dinner. Winner picks the restaurant.”
“It’ll be like taking candy from a baby. Now drive, Starsk, we’re already late. We’ll never get a parking spot on the street.”
They had time to sing the song one more time before they pulled into the garage.