dalegardener: (Starsky and Hutch 2)
[personal profile] dalegardener
This is just two old guys in love having breakfast together, but I suspect that readers may not necessarily like me at the end of it.

1300 words, future-fic, mild slash implied

The Important Things

The little kitchen and dinette was bright with morning sun and smelled of coffee, and Starsky took a deep, pleasurable breath.

“Nectar,” he said.

“Yes,” Hutch said. “I take it that means you’d like some.”

“Won’t say no, gorgeous.”

So what if Hutch’s hair was more silver than gold these days, and there was less of it. Starsky didn’t care, especially when Hutch’s small grin negated the shake of his head.

“Sit down,” Hutch said. “You and that outrageous flattery can keep company with one another.”

“Yeah, sure.” Starsky pulled up a chair. “If I’m supposed to sit down I guess that means you’re going to get me some coffee.”

Instead of the requested coffee, two pills and a glass of water appeared.

“What are these for?”

“You know.”

“Vitamins, huh.”

“Yeah. Swallow them and then you get your coffee.” Starsky knew that look. If he wanted coffee then he’d better swallow his pills. Hutch could be implacable about that sort of thing.

He washed the pills down with a gulp of water. There was a calendar on the wall, from some garage that wasn’t Merle’s. Nice car in the picture though.

“Hey, Hutch. What day is it?”

There was a tiny silence. Trust his blond – too busy fussing to hear a perfectly good question.

“Hey, Hutch....”

“Here, hotshot. Have your paper.” The Bay City Herald was shoved under Starsky’s nose. Friday the twenty-seventh. Starsky frowned. Could have sworn that today was Thursday, but whatever. It didn’t matter. The paper’s front page listed the usual bullshit anyway.

“World’s going to hell,” he muttered. But then coffee appeared , and Starsky was willing to grant that the world wasn’t so bad after all. He looked over the edge of the paper and frowned, but his pills were gone and the water glass was half empty. He’d make a joke about the gremlins taking those stupid pills, but strong, delicious coffee trumped all. “This is a good roast.”

Hutch had sat down, opening up his little box of tricks. Starsky had to admit for his own part that he was turning into a curmudgeon – if the technology was invented before about ninety-five he just didn’t have the patience for it anymore. It was like being dumped in the space shuttle without training – way too many buttons. But Hutch liked his gadgets and his internets, and looked at Starsky across the table and smiled. “Told you. Would Kiko put us wrong?”

Kiko, the catering king and coffee entrepreneur. Who would have thought it? Starsky took another slow appreciative sip.

Hutch made a noise of tutting disapproval.

“Same bad news on that thing as there is in my paper, huh?”

“Possibly.” Hutch’s fingers flew over the dinky little keyboard.

“Whatcha doin’?

“Email, Starsky. Letting our dear ones know that we’re still just as alive and annoying as we ever were.”

Starsky read the headlines again. Scandals and crimes and people behaving badly – he and Hutch got older but the world didn’t seem to have changed much. He looked up at the wall again. There was a calendar from some garage, not Merle’s. Nice car picture, though. It was black but it reminded him of the Torino, sent to the wreckers too many years ago while he and Hutch drove a goddamned mommy car these days. He and Hutch... With a sinking feeling, he stood up, and headed for the bedroom. He knew that he’d seen his wallet not so long ago ;last night, he left it on the night stand. Or was it the drawer in the night stand?

“Hutch,” he said, popping his head through the door. “You seen my wallet?”

“Coffee table,” Hutch said. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why do you want your wallet?”

Starsky fixed him with a glare. “Because it’s my wallet and I want it. That good enough for you?”

“Then try the coffee table,” Hutch said, ruffled all of a sudden, the light shining through the fine, thinning hair.

Starsky knew his wallet was in the bedroom. A man knew where he put stuff like his wallet, but he looked in the living area anyway, because then he could tease Hutch about getting old. There his wallet was, on the coffee table. “Forget my own damn head, one of these days,” he muttered. He checked it out. Cash, a couple of cards, some receipts with tiny printing on them. Starsky could read them just fine, not like his partner at the table over there, who needed glasses these days. Starsky ran his fingers over the edges of the plastic cards, and was just about to ask Hutch where his drivers licence was when he remembered. Yeah, Go-Go Gadget over there wore the glasses, and the man who still had the twenty/twenty vision didn’t have his licence any more. Damn doctors – they talked up a storm and scared the life out of people like Hutch and the next thing you knew, a man wasn’t allowed to drive, not even a mommy car. Starsky stuffed his wallet into his pocket and went back to sit at the table. His coffee was cold.

“Hey, I’m supposed to have some pills.”

“You’ve had them.”

“I don’t think so.” Starsky shut his eyes. He was supposed to take some pills in the morning. He was sure of it.

“You’ve had them, Starsk. Glass of water. The glass is half empty. You’ve had them.” Hutch stood. “I’ll get us some breakfast. Eggs?”

“Yeah. Eggs are great. Put a little salsa in them, will ya?” Starsky stared across the table to the calendar on the wall. He wondered where the years went, that they went to some garage that wasn’t Merle’s. Nice picture, though, even if it wasn’t the Torino. “I’ll give you a hand.”

“Good plan. I don’t recall promising to love, honour and wait on you hand and foot,” Hutch said.

“Well, you never got the chance. But you would have,” Starsky said slyly.

“You’re de...” Hutch primmed up his mouth, like he’d tasted something bad. “You wish, you male chauvinist piglet. Bread is top of the fridge, there’s orange juice in the fridge. Fridge, Starsk.”

Starsky took his hand off the handle of the dishwasher. “Man, am I on autopilot today or what?” Hutch didn’t smile, just kept beating the hell out of those eggs. “Hey, come on, babe, what did those eggs ever do to you, huh?”

Hutch turned his head. He seemed to have remembered his smile this time round. “Eggs needed beating. That’s all. Got that toast started?”

“Yeah, sure.” He looked at the toaster. “Well, nearly.”

Not much longer, and the kitchen was filled with more good smells. They each bore a plate to the little dining table, and sat down to their breakfast. “Knew there was a reason we’re still with each other,” Starsky teased. Hutch still seemed a little sombre to him. Too much surfing the internet. There was enough bad news in one newspaper without reading half a dozen. “Men who can successfully share a kitchen need to stick together.”

Hutch looked at him through those little skinny glasses he was wearing now. When had he started wearing those, anyway? “I guess I can agree with that proposition,” he said. The words were dry as a bone, but the affection in Hutch’s eyes was like water at the right moment and the right measure.

“Love ya, babe,” Starsky said, and ate his eggs and toast with gusto. He had a good breakfast and a good companion, someone who knew him inside and out. Who cared if they were both of them creaky, that Hutch had a bad back and glasses, and that Starsky’s blood pressure wasn’t what it should be? Hell, on a fine sunny morning like this, Starsky was even prepared to admit that his memory wasn’t so good - but at least he remembered the important things.

“Hey, Hutch,” he asked, “what day is it?”
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