SOMETIMES LOVE ISN'T ENOUGH
Starsky and Hutch say goodbye.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2007. Word count: 1,000.
But there's a danger in loving somebody too much,
And it's sad when you know it's your heart you can't trust.
There's a reason why people don't stay where they are.
Baby, sometimes, love just ain't enough.
It was almost time to say goodbye. A word that Hutch had never thought he would ever say, could ever say, to Starsky.
For twenty years they'd worked together, played together, fought together, loved together, been everything to one another, stood side by side against the world, had been me 'n' thee.
But now it was over.
He still loved Starsky, and he knew he always would. But it wasn't enough any longer. Strange that, love was meant to be everything, all anyone really wants, and Hutch had it. But it wasn't enough. Why wasn't it?
"Starsk, I -"
"Don't, babe. We've said it all."
"I still love you."
"Yeah, I know. Love you too. But it's not enough, is it?"
"But why isn't it? Why, Starsk?"
"Don't know, babe. You're the one with the college education, not me." Starsky sounded a little weary; Hutch didn't really blame him, they'd talked it through more than a dozen times.
Nonetheless, he frowned, and reached out to touch one of Starsky's curls. They were tinged with grey now; they had started to change color after Gunther had nearly taken Starsky from him. "Don't, Starsk," was all he said.
"Maybe it's because we're not, you know."
"Nah. Well, yeah, but that's not what I meant."
"What did you mean?"
"Look, Hutch, if Gillian and Terry hadn't died, hadn't been killed, then we'd have married them. Had kids by now, wouldn't we?"
Hutch nodded. "I guess so." But he wasn't sure. He didn't think it was that simple. He had loved Gillian, he really had; more than he'd loved Van, more than he'd loved any woman; but not more than he loved Starsky. And yet he was walking away from Starsky. And it was the hardest thing he'd ever done; would ever have to do.
Staying would have been so much easier. He'd have someone by his side; someone to go home to; someone who understood him. But that wasn't a good enough reason to stay. But it would have done, except for his stubborn, brave partner.
It had been Starsky who one night, after one of the most tender lovemaking sessions they'd ever shared, had turned to him and said simply, 'It's not enough anymore, is it, babe?'
And those simple words had started the process that took them to where they were today. In the airport, waiting for their respective flights. The flights that would take them from LA; take them home.
Home. Strange that. Hutch had spent so many years trying to forget Duluth, but it was where his flight was headed. Starsky was going back to New York, to be near his mother; that didn't surprise Hutch. But his own decision to go back did. He'd once thought you never could go back, but when it came to it, it was the only place he wanted to be.
"You know, always thought we'd grow old together. Assuming we stayed alive. Always thought we'd be living next door, drinking beer, shooting pool, hanging out with Huggy."
"Taking turns to drive the kids around?"
"Nah. Gave that idea up after Terry died."
"It's all right, babe. Time to move on. Hasn't been the same since . . ." Starsky trailed off.
Hutch caught his hand. "We could cancel the flights; stay here, and -"
"Make each other miserable? Nah, don't want that. Want to remember the good times. Want to always love you. Not hate you. Want you to always love me. Not hate me."
"I'd never hate you, Starsk."
But Starsky just shrugged.
For several moments they just sat, hands loosely joined, part of the jostling crowd that surrounded them, but also apart from it.
There wasn't long to go now.
Not long at all.
"You'll give your mom my love, won't you?"
"Maybe, I could -"
"No. We agreed, Hutch. Don't fall apart on me now. Don't go off on one of your guilt trips. This is right. We both know it."
"When did you get so damn smart?"
"Always have been."
"Yeah, you have. Starsk, I -" But whatever Hutch was about to say was lost in the sound of his flight being called.
He swallowed hard around the lump in his throat, as he looked at the man he loved; the man he'd never see again. He looked into the weather-tanned face, into the brilliant blue eyes, and saw a kind of peace he hadn't seen for far too long.
There was so much he wanted to say, but there was nothing he could say.
Instead he stood up, bringing Starsky with him, and pulled him into his embrace, wrapping his arms around the stocky, shorter body and just holding on. Tightly, fiercely, intensely; for a moment he feared he'd never be able to let go.
"Come on, blondie, I'll walk you to the gate."
But Hutch shook his head. "No. Let's finish it here."
"Sure. You take care now. Don't let your dad work you too hard. And, Hutch?"
"You be happy, okay? You make sure you're happy."
"I will. And you, Starsk. You take care. Look after your mom, and try to keep out of trouble, all right?"
"I always will, you know?"
"I know. Me too. Bye, babe." Hutch squeezed Starsky once more, before moving quickly from his arms, grabbing his bag, and turning to walk away.
"Bye, Hutch," he heard his ex-lover whisper.
As he strode through the crowds, he felt the same peace he'd seen on Starsky's face wash over him.
He felt happy. He felt sad.
He felt alive. He felt dead.
He was walking towards his future. He had to let go of his past.
He was walking towards his future. His future where maybe, God willing, this time love would be enough.
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