I know it's a tiny bit late, but you all know how RL can be. I want to give a huge Thank You to Ro for all her guidance.
For Sharon, who wanted:
Hair plucking or waxing- body hair preferrably!
Third party POV (I love someone watching S&H and describing what they see!)
Three optional requests: Humour, Alcohol, Massage
Restrictions/squicks for story received: No crying!
You can send comments to: JendaZZ@aol.com
by Jennifer C.
Sugar squinted, looking closer at the picture in the fashion magazine she had propped up against her vanity mirror. "Lord, what a mess," she said, looking back up at herself.
Fans she'd talked to over the years almost always told her that they thought being a drag queen must be a wonderful job filled with beautiful dresses and loud applause. And mostly, she agreed with those people; Sugar liked what she did. In her opinion, there was almost nothing better than getting an exquisite new outfit or making people laugh.
But like most show business, there was a lot of behind the scenes bullshit that the average bar patron didn't know anything about. And putting on make-up, a lot of make-up, was one of them. It wasn't easy being a girl. And being a guy being a girl? Even harder.
Through the years, Sugar had been just about every diva in the entertainment business. Except now she was hoping to cast aside the Bette glasses and the Mae fan and start a new act that featured herself as, well, herself. Sugar figured that she'd been at the Green Parrot a sufficient number of years and had a large enough following to make at least the late night act diva-free. She just needed a good new look. But it wasn't easy.
Picking up the white make-up pencil this time, she tried a new lining technique on the left eye. It was supposed to make the whites of your eyes even whiter. And god knew there were days when she most definitely needed any help she could get to lessen the bloodshot look she sometimes had after a few too many drinks and even fewer hours of sleep. Not that there had been many men around lately to keep her up at night. Nevertheless, she felt the tide might be turning around for her soon. It always helped to keep optimistic.
"I just need me a real man," she said. Statements like that always made her think about Nick. She and Nick had been more that just friends. He's been gone for a couple of years, she thought wistfully. She didn't know where he was now. Nick had been a bright spot for Sugar when she had felt particularly lonely and she'd returned the companionship by helping him get a look that kept him living in the style he liked. It wasn't an arrangement she was fond of, but she liked Nick, so playing by his rules was what she'd done. There had been other men too, but Nick would always stand out as a favorite of hers.
Maybe this weekend she would get lucky. A new act, a new look, and a new dress. One of the things she liked about show business was the late hours. It was Monday afternoon and her day off. She could work on her look and her dress and be ready for the new act just in time for the weekend shows. All the time in the world. Too bad she was alone though. Need to remedy that.
"There, now, that looks better." She put down the pencil and looked at the magazine again. Sugar huffed deciding that the girl on the page had nothing on the person looking back at her in the mirror. After all, part of having a 'look' was having an attitude, and Sugar had plenty of attitude. "I'm going out," she announced to no one. Picking up a wash towel, she started wiping away the makeup. Tonight, she decided, she would go out not as Sugar but as the person underneath all the glam and glitz. She would go out as a man. Though she rarely did that, it was less complicated for what she wanted tonight and the decision seemed right for her present mood.
As she was finishing, the doorbell rang. Quickly, she tightened her robe around her and headed toward the door. Opening it with a flourish, she immediately recognized the person standing on the other side and paused.
"Officer Hutchinson," Sugar said slowly. She tried for a sexy smile and a provocative lean against the doorframe, but the look was lost on the cop because he was looking past her as if looking for someone in the room. Sugar had the urge to tell him not to bother. There hadn't been anyone in her apartment for a good month at least. "To what do I owe this surprising, but welcomed pleasure?"
"Sugar," he said finally focusing on her. "It's been awhile."
"Well come on in. I don't need my neighbors starting another rumor about me hobnobbing with our men in blue. Or, kaki in your case, dear," she laughed.
Hutchinson smiled slightly, and then nonchalantly strolled past her, hands in his back pants pockets. Sugar was definitely getting mixed vibes from her guest. Was this a social call? Was he here on a case? And if it was a case, where was his partner? He wasn't in any hurry to ask her any questions. Yet he seemed to want something. Maybe all cops are like that. Taking in the scene. Suspicious about everything. He was intently looking around at all the things on display in her apartment.
"Sit down if you want. Something to drink?" she asked.
Hutchinson turned around and looked at her.
Sugar frowned. He was still a beauty. No doubt about that. What she wouldn't give go be naturally that blond. The mustache, was new, gave him a worldlier look. Or maybe that should be a wearier look. He looked tired and perhaps thinner since she'd last seen him. About 2 years ago already?
But then he smiled and his face quickly shed the drained look and his eyes brightened considerably. "Sure, what d'ya got?"
"How about a beer for a big guy like you?"
"Sure," he answered as he sat down on the couch.
Sugar swayed off to the kitchen. Well, this certainty is shaping up to be a more interesting afternoon than this girl could have imagined.
Returning, she handed him an open can and sat down very close to him on the couch. He gave a small laugh and then adjusted his sitting position to sit father away from her, turning sideways so he could face her. Sugar pulled out a cigarette from a pack on the coffee table and, like the gentleman she knew him to be, he picked up the lighter also sitting there and lit it for her.
"Now," Sugar started, blowing a large plume of smoke into the air. "What can I do for you? You looking for someone? Your partner perhaps?"
"You remember Huggy?"
Of course she remembered Huggy; he had been one of the other men her mind had briefly flitted over when she'd been thinking of Nick earlier. But unlike Nick, Huggy was still around and even though their activities together no longer included anything sexual, they still occasionally had drinks together to catch up on old times and mutual acquaintances.
"But of course! Haven't seen him in quite awhile though." She tapped ashes into the tray. Then a terrible thought occurred to her and she put a newly buffed hand up to her mouth. "Oh! Nothing happened to him, did it?"
Hutchinson shook his head and put his beer can down on the table. "No, no. Sorry. Nothing like that. I just left him twenty minutes ago and he was fine."
"Thank, God. Don't scare me like that!" With a small slap to his knee, she continued, "I could of fainted and then you would've had to pick me up and fan me. On second thought, you sure Huggy was okay?" She winked at him, happy to see a faint blush creep into his cheeks.
"No…" He turned away, almost shyly, and then turned back quickly. "I mean yes, yes, he was fine. Just fine." A pause. "We were talking about you. About what you do. You know. To look like you do."
Well, this wasn't where Sugar was expecting the conversation to be going and now she was starting to feel a little uneasy. As she got older, she'd become more sensitive about how she looked. Who didn't? Sugar glanced over at the pictures hanging on the wall. She had been pretty once. Really pretty. But now she was going through magazines looking for beauty tips and trying out white eyeliner for fuck's sake.
Sugar stood up, ready to let Hutchinson know that just because he still looked good two years after she'd last seen him didn't mean he could come over here and…"And your point would be? Should I go make myself up? Get all pretty for the hot stud cop? Or aren't I woman enough for you like this?"
"Sugar, no, I'm not… I-I mean… Oh, just sit down. Please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it the way it sounded." He stood up. "I'm really messing this up. Please sit. I have something I need to talk about with you, but it's a sensitive thing and I guess I just need to do it at my own pace."
"It's not about a case, is it?"
Hutchinson shook his head and then carefully took his seat again.
"Well… all right." This time when Sugar sat down, she sat on the couch as far away from him as she could. "You never answered me earlier. Where's your partner?"
"Look, I'm coming to you because I need a favor. I need to… learn something. And after talking with Huggy a little on the subject, I thought that you would probably know the best… way to go about this thing. And he trusts you."
"Honey, I know all kinds of things, some of which even a hardened cop like yourself is too virgin to know about. Be more specific."
"This is between you and me, Sugar. The trust that Huggy gives you? Well, I need to know that I can trust you like he does, that you'll keep this to yourself. If you can't give me that, I'll leave right now."
"Yes, darling, of course you can trust me."
"I owe you after all," she said trying to lighten the mood a bit. "You and your partner saved my life, and Nick's. I'll never forget it. I can't tell you how many rescue fantasies your little stunt fueled in my depraved little life. Not to mention bondage fantasies, rape fanta…, well you get the picture."
Hutchinson smiled and reached for his beer taking a large swallow that drained the can. Sugar watched the action of his throat with something like envy. Finishing, he set the can back down and fidgeted in his seat. The pause lengthened as he seemed to be gathering up resolve.
"Starsky and I… well…"
"Ah ha!" she interrupted, bouncing in her spot. "I was wondering when we would get to him." Now to the meat of the subject, as it were.
But Hutchinson stopped again and she wished she hadn't of said anything as it seemed he'd been about ready to start. "I'm sorry. I'll just listen to what it is you have to say." Sugar tried for demure, not sure if she really succeeded.
After another minute, Hutchinson finally began. "Have you been keepin' up with any word about us on the streets over the last few months?"
Sugar shook her head. "I normally don't go out of my way to go asking around about the welfare of a couple of cops. Even if they are my favorite pair."
Gesturing with his hands and shifting in his seat yet again, he explained. "Well last M-May… Starsky was shot down in the garage at Police Headquarters. You may have heard about that?"
Oh, god. Sugar did remember this. But she hadn't known it was them who had been the targets. At first the identities of the officers involved had been withheld in the newspapers, and then, honestly, she'd forgotten about it. It wasn't like she watched the news or read the paper all that often. If it wasn't in People or Cosmopolitan, well, she didn't know about it.
The recognition on her face must have been caught by Hutchinson though, because he got up abruptly and started pacing around the room.
"Th-That I really don't want to talk about." He paced some more, and then seemed to make a decision. Walking over to the bookshelf, he started looking at the framed photos Sugar had of herself sitting on the shelves. There were about 3 or 4 pictures of her in different drag outfits.
He seemed to find whatever it was he was looking for in one of them because he picked it up and pointed to it asking, "Is this you?"
Sugar got up and took the picture. Looking at it brought back many memories. "Well, don't sound so astounded. Yes, that's me. I was Jayne Mansfield. It's about 15 years ago now. God, time flies away on the wings of fairies. Don't you think?"
Putting the picture back in its place, Sugar was startled when she felt Hutchinson grab her wrist and pull it toward him. She looked up in surprise. Hutchinson held her hand against his chest and then slowly pushed the sleeve of her robe up her arm to the elbow.
Having those big hands stroking up her arm was doing strange things to her breathing. She wasn't dead yet after all. "Officer Hutchinson, what are you doing?" Sugar pretended to sound outraged, but it came out of her a little too huskily. And Hutchinson wasn't fooled.
"Your arm is very smooth," he said. "And your chest looks smooth too." He reached out a hand and touched Sugar at the lowest point in the V from the neckline of her robe, rubbing lightly back and forth a little bit there.
Sugar was staring at him, hypnotized by the timbre of his voice and melting from the light touch of his hands. And for the first touch from a man in so long to be coming from this man! Well, it just wasn't fair because she knew it would lead nowhere. Sugar was sure that his heart already belonged to another.
The hand left Sugar's chest all too soon and moved over to his own. "We're both blond. But I seem to still have more hair on my body than you. Your hair is a reddish blond. Like Robert Redford. And he's a pretty hairy guy."
Was he still talking to her or thinking out loud? Sugar supposed she should say something and say it soon, but she couldn't think of anything appropriate at the moment that didn't include making a fool out of herself or throwing herself headlong into his arms. Or would both actions have the same result? She couldn't be sure. What was going on?
"And when you were Jayne fifteen years ago," he continued. "That's a pretty low cut dress. Your chest looks smooth there too." Then the hand abruptly let her go and returned to pick up the old picture.
Sugar cursed under her breath. "You have me at a huge disadvantage here, Officer Hutchinson." She crossed her arms in front of her and leaned back against the shelves. "Please tell me what it is you want. I was planning to go out tonight." Now she really would need to find a bed partner for the evening.
Hutchinson put the picture back down and looked her straight in the eye, bold now. "The relationship between Starsky and me has… changed since you last saw us, Sugar. I have asked… well, strongly suggested that Starsky do something for me as well as himself and through our… agreement, he has, well agreed to do it. But I need your help. Can you help me?"
So the relationship had changed. Sugar wasn't surprised.
"I'll say it again," she leaned a bit closer to him. "What do you want?"
"First, I have one more question. You can tell me to go to hell if you want. It's none of my business." Hutchinson paused as if waiting for her to object. When she didn't, he continued. "Your skin is smooth. No body hair. Is it naturally that way?"
Sugar searched his eyes, trying to find any kind of teasing or taunting hidden in their depths. She was used to drag opening up the door for all kinds of mockery. There didn't seem to be any in his eyes though. You're one unusual cop, Hutchinson. It seemed to be an honest question.
"You're right, Officer Hutchinson…"
"Call me Hutch."
"All right. Hutch." Sugar smiled brazenly at him, then turned around and sashayed back over to the couch and sat down. She let the folds of her robe fall open, showing off her smooth legs. What was a little flirting now that she knew he was taken? "As hairy as Bigfoot himself, I was."
"How do you keep yourself so smooth now?" Hutch asked. "Tell me seriously, no jokes, no remarks."
With the stern look on his face, she hadn't been about to joke with him anyways. "I 'sugar' the hair, of course," she said.
Hutch looked annoyed. "Sugar…"
She supposed her answer did sound a little bit like a joke so she quickly added, "Sugaring is the name of a hair removal process. It's like waxing, only better."
Hutch approached and sat down on the coffee table, leaning in close to her. Almost whispering he asked, "I got the impression from Huggy that he had some hand in all of this. But I didn't want to ask him outright."
Sugar leaned forward too, hands clasped gently between her knees. "I got the recipe from an Aunt of his. Can't remember her name, it was along time ago. It's an old Egyptian recipe, as old as Cleopatra herself. Older even. Most people don't know about all the shit us guys need to do to look like Marilyn or Jayne. I had a lot of hair on my body when I was younger. But then I decided to do drag. It ain't easy and it takes a lot of time. I used to wax and shave. Like my legs. But Huggy's aunt taught me how to sugar, so now I sugar it all. Well, almost all. I don't go in for the illegal look."
"It's easy then." Hutch said.
"Painful?" he asked.
"What do you think pulling out your hair by the roots would feel like?" she asked him.
"Then how is it any different than waxing? You said it was better-"
"It is, honey. Waxing pulls not only your hair, but your skin as well and that makes it hurt a hell of a lot more. Sugaring only pulls on the hair, not the skin. Plus the mix is great. It smells good, and it makes your skin so smooth and soft. It's almost like having a facial."
"Okay," Hutch agreed, nodding his head.
"And since the skin is unharmed, later, when the hair grows back, you don't have hardly any trouble with ingrown hairs. That's an ugly and uncomfortable thing, I can tell you."
"I didn't think about that," he said.
"Why should you of?" Sugar patted him on the knee. "Only us girls know of things such as that. Us and -"
"But your whole chest?" Hutch interrupted. "That must have been… That just seems almost impossible to me."
"My chest, my back, my arms." Sugar sat back and lifted a long leg across his lap. "My legs. You know, it's not just us drag queens that do it. All the bodybuilders do it too. Ever see any body hair on Arnold Schwarzenegger? Don't tell me you think someone dark like Lou Farrigno is really hairless."
"No, but –" Hutch smoothed his hand against her silky leg once and then lifted it up off his lap and lowered it gently to the floor.
"It's okay. I've even done it on other people before," she said quietly. He looked up sharply at her. "This is where you're leading, isn't it?" Sugar continued. "To your partner?"
Hutch diverted his eyes. "Yes. Maybe. Hell, I don't know." He got up and started pacing again. He stopped over by the sliding doors that led out to a small balcony. "Yes."
Sugar decided to remain quiet. Let him think, brood, plan. From what she remembered, it was part of his personality. Hutch had made a convincing speech that day long ago, standing in her apartment trying to convince Nick and her that helping them catch the killer of their cop friend would clear Nick's name. Hutch had made a strong impression on her because he'd easily gotten across the greater sense of purpose behind what they were going to do. He took charge of setting up the whole operation, while his partner had supported him and stared at Sugar with an intensity she had never felt before or since. What a pair. And she hadn't been kidding earlier when she'd briefly mentioned her fantasies. She wasn't always the star of those scenarios either. Sometimes she wasn't even in them.
Hutch looked outside, cleared his throat, and then began to talk. "When Starsky was shot last year. He-he suffered massive damage."
"He's all right now though, isn't he?" she asked.
"Yeah, he's getting there." Pause. "He's going to be back on part-time light desk duty in another three weeks." Hutch sounded proud of his partner's accomplishment. "He'll hate it, sitting around… But it's where he's got to start." Hutch said that as if it was his decision and his alone. "The damage… well, let's just say there was a lot of external damage as well as internal. They kept his chest shaved where the bullet scars and incisions were… until the swelling and redness went down. When the hair started to grow back, it was - is uneven. There were problems with ingrown hairs too. Made his skin even more itchy."
Sugar lit another cigarette and waited. At times Hutch sounded preoccupied and far away, at others, sure of himself. Sugar felt that whatever memories Hutch carried about the event, they ran just as deep, if not as visible, as any scars that could be seen on Starsky's body. And now they wanted what? To remove the hair on Starsky's chest? Was it medical… or more than that?
"Time's getting short." Hutch stated. "I've… I gotta get this done now. Before he goes back to work, takes showers at the station or at the gym."
"Why? Is he self-conscious of the way he looks?"
"No, it's not because of the scars so much. They'll always be there… now. He just wants to feel as normal as possible and try and get rid of the uneven patches of hair. That's what looks kind of funny. That's what bothers him more than the scars he says. The doctor even suggested it. Hopefully this can get it to grow back in normally."
"Oh, so no big deal. This is for medical reasons."
"Yes, medical, of course," Hutch instantly repeated.
Well, that came out a little too quickly… "Any other…?"
"His skin is healed enough, the doctor said so," Hutch said.
"I'm sure you wouldn't even consider it if it wasn't."
"I also need…" Hutch spoke slowly, and then shook his head. "No, that's it. All you need to know."
Sugar got up and stood right behind Hutch. The pull to touch him was strong. He was hurting too, even if he wasn't about to share it with her. "Starsky's not the only one with some residual effects from the shooting, is he?"
Hutch turned around. "I'm going to make it better for him in every way I can because I'm the only one who can."
Sugar leaned forward, seeking out answers in his clear, but troubled blue eyes. Better for you or for him? "Tell me exactly what you have in mind."
And as Hutch began to explain in more detail what he wanted, a plan began to form in Sugar's mind. She honestly didn't think these two could accomplish everything Hutch was talking about without the hand of an expert helping out. So being there with them became central to the plan. Her plan. And she told him so.
End part 1