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The Bay City Bash 2002

A Beginner's Guide to Maypole Dancing
by Alice Sweet

This story is for everyone at Milton Keynes, 2002. Thanks for keeping this wonderful fandom alive, for the friendship and the fun. And this story is also for me, who, although not there in person, is most definitely there in spirit. With love and hugs. S.A.


March 19, 2002. A comfortable suburban house, somewhere in southern California

"Wadda ya think? The dark green silk boxers, or the fiery red?" Starsky looked up from the suitcase, holding examples aloft.

"Starsky, what the hell does it matter what color underwear you take?" Hutch regarded his friend with amused tolerance, pushed his reading glasses further up his nose and returned to the book he was reading.

"Hey, it might not matter to you, although I happen to remember what happened the last time I wore the dark green and the springs of the couch ain't forgotten either. " He waggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Hutch sighed. Taking his glasses off, he slapped the "First-Timer's Guide to Great Britain" down on the bed, where he had been happily engrossed in some timely research until his partner had decided to empty out his half of the wardrobe in search of clothes for the vacation. The case had somewhat invaded the blond's personal space.

"Green, red, pink with Dalmatian spots, I really don't care, Starsk, and, somehow, I don't think our hosts will either."

"Yeah, well. You never can be too sure. I mean, this is a foreign culture we're talking about here. I just wanna be sure everything's right." Two more pairs of boxers and an ancient Springsteen T-shirt found their way into the case.

"Foreign, yes. Alien, no. Starsky, our nations have more in common than you might think." Hutch went to put his glasses on again and managed to retrieve the book as a half dozen pairs of red socks hit the comforter.

"Well, we might have things in common, but there's a hell of a lot that's different. You know, I heard they eat something called "pigs in a blanket". And "toad in the hole"! Probably with real toad and you can bet your life there'd be no ketchup. And their football ain't even proper football. It's soccer. And it's for girls. Not to mention the weird things they get up to on May Day and Bonfire Night, I mean, what are they all about?" Two midnight blue silk shirts were scrunched up and added to the pile on the bed.

Hutch sighed again. "Starsky I can tell you were never a Boy Scout. If you had been, there is no way you would be packing a case like that. " He picked up a pair of socks and aimed at the curly head.

Starsky ducked and smiled at the blond. "Look, you might be Mr Man-About-Town when it comes to overseas travel. I'm not. And I'm still shocked at the invite. I mean, who are these people?"

"Well, you remember that film crew that hung around with us back in the 70s? Followed us around, filmed us at work? Well, these people really enjoyed that and every year they get together, recall the old days and have a good time." Hutch flipped through some more pages and pulled out a giant poster-sized picture of the London sights.

"You mean, they're kind of like fans of us? Like we're fans of Stargate?"

"No Starsk, like you're a fan of Stargate. You. Not me. You know I only watch wildlife shows and documentaries."

"Yeah? So how come I caught you watching Monty Python re-runs on cable last Tuesday?"

"That was research, Starsk. I wanted to find out more about the British sense of humor. "

"They don't have a sense of humor, Hutch. They only laugh at themselves."

"Well, I only laugh at you We should get on fine." He grinned at his partner as he folded the poster back into the book.

Starsky looked miffed. "What's the name of that place we're going to anyway?"

"Er," Hutch reached across the nightstand and pulled the letter from the bright red envelope. "Milton Keynes. "

"Milton Keynes? Sounds like some highly-priced, fancy lawyer. Dark blue best jacket, or black?" he held up both for perusal.

"Black. Covers all eventualities. Look here, Solo and Sharon say they've been meaning to ask us to the con for years. They've sent some pictures of previous get-togethers too."

Starsky paused in the act of pulling a pair of black Chinos from the wardrobe. "Con, what the hell's a con? Warren G Carpell was a con. Fat Rolly was a kind of a con. What the hell's a con?"

"It's short for a convention, Starsky, a convention. A gathering of like-minded people who get together for fun, food and well, more fun, I guess. "

"So it's mainly chicks then, if they're fans of ours?"

"I guess so. Why? You planning to hit on the nearest available gorgeous, leggy blonde?"

He peered at his friend over his glasses.

"Nah, it said in the letter, if I remember rightly, that Sandra wasn't going to be there this year. Although, I hear tell Solo's blonde so ...." A well-aimed pillow cut off any further musings. Starsky fielded it and threw it on to the rocking chair in the corner of the bedroom. He looked sideways at his partner, his voice lowering and turning slightly husky. "Sides, there's only room in my life for one leggy blond and that space was taken years ago, babe."

Hutch smiled softly into teasing sapphire blue eyes. "Well," he said, picking up the silk shirts and folding them as his mother taught him, "should be quite an experience. The letter speaks of taped episodes from our documentary series. I wonder if they've got the one where we ran into those Satanists up at Pine Lake? Man, I would love to see you in that red union suit again... "

Starsky smiled fondly. "Yep. Pity I didn't keep it. We could have dragged it out, given it an airing, danced around a bonfire or two and had a ceremony of our own." The eyebrows waggled again.

"Dear God, Starsky, you are a man of mature years. Act your age. Do you ever think about anything other than sex?"

"Rarely. And you love it so don't come the Puritan with me, Blondie, or I'll be forced to tell those nice con-goers what you were doing with me in the shower last night. "

"That was an accident." The voice was indignant. "The soap slipped out my hand and I was merely trying to retrieve it."

"If you say so, babe. If you say so." Two Ed McBain paperbacks were slotted into the side-pocket of the suitcase. "Well, that'll do for starters. Now," Starsky hefted the case off the bed and on to the floor and threw himself down beside his lover. "What say we indulge in a little British culture of our own?"

Hutch shuffled down the bed until they were facing each other like mirror images, propped up on elbows. "Uh, what do you have in mind?"

Starsky grinned, reached across, slowly removed Hutch's reading glasses and gently pushed him on to his back. "Well, how about a little horizontal Maypole dancing, I hear it's all the rage... "


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