Brotzly Week Day #1: 'First'
Todd had no idea why it took him so long to notice it. But once he had noticed it, he couldn’t stop noticing it.
Dirk Gently never hugged anyone.
Which was… Weird. Well, sure, okay, some people just weren’t big into physical contact and that was fair enough- but Dirk? He had no concept of personal space! Since the day they met there’d been prodding, patting, grabbing- the guy had hands that moved a mile a minute and he wasn’t in the business of keeping them to himself.
So why no hugging?
He watched in bewilderment as Dirk bid Farah and Amanda goodbye for the day with a smile and a few awkward shoulder pats. He kind of figured at least Amanda might get a hug out of him, but no. Nada. He tactfully waited ‘til the girls were gone before he mentioned it.
“Hey, Dirk?” He said lightly, putting down his phone.
Dirk looked at him, tilting his head in curiosity. “Yes, Todd?”
Todd flapped his mouth a bit. Now that he thought about it, it seemed kinda pushy and weird to ask. But, well, he’d come this far. “Uh… Y'know, you don’t have to be shy. Around us.” Dirk looked confused and he was forced to elaborate. “I mean you don’t have to hold back, or whatever. I’m sure Amanda wouldn’t punch you if you wanted to give her a hug sometime.”
“Oh,” said Dirk, shifting about awkwardly. “Oh. Um, right, yes. Hugs, absolutely. Yes, I am good at… Hugs.”
“Hey, look, if you don’t want to that’s-”
“No!” Dirk’s face flushed red with embarrassment at his outburst. “I mean- yes, I would like to… Hug. Someone. Maybe.”
“Dirk…” Todd said slowly, heart sinking. “When was the last time anyone hugged you?”
Oh, no. No, this was fucking bullshit. Todd stood up from his desk and walked round it. “Dirk,” he said, a little self-conscious and trying hard not to let it show. “D'you wanna…” He cleared his throat and opened his arms.
Dirk stared at him, wide-eyed. “Are you- are you sure you want me to…?”
Ouch. Todd nodded, taking another step closer. “Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s what friends do, right? Hugs and stuff.”
“Hugs and stuff,” Dirk agreed quietly, still staring at Todd as if he could disappear at any given moment.
“These… These things usually work best if you do it too.”
“Oh! Right, yes, let me just…”
Dirk eyed Todd’s outstretched arms warily, and stiffly imitated him. When he finally stepped into his embrace he did so with trepidation and not a little awkward arm repositioning as he shuffled about in search of the optimum arrangement. It was one of the weirdest, stiffest hugs Todd had ever been a part of.
And then Dirk finally managed to get his arms comfortably around Todd’s shoulders, chin propped carefully against the top of his head, and something just sort of… Clicked. Despite his uncertainty, Todd found himself melting into the embrace a little, face tucked up against Dirk’s chest, arms wound tightly round his waist, and it just felt right in some deep-seated way that he couldn’t quite define.
“Oh,” Dirk said softly, arms squeezing Todd a little tighter. “This… This is nice.”
“Yeah,” Todd agreed, voice a little choked. “Yeah, yeah this- this is good.”
They both fell quiet, nothing to hear besides their own slow, even breaths as the noise of the street below faded to an indistinct background hum.
“Why on earth haven’t we done this before?”