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Punk Goes Pop

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Dirk Gently. Todd was so sick of hearing that name. Dirk Gently of the Coinkydinks. What a stupid name for a band. Todd often wondered how they were popular, they only surfaced a few months ago, and somehow they were more popular than Todd's band, Mexican Funeral. And Dirk, well he was just as stupid as the name. His lyrics are a mess, the music he plays is just bad, and his bass player looks like he's straight out a fairy tale. But Todd wasn't allowed to hate Panto, the fairy tale boy, however, because he was dating the guitar player, Silas, in his own band. That irritated Todd the most. Silas and Panto were so perfect for each other, but because they were together, Todd had to see Dirk a lot more than he wanted to. Todd supported Silas and his boyfriend, but when it came to Dirk Gently, Coinkydinks was the worst things that's ever happened to him.

"Todd hurry up!" Farah shouted as she walked past the bathroom. "We have to leave in 10 minutes and other people live here too!"

Todd opened the door. "Yeah and who shot down my idea to move into a better apartment?"

"That's because it's unrealistic Todd," Farah commented as she squeezed into the too-small bathroom.

Todd sighed and walked into the kitchen, expecting food. Today was Tina's turn to make dinner.

"Tina Teventino! Dinner!" Todd shouted.

"She left already!" Silas informed him from the other room.

Todd groaned.

As if she was summoned, Tina can running into the apartment singing, "I have pizza! I have pizza!"

Silas ran in and started eating.

"We leave in 5 minutes, T. Are you ready?" Todd asked.

"I'm always ready, dude. Come on, have a little faith in me." Tina leaned against the counter and took a bite of her food.

"Well it's just that last time we were halfway through the concert when you realized you left your drum sticks at home."

Almost immediately, Tina started walking toward her room. "One time. You make a mistake one time and you get branded for life."

"Going to get your drum sticks?" Todd asked.

"Yep!" She said proudly with her middle finger in the air.

Todd chuckled and started eating, for a few short moments of relaxation before the concert. Within two minutes his friends were rushing through the apartment getting things together at the last second, like always. Soon, they were out the door and on their way to the venue.

"Silas," Tina sang as they unloaded their van. "Excited to see your boyfriend peform?"

Silas blushed slightly. "Of course I am."

"Has anyone seen Amanda?" Todd asked just to change the subject. "She said she'd meet us here."

"Oh, she texted me and said she'd be a little late. She'll be here time to watch us though." Farah told him.

Todd mumbled something under his breath. He wasn't looking forward to the concert tonight, unlike he normally is. Tonight the Mexican Funeral and the Coinkydinks were playing at the same venue. Todd had been able to avoid this in a few months the two bands had been clashing, but tonight was a mix up.

"If that Dirk Gently says one word to me," Todd whispered to Tina, "Do I have permission to punch him?"

Tina opened her mouth to respond but before she could, an all-too-excited voiced chirped behind them. "Permission to punch who?"

Todd rolled his eyes and turned around to face Dirk. He said nothing and barely even looked at him. He walked past Dirk, carrying his guitar case, thinking about things he wanted to say to him but decided he was a bit nicer than his thoughts. He kept his mouth shut and walked to the stage.

"I have a feeling he hates me," Dirk suggested to Tina.

"He hates everyone that isn't his sister, don't take it personally, bud." Tina tapped his shoulder for encouragement as she ran past him to help the rest of her band with set up on the stage.

``

"Good show my brother! As always," Amanda said as she found Todd and his band backstage after the concert was over.

"Fantastic cheering sister, as always." She had shown up halfway through the first song in their set, but Todd hadn't noticed. "Wish you guys had preformed tonight. Why'd you drop out last second?"

"Vogel had a family emergency, Martin refuses to preform without him," She explained.

Todd chuckled, "Is he forgetting the band started with just him, Cross, and Gripps?"

Amanda shrugged.

"So how are you feeling tonight? You look good."

"Good," She answered. "I'm sorry for worrying you last night. It was nothing, I shouldn't have called you."

Todd set a hand on his sister's shoulder, "Hey, if it's getting worse you can tell me. Don't feel bad for worrying me."

Amanda smiled at her brother. She really was lucky to have him. For the past few years she's suffered from a rare nerve disease called Pararibulitus. She had good days and bad days, and Todd was there for all of them. There were a few times when he wanted her to move with him and his band into their apartment but always came to the conclusion it was too small to hold any more people, as it was nearly bursting at the seems with the four of Mexican Funeral. But Todd did what he could for Amanda, and it was always enough.

"Hey sister! Come over here!" Tina shouted.

Amanda ran over to Tina for whatever she needed.

Todd looked over to them. Tina was showing Amanda something on her phone. Silas and Panto were God-knows-where. Todd sighed, coming to the conclusion that he would have to load up the van himself. He carried a box of stuff out to the van, humming a tune he had heard earlier that day, he couldn't remember where it came from. As he got to the van, he slipped on a small patch off ice. He landed on his back with the contents of the box spilling beside him. He grumbled something to himself and rubbed his forehead.

"Oh God! Are you alright?" He heard a British voice call out.

Todd opened his eyes and saw Dirk kneeling behind him, picking up the papers that had fallen away from him. He sat up and scrambled to grab his stuff before Dirk could. "I'm fine."

"It looked like you hit your head. Here, let me get this for you." Dirk stood up, picking up the box and put it in Todd's van.

Dirk reached his hand out for Todd, who was still sitting on the snowy ground. Todd took his hand and pulled himself up, whispering thanks as he got to his feet.

"I saw you talking to Amanda in there. How is she doing?" Dirk asked as they began walking back inside to continue packing up.

"How do you know Amanda?" Todd avoided his question.

"I grew up with the Rowdy 3, back when it was only the three. I never really got along with them until we became adults and even now," Dirk stopped and chuckled nervously. "Our relationship is weird. But I like Amanda, she's nice."

"She's my best friend."

Todd reached for his guitar case, but his hand ran into Dirk's on the way. His eyes lifted to meet Dirk's and suddenly Todd remembered he hated him. "I got it." he asserted.

Dirk nodded and pulled his hand back.

"She talks about you a lot," Dirk quickly added, before they got caught up with the guitar.

"Who?" Todd had forgotten what they were talking about.

"Amanda. You take care of her. You're a good brother, she's lucky to have you."

"She's always been there for me. I'm lucky to have her."

"Yes, I suppose it would would both ways - here, let me get the door for you." Dirk held the door open while Todd put his case in the van. Careful not to slip again, he jogged back inside for warmth.

Dirk helped Todd load up the rest of his stuff into the van, while making awkward small talk. It only took a couple trips outside before they were finished.

"Well that's it. Thanks for helping, sometimes my friends can be useless," Todd joked.

"Oh it's no problem. Actually that reminds me, my band is probably wondering where I am. I should probably go," Dirk pointed out. "But I wanted to tell you something."

"What?"

"Well, it's just that you're kind of my hero. Your band is what got me into music. So, thanks for that." Dirk smiled like a little kid. 

Todd was slightly taken aback by the comment. No one has ever called him their hero, and it was strange hearing it from Dirk. He couldn't think of anything to say to the compliment, since he wasn't used to getting them. His lips broke into a crooked smile, "And yet, you play stupid pop music."

"Ironic. You're calling my music stupid, yet just half an hour ago you were humming one of my songs when you thought no one was listening." Dirk quipped with a sly smile. "I'll see you around, Todd." He turned and ran off to find his own band, leaving Todd speechless.

Tina, who had been missing this past half hour, came running up to Todd. "Hey boss. Ready to go home?"

Todd nodded and walked to the van, still trying to process what had just happened between him and Dirk.

"Todd? You alright? You have the glassy look in eyes that I get when I look at Farah," Tina noticed.

Farah blushed slightly as Tina winked in her direction.

Todd shook his head. "What no! What you talking about?" 

"Ohhhhhh! I saw you with Dirk! Don't hate him as much as you thought hmmm?" Tina teased.

"Tina, that's terrifying. Have you heard him speak? He's annoyingly British." Todd argued.

"Oh, who was it that was saying British accents were cute?" Farah chimed in.

"Okay that was two years ago and that was before I met Dirk. And I said that about girls, Farah. Girls are cute."

Farah locked eyes with Tina. "I know they are."

This time, Tina blushed profusely.

Todd rolled his eyes, "God, would you two just date already?"

"I ship it!" Silas added from the front of the van.

"OH would you shut up and drive?" Farah joked.

The subject was changed and for the rest of the ride, and Todd hadn't given Dirk a second thought. When they got home Todd made his friends unload the van, since none of them helped load it up. He went to bed, to be alone with his thoughts. He still didn't know what to think about Dirk's comments but he knew one thing - he definitely hated him a bit less now.