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Morning, Buttercup.

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The last tendrils of sleep gently released Todd and he wakes slowly to warmth and something tickling his neck. He squinted and made out a mass of black fur and filtered sunlight drifting through the cracks in the blinds. The mass right under his head wiggled, sticking itself into Todd's space and stretching. Was that…?


That was a cat butt. In his face.

Todd groaned and poked Ketchy in the side until she was disgruntled enough to stand, but not before digging her claws into his chest as a warning not to fuck with her.


Dirk’s sleepy snuffling sounded from beside him and Todd turned on his side to face his boyfriend. Dirk pawed at his eyes and yawned.

“Morning.” Todd's voice was tinged with a sleepy smile.

“Mm.. Hullo, Todd.” He gave him a bleary grin.

Ketchy shoved her way between them and curled up under Dirk’s chin.

“And good morning to you, Ketchup.” Dirk was considerably more awake with a shark cat pawing at him.

Todd rolls his eyes at the name. Dirk had insisted on naming their vicious murder pet after arguably the worst condiment. Todd refused to listen and shortened it to Ketchy, less terrible but still ridiculous.

Rolling closer to Dirk, he rested his chin on his chest and admired him. Even after just waking up his eyes were bright and full of energy. He was scratching behind Ketchy’s ear and cooing at her. The soft morning light in the room made his hair shine auburn and his eyes glitter like jewels.

Holy shit that was sappy.

Todd drops a kiss onto Dirk’s chest and sits up, stretching his arms up over his head. At first, he'd been uncomfortable with this casual sort of intimacy. It felt like he didn't deserve it and he was terrified of getting so close to someone just to hurt them. But eventually he realized that Dirk needed this. Dirk needed a hand holding his as they walked down the street, he needed casual hugs and kisses. He needed them like a plant needed water, craving touch and closeness. If it took Todd a little while to get used to it then so be it. The way Dirk’s entire aura changed when Todd smoothed his thumb over the back of his hand or leaned his head on his shoulder was worth more than anything Todd had ever known. He'd give up his whole world to see Dirk looking really, truly content, with none of his false, naive charisma in sight.

Scooching down the mattress to get up (Dirk always slept on the edge. He couldn't stand the feeling of being trapped with a wall behind him and no way to leave), Todd grimaced when his bare feet touched the cold floor.

“Toast?” He asked, scratching the back of his neck as he padded to the kitchen. He already knew the answer, of course. Dirk liked toast with a sickeningly sweet pile of raspberry jam on top. It was early and they didn't have a case, so of course Todd could have put the effort into making something like pancakes, but he was barely capable of making their usual breakfast. There was no way in hell he'd let Dirk try it either. He wasn't even allowed back into the kitchen after his last attempt to make Todd coffee. Todd didn't know how in the world he could turn the shitty grounds in his cupboards into a sludge that smelled like burnt rubber, but that was when he'd drawn the line on Dirk’s kitchen escapades. Coffee makers were too expensive for him to get yet another.

“And tea!” Dirk called back, although he was thoroughly distracted by Ketchy purring and leaning into his hand.

Todd smiled at him and made quick work of popping bread into the toaster and setting the kettle (which Dirk had totally forced Todd to buy) to boil. He picks out the box of Dirk’s favorite morning tea-he has an entire collection, something which never ceased to confuse Todd- and pulled out two bags. He set up the coffee maker with practiced ease and stepped over the threshold back into the living room.

He sat next to Dirk and ran gentle fingers through his hair. Dirk hummed and leaned into him.

“Strawberry green?” He asked, of course inquiring about the tea Todd had chosen.

“Yes, dear.” Todd answered in his most put out voice and grinned as the pet name sent a flush all the way up Dirk’s cheeks to his ears.

“No toast in bed, get up lazy.” Todd stood again and reached an arm out. Dirk groaned but took his hand.

“But Tooood,” He drew out the word, “I'm warm. And the outside of the bed is not warm.” He complained but Todd still felt the pull on his arm as he sat up and swung his legs over the side of the bed.

Before Dirk, Todd could barely take care of himself. Now it seemed like he was always looking after the man. Pulling him out of dangerous situations, making sure he didn't go days without eating because he was too focused on the connections in cases or he was simply too distracted. It was strange and exhilarating all at the same time. Todd had found he quite liked having someone to take care of.

Dirk wrapped his arms around Todd's waist and rested his head on his shoulder, letting the shorter man lead them tottering to the bathroom. Dirk slumped halfway there and almost sent them sprawling to the floor.

“You're completely useless, you know that?” Todd laughed.

Dirk just poked him in the stomach before pulling away and stepping to the bathroom. By the time Todd came in behind him he'd already stuck a toothbrush in his mouth. It was frightening how quick he was.

They brushed their teeth and Dirk made silly faces at him in the mirror, almost choking when Todd snorted and sent a splatter of gross toothpaste foam into the sink.

Dirk bounced on the balls of his feet as Todd finished up, and the second he turned around he popped down to kiss him. It was a surprise and angled awkwardly until Todd shifted his head and pressed his lips back. Dirk hummed in content before pulling back.

“God I love doing that.”

Now it was Todd's turn to blush as he hid his smile and went back to the kitchen. He slathered jam onto Dirk’s toast and butter onto his, pouring himself a mug of black coffee and heaping Dirk’s preferred frightening amount of sugar and a splash milk into his tea. Dirk was hanging off the sofa with his feet crooked over the back and his head dangling towards the ground. Todd snorted and grabbed their breakfast. Multiple food service jobs had made him a pro at carrying far too many plates.

Dirk flipped back up when Todd came into his view, beaming and snatching up his toast before Todd could even set the plate down. Todd just rolled his eyes and sat next to him, letting Dirk snuggle against his side as he started to babble about what dreams he'd had, throwing crumbs everywhere with his grand hand gestures.

“And then there was this huge, this positively gargantuan red elephant! It was running around and shouting nonsense and seemed very rude.” Dirk’s eyes were bright with the memory as Todd nodded his understanding (or lack thereof).

“What did you dream about?” Dirk asked curiously, as if this wasn't the same question he'd asked Todd every morning, maybe hoping he'd get a different answer this time.

“I don't really remember.” Todd shrugged. “I think there was… a monster or something though. Lots of purple too.”

“Perhaps an insight into our next case?” Dirk implored.

Todd scoffed, knowing Dirk’s strange interest in dreams and how they were woven into the fabric of the universe didn't apply to him.

“Perhaps.” Todd mocked although Dirk just beamed at him.

The detective had hair mussed every which way from sleep and toast crumbs all down the front of his shirt (although technically he'd stolen it from Todd). There was a smile in his eyes, something Todd wished he could see every day for the rest of his life. He never wanted to lose Dirk again.

Reaching over to grab Dirk’s hand, Todd wove their fingers together and pressed his lips to the back of Dirk’s hand.

“I love you, Dirk.” he spoke on a breath but Dirk still heard him, still practically crumbled against him in content.

He nestled his way into Todd's side and pressed a kiss to his jaw. Todd could feel his warmth on his skin and the buzzing energy he exuded swirling all around them.

“I love you too, Todd.”