It was always so cold.
Well, not exactly cold per se, a loneliness that he feel tingling under his skin. A knot in his stomach, a heaviness in his chest every moment he slowed down enough to think and feel and just absorb everything. An untamable urge that seemingly never goes away, sends cold air into his lungs and just suffocates him.
And it always came, every night as he lay in his far too large, far too empty bed in Wayne manor. It was an ache that didn't dull and he just wanted it gone . But, there were a few things that did help the sharp pain that made it hard to breathe (so so breathless, when did it get so hard to breathe?)
Like Wally, Wally helped, calmed the roar of emotion and the lightened the heaviness of Dick's chest. He made everything okay, with just an arm thrown over his shoulder or a quick hug. (God, did Dick wish those hugs lasted longer. Having those lean arms around him and everything feels so safe and makes Dick wish he could be held like this all the time)
The light praise Bruce rarely gives with an awkward pat on the head, Dick lived for it. Lifted his spirit, calms his racing heart and clears the tightness in his throat and he just lives . Those times when Dick finds himself injured enough to need to be carried or at least supported, he preens under the attention. That Batman always let's his Robin shuffle under his cape and latch onto the man, hell, sometimes encourages the child to do so. Or when Bruce holds him close, helping ward off the nightmares and Dick subconsciously leans back into the touch with a pleased sigh that his guardian chooses to ignore for his ward's pride.
Then there's whenever Conner holds him as he shoots for the sky, shielding Robin from the harsh winds and holding him so so close to his chest. And once the ride is over they both pretend they never felt Dick rest his head against Superboy's chest absolutely content and so so happy to just be held by those strong arms.
Even Artemis's smacks upside the head, the little bump to his should she does affectionately. And Dick practically melts when she ruffles his messy black hair playfully. She's like the older sister Dick never had, protective, brilliant, and just knows . She knows Dick issue with touch and she helps in what ways she's comfortable with and he appreciates her so much.
M'gann is always offering long hugs and is always so comforting, tight and warm. Sometimes a kiss on the cheek which has Dick flushing despite his training and hating it. Megan is a brilliant friend who he couldn't ask for more from, so soft and loving always comforting and looking out for those who need it.
Or when Roy ruffles his hair (Has Dick ever mentioned how much he loved people messing with his hair?) Or throwing his arm around Dick's shoulder, holding him close. The movie nights they sit far closer than necessary, all the times Robin has found himself falling asleep against Roy, and even more times Roy had picked Dick up when the boy was unconscious to carry him to somewhere more comfortable or to safety. Roy never missed those pleased sighs or snuggling closer, but chose never to mention it to the younger teen.
The rare times Kaldur'ahm puts a warm, comforting hand on Dick's shoulder. Warm, stabilizing, grounding, all the things that make Dick want to just shut down and listen to that soothing voice.
Zatanna snuggling with him in their brief relationship, the quick kisses they shared when no one was looking. The overwhelming support she offered him when he opened up to her about all the touch and the lack of . How he just wants to be held and touched and it hurts and so hard to ignore.
Then there's Wonder Woman constantly mothering him, fixing his messy mop of hair, giving him hugs, hair ruffles and so much affection. Everything he lives off of, Diana provides with no coercing no asking just pure maternal instinct over this tiny child that a Bat freak brought into space. All the times she braided his hair as much as she could with it's length, blow raspberries on his stomach when he was young and all the things he'd missed since his parents took their fall.
Superman always willing to give him flights, always holding him close. The strong hugs and the willingness to let Dick sit in his lap no matter how old the boy gets.
And so many more of his allies offer him the same comfort, but Dick's favorite had to be Wally. Every touch from Wally sends his skin lighting aflame pleasantly, a heat he could never describe. Just that it was right and he never grew tired of it, that he wanted to pull the Speedster close. So so close , have the ginger hold him tight and never let go, cuddle each and every night.
Dick wanted to spend the rest of his life with Wally West, those brilliant green eyes that made Dick's heart race. Those freckles that never failed to make Dick blush if he stared too long. The unruly ginger locks that the brunette always wanted to run his fingers through. His voice that made the boy want to melt. And so much more that made Dick swoon , if that man asked Dick to jump off a bridge he'd be there because he just wants Wally to be happy.
And that's why, even though it tore his heart apart, when Wally and Artemis (the girl he always trusted as a big sister, it hurt ) started dancing around each other, either flirting or attempting to bite each other's heads off, he stood by and supported them. Bruce never needed to know why his ward came home from any time spent with the Team sobbing.
So he cut himself off from the touch of his best friend, pushed him off whenever his arm came around his shoulder. He couldn't hurt Artemis the way they tore him apart, though Dick never blamed them. It was his own fault for falling for someone unattainable.