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The motel windows are dark when Todd gets back. He’d sort of expected Dirk to be there but hey, at least now he can maybe get a shower without Dirk talking to him non-stop through the bathroom door. They’ve been staying in this motel room, making absolutely no progress on this case, for almost a month. He almost envies Farah minding the phone back at the agency. A bit of peace and quiet for half an hour might be quite nice, he thinks.

So he just about jumps out of his skin when he opens the door to be greeted by a cheery, ‘Hi Todd!’

Jesus Christ Dirk!’ Todd, heart pounding, scrabbles for the light switch without much luck. In the pinkish-purplish light from the neon motel sign he can just about make out Dirk in silhouette on the bed. ‘What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you sitting in the dark?’

‘Hmm. Yes. About that… ’

Todd finally bumps into a lamp and fumbles to turn it on. The room now bathed in the warm glow of an old incandescent lightbulb, Todd turns around to find Dirk grinning sheepishly at him. There’s something odd about this picture, though, and it takes a couple of seconds for Todd to work out what it is.

Then it hits him like a tonne of bricks. Dirk isn’t just lying on the bed. Dirk is handcuffed to the bed. Todd’s mouth falls open.

‘… Wha… ?’

Dirk shrugs, as much as he can with both arms twisted behind his head and attached to the bed frame. ‘I couldn’t reach the light switch.’

Todd takes a couple of tentative steps towards him. ‘I… have a lot of questions.’

‘It’s really quite simple.’ Dirk rolls his eyes in that particular way that makes Todd want to strangle him. ‘The light switch is all the way over there. I’m all the way over here. I can’t move my arms or stand up and the sun went down while I was waiting for you, so, sitting in the dark was really the only possibility.’

‘No… I mean… ’ Todd gestures vaguely, ‘I have questions about the handcuffs, Dirk.’

‘Oh. I see.’

‘Are you okay? Did someone attack you or something? Like, I don’t know, was there a robbery?’

Dirk snorts. ‘A robbery? Come on Todd, who’d want to rob us? We don’t have anything. No, do you remember when we got arrested?’

‘Which time?’

‘In Bergsberg. After Mona rescued me from Blackwing.’

Todd raises his eyebrow. ‘Yes?’

‘And that nice Sheriff Hobbs handcuffed me to a pole?’

‘… yes?’

‘Well,’ Dirk shrugs again, ‘I kept them.’

‘You kept the handcuffs? The police handcuffs? That you were handcuffed with?’

‘I thought they might come in useful. I take them everywhere. You never know when you might need a pair of handcuffs.’

‘Okay… ’ By now, Todd is quite used to the lack of normalcy in anything that Dirk does but he’s finding it a bit harder to process than normal because, now that he’s assured Dirk hasn’t been attacked, the sight of him all handcuffed up and helpless is making Todd a bit hot under the collar. ‘And you’re attached to the bed because …?’

‘I thought it would be a good idea to find out if I can escape from handcuffs. For the next time we get arrested or kidnapped or something.’

‘And?’

‘I can’t.’

Todd suppresses a sigh. It’s something he does a lot around Dirk. ‘I don’t know why you’re surprised by that.’

‘So, anyway,’ Dirk carries on as though Todd hasn’t said anything, ‘This isn’t particularly comfortable so could you please undo them? The key’s over there on the table.’

Todd glances over. The key is indeed sitting on the table at the foot of the bed. He starts towards it… and then stops. Even with Dirk being who he is there are really only so many times he’s likely to handcuff himself to something. Todd should probably make the most of this opportunity.

‘Todd?’ Dirk’s looking quizzically at him. ‘The key? My arms are getting sore.’ He wiggles them emphatically, making the cuffs jangle against the metal bedstead, and pouts slightly. It’s the pouting that makes up Todd’s mind for him.

‘No.’ He turns his back on the key and sits on the bed. Dirk’s brow creases.

‘What do you mean, “no”?’

‘I mean,’ Todd says, slipping off his shoes and climbing onto the bed properly, onto Dirk, straddling Dirk’s hips as he gapes up at him, ‘No.’

Indignation flickers to understanding to arousal in Dirk’s eyes in the space of half a second and he opens his mouth to say something but, before he can, Todd leans down and kisses him, licking hungrily into his mouth.

This is new. This is all very, very new, and Todd hopes he’s not pushing too far too soon but the way Dirk moans against him makes him think this is all very ok. But he has to be sure. This… this thing between them has only been going on for a couple of weeks at most and, so far, has mostly consisted of all-too-brief snatched make-out sessions when no one’s looking and a few desperate, hushed hand jobs under the cover of dark and bedsheets. This is a whole new level.

With effort Todd pulls away and sits back up, trying to ignore for the moment just how uncomfortably tight his jeans have become. ‘Is this okay?’ he asks slightly breathlessly. ‘Because if it’s not I need you to tell me. Anytime it’s not okay I want you to say and I’ll stop.’

Dirk’s cheeks are pink and already his lips are swollen and reddened. His eyes are shining. ‘It’s okay.’

‘Are you sure?’ Todd shifts slightly. He can feel how hard Dirk is already. Now that he’s got permission… it’s too tempting.

He wriggles again, slowly, teasingly. ‘Because I can just stop here and let you out.’

Dirk huffs out a little whine. ‘Please don’t.’

‘Well, if you’re absolutely sure.’ Todd keeps his hips moving, just enough that he grazes the bulge of Dirk’s cock on each little shift. ‘But all the same, I think we should take it slow.’

In all honesty this whole thing has already got him losing his mind so badly that Todd has no idea how he’s going to sustain the willpower, but he can’t just pass up the opportunity to tease Dirk when Dirk can do absolutely nothing about it. Their encounters up to now have been a crash of mouths and bodies and Christ Almighty he’s enjoyed every second of it but he’s never had the chance to really enjoy Dirk. He’s not explored his body and found all the delicious sensitive parts. He so, so badly wants to.

Dirk’s wearing his standard button down and, slowly, Todd starts to undo it, taking time to swipe careful, curious fingers over the pale skin he exposes with each button. When the whole thing is undone he pushes it reverently apart to gaze with approval over Dirk’s chest; the faint suggestion of abdominal muscles, the small line of dark hair snaking up from his belt buckle towards his navel. Dirk is panting slightly, eyes wide, looking up at Todd as Todd studies him.

‘You’re stunning,’ Todd tells him, impulsively. It’s true.

He traces fingertips over every inch of skin that he can reach. Dirk hums appreciatively which Todd abruptly cuts short by pinching his nipple, not hard but hard enough that Dirk gasps, cheeks reddening, in a way that makes Todd go slightly lightheaded.

‘Can I… ’ He swallows, trying to find a vaguely eloquent way to ask if Dirk likes rougher play. ‘Is that… good?’ Trying to illustrate his point he digs his fingernails into Dirk’s side, just hard enough to whiten the skin.

Dirk nods fervently. ‘Yes.’ His voice is rougher than it was a minute ago. ‘That’s.. that’s good. Only… maybe harder?’

It takes a few seconds for Todd’s brain to come back online enough to remember how to breath, let alone use his hands. Watching Dirk for his reaction, he presses his nails into Dirk’s skin again, this time hard enough to leave little crescent-shaped indentations. Dirk hisses with pleasure and, encouraged, Todd does it again; raking little scratches down Dirk’s side that don’t break the skin but show up pleasingly white then flush to pink. The sound Dirk makes is pure pornography.

Dirk’s shirt is still keeping him far too covered and Todd needs more access. There’s only so much he can do but he awkwardly works it off Dirk’s shoulders and down his arms as far as it will go, bunching it up at the elbows. It’s good enough. It means Todd can lean down and press open-mouthed kisses to Dirk’s neck, jaw, collar bone without interruption until Dirk is sighing and shifting against him and Todd’s own breathing is heavy. Dirk’s eyes are closed and he keeps trying to raise his hips to grind against Todd and God Todd is so ready to let him, to thrust against Dirk’s cock through layers of fabric until it’s all over embarrassingly quickly. But that’s not the point.

The next time Dirk tries it Todd nips him on the shoulder, hard enough now to leave a mark that he really hopes will still be there in the morning, and frees a hand to put pressure on Dirk’s hip, a firm but wordless stay where I put you. Dirk begins a petulant whine which turns seamlessly into a moan as Todd, still keeping a maddening few inches between their dicks, bites down again in a new place.

‘Todd… I want… please…’

‘Shh.’ Oh boy, Todd wants very nearly just as much, but this is just so perfect. Besides, he has a feeling that Dirk can beg oh-so much more prettily than that. ‘I’m getting there. Be patient.’

Dirk pulls a pained face but obediently shushes.

Todd sits back and feathers his fingers down Dirk’s abdomen – noting with pleasure the way fingertips brushing over-sensitive skin make Dirk’s stomach muscles quiver – until they reach his belt buckle. Dirk’s eyes are trained, unblinking, on his hands as Todd unbuckles and unzips him then, careful not to give Dirk more than the very minimum of friction, tugs his pants, underwear and socks off with a surprising deftness.

Oh. Todd stands back for a moment, committing to memory the sight of Dirk naked and spread-eagled, handcuffed to a motel bed with pink cheeks and dark eyes. It’s better than any porn Todd’s ever seen and it ratchets his need to have hands on his cock all the way up to “urgent.”

Giving little thought to finesse – and trying to give even less to the fact that if this is the first time that he’s got a proper look at Dirk’s naked body then it will also be the first time Dirk’s got a proper look at his - he shucks off his clothes and wraps his hand around his dick. He’s pretty sure Dirk doesn’t blink the whole time. Todd’s never been much of an exhibitionist but stroking himself while Dirk watches, lips bitten pink and cock straining, has to be one of the hottest things he’s ever done. It’s only the knowledge that it’s probably about to get pushed way down the list that persuades him to keep himself in check and step back over to the bed.

‘Todd, you’re… wow’ Dirk breathes, eyes wide enough to make up for the lack of eloquence. Todd decides he deserves to enjoy the little swell of pride in his chest.

‘You’re pretty “wow” yourself,’ he tells Dirk, nudging Dirk’s knees apart so he can settle himself between his legs. He drifts his hands lazily up the insides of Dirk’s thighs, earning himself a shudder and a gasp followed by a dirty look when he stops his fingers millimetres short of anywhere really interesting. He repeats the motion curiously, then again, following a slightly different path each time so that Dirk never knows quite where he’s going. His fingers are light, barely even touching, grazing skin and delicate baby hairs so softly that Dirk shivers, breaking out in goose pimples all over.

‘What do you want?’ Todd murmurs, fingers paused, hovering so close to Dirk’s cock that if Dirk moved just a tiny bit they’d be touching.

But Dirk knows better than that.

‘Touch me. Please.’ Jesus, Todd could fall into those huge, pleading eyes.

He draws one finger down Dirk’s breast bone and further, over the softness of his belly, stopping a few inches below his navel. ‘Like that?’

Dirk looks like he might pop. But he doesn’t move. ‘No. I mean, it’s nice! But it’s not… it’s not… enough.’

Todd takes his hands off Dirk’s skin entirely. ‘So what would be enough?’

Dirk’s mouth flaps a little, like a particularly aroused goldfish.

‘If… if you touched me?’ He’s blushing. ‘Properly.

Todd raises his eyebrows in a sad little shrug. ‘Sorry. You need to be more specific.’ He leans in like he’s going to kiss Dirk on the mouth but feints at the last moment, ducking to the side and catching Dirk’s earlobe in a playful nip. ‘I’ll do whatever you ask for,’ he purrs, ‘But you have to ask.’ He sits back and waits, trying not to hear how loud his heart is pounding in his ears.

Dirk swallows audibly and takes a deep breath. ‘I want you to touch my cock.’

‘Ah, okay.’ Todd lets his hands slither south but the cock they end up at is his, not Dirk’s. He wraps a loose hand around himself and starts to stroke lightly, biting back a moan that would really break the mood. ‘This way? Tell me how.’

There are two pink spots blossoming on Dirk’s cheeks and his eyes are fixed on Todd’s cock. ‘A bit faster.’

Todd obliges.

‘Grip tighter. And flick your wrist – yes, like that.’ Dirk’s panting hard enough that his instructions are coming out breathless and Todd can’t help but grunt as he twists his wrist just so at the head of his cock, dragging the pad of his thumb over the sensitive spot underneath.

‘You want it like this?’ It’s an effort to maintain any semblance of cool and when Dirk can only squeak in response he decides to take it as a “yes.” At long last he lets his free hand drift to Dirk’s cock, matching the grip, angle and pace on his own. Dirk stifles a shout and whines high in his throat. He’s trying to be good but Todd can see the way his muscles are straining against the handcuffs.

‘Shh.’ He releases his own dick to stroke a hand lovingly over Dirk’s side, encouraging him to relax. ‘You’re doing so good.’ It’s not his imagination, the way that Dirk’s cock jumps in his hand at the praise. He decides to experiment. ‘That’s it, relax for me. You’re doing so well. You like being so good, don’t you?’

Dirk nods furiously, pressing his lips together tightly to stifle a moan.

Todd doesn’t remember giving that instruction and he’s not entirely happy with it. He wants to hear all the noises he can force out of this beautiful boy. ‘It’s okay, Dirk. You can be loud. I like to hear you.’

The pink spots flash magenta. ‘The walls are too thin. People will hear.’

‘So?’ Todd smiles mischievously. ‘Give them a show.’ And, to illustrate, he digs his fingers hard into Dirk’s hip so that Dirk throws his head back with a shout. ‘There. See? Anyone that’s listening knows what we’re doing now. No point in hiding it anymore.’ He slaps Dirk on the thigh, not hard enough to hurt hurt but hard enough that the sound snaps through the air and Dirk moans like he’s going to break.

‘Go down on me.’

Todd’s heart skips. ‘What?’

Dirk’s panting like he’s just run a marathon but his eyes are suddenly clear and he’s looking at Todd with an intensity that goes straight to Todd’s dick. ‘You said to tell you what I wanted. That’s what I want, Todd. I want your mouth on my cock.’

‘Oh. Oh.’ It takes a second for Todd to catch himself, there are so many images swimming in front of his eyes threatening not to leave enough blood in his brain to function as a person. ‘I mean, yes. Whatever you want.’ It’s a long, long time since he last gave a blowjob but he has a feeling it will all come flooding back to him.

He doesn’t go straight for the main event. Instead he begins with kisses: across Dirk’s hips, the plush insides of his thighs, his already-tight balls. Dirk gasps at every touch. Todd makes his way to the base of Dirk’s cock, mouthing at the place where velvet skin meets dark hair and feeling the way that Dirk shivers for him. Then, like a warning siren, something occurs to him.

He lifts his head slightly – not enough to look like he’s changed his mind but enough to get eye contact. ‘Dirk… have you done this before? Has anyone… ever…?’

His guess is confirmed when Dirk shakes his head.

‘That’s okay. But if it’s too much, or I go too fast, or you want a break just say, alright?’ It feels pretty backwards to pause for a boundary check over a blowjob when Dirk’s handcuffed to a bed but then again he knows better than to assume that Dirk has ever followed the usual order of things and there’s no reason that sex should be any different. He supposes that if you’re going to sleep with Dirk Gently you should be prepared for some things to be a little bit backwards. And he really, really likes sleeping with Dirk.

‘I’ll tell you.’ Dirk’s voice is hoarse. His eyes are a little pained. ‘Can you keep… ?’

‘Yeah. Yeah, of course.’

He goes back to where he left off: nuzzling the base of Dirk’s cock. Dirk’s skin is hot under his lips and soft; softer than Todd had thought possible. He kisses a meandering line up the underside of Dirk’s cock, paying special attention to the ridged skin at the base of the glans. Dirk watches his every move.

Slowly, keeping eye contact, Todd opens his lips and slips them down over the head, sweet with precum. Inch by inch he slides his way down, letting Dirk acclimatise to the unfamiliar feeling. Dirk is too long for Todd to comfortably take him in his mouth and Todd isn’t skilled at deep-throating but that’s fine; this is about experimenting and learning and feeling good . He uses his hand to make up the shortfall and moves it in parallel with his mouth; up and down, just faintly at first then more. And more.

Dirk’s head is lifted up as far as he can manage, trying to get the best view possible, but when Todd draws up far enough to swirl his tongue around the head of Dirk’s cock his eyes flutter closed and he slumps back into the pillows with a moan.

Todd figures that means he’s doing something right.

It’s not going to take long, he realises. Dirk is panting like he’s about to win a race and Todd can feel the tension building in every one of his muscles. Todd could hold back; he could tease and draw things out until Dirk is nearly broken, but he thinks he’s done quite enough teasing. For one night, anyway. What he wants now, above anything else, is to give Dirk the most mind-blowing orgasm he’s ever experienced. So he concentrates on getting just the right amount of tongue, just enough suction, the faintest scrape of teeth at just the right moment. Dirk is releasing a stream of “Oh, oh, oh”s with every exhale, punctuated with the occasional ‘Oh fuck’ that makes Todd’s own dick jump.

Todd’s right: it’s not long at all; ten minutes, maybe, before Dirk’s hands are clenching air where they’re trapped by the handcuffs and he’s stuttering, ‘Todd, oh, Todd I’m going to-’

And he does, with a cry that rips through him. Todd swallows around him, not stopping until he’s sure he’s seen Dirk all the way through his orgasm.

He sits up and subtly wipes his mouth. Dirk is lying still, eyes closed, chest heaving. Todd puts a gentle hand on his thigh. Dirk is trembling. ‘Are you okay?’

Dirk opens his eyes and smiles, slightly unfocussed. ‘That was amazing. You’re very good at that, Todd.’

Todd tries not to preen too visibly in the name of providing aftercare. He reaches out – nearly falling off the bed in the process – to snag the key off the table and crawls up next to Dirk, fumbling to get the key in the lock and finally undo the handcuffs. It takes a couple of attempts but he finally gets the key turned and releases Dirk’s wrists. They have a couple of red marks where he’s been pulling against the metal but look otherwise unharmed.

Dirk lets his hands fall slowly, flexing his fingers like he’s forgotten how to use them, finally removing his shirt from where it’s been bunched around his forearms. Todd chucks the key onto the carpet somewhere and scoots down so his head is next to Dirk’s on the pillow. Dirk reaches out to touch his cheek. ‘Todd…’ And then his hands are in Todd’s hair, urging him closer until their mouths meet, and Dirk kisses him like the world’s going to end.

The heat of Dirk’s tongue makes Todd’s dick ache with want, a painful reminder that he hasn’t come yet. As Dirk pulls his closer his dick presses against Dirk’s thigh and he finds his hips moving of their own accord; shallow thrusts begging for more friction. He feels teenage and a little embarrassed – he should have more control, he should be concentrating on looking after Dirk who just got his first blow job ever - but it ceases to matter when Dirk moves one leg so that Todd can slip his cock between Dirk’s thighs and thrust against the delicious softness.

Dirk hasn’t given up his assault on Todd’s mouth but Todd starts to see stars and has to break the kiss to gasp as he feels his orgasm start to curl in his abdomen.

‘Dirk,’ he finds himself panting with what little breath he can spare, ‘oh God, Dirk, you’re perfect. God, yes, like that. Shit you’re so pretty, how did you get so fucking pretty?’ Dirk is whining into his ear as Todd’s body grinds against his still-sensitive cock and it only makes Todd go harder, faster, until he’s clinging on for dear life and his world explodes in white heat.

‘Jesus… Dirk…’ is all he can manage to mumble in the next few moments, dick still pulsing with the last vestiges of his orgasm. He vaguely recognises that they’re both sticky but he can’t bring himself to pull away from Dirk; not yet. Not while everything is hazy and warm and wonderful.

‘I love you.’ Dirk’s whisper is so quiet that Todd almost doesn’t catch it. When he does his breath stutters. His first instinct is: run. But if there’s one thing that Dirk’s taught him is that running from his problems doesn’t solve any of them and, if he forces himself to be truthful about it, the only reason he wants to run is fear. He’s afraid to be loved and, even more importantly, he’s afraid to hurt Dirk. Because he loves him so much, with such ferocity, that how could it not hurt?

But it’s Dirk. Dirk knows hurt. Dirk knows being alone and he knows about still putting yourself out there even in the face of insurmountable odds. Dirk wouldn’t be there, wouldn’t use the L-word, if he didn’t trust Todd. So, Todd figures, maybe it’s time to be brave.

He kisses Dirk’s hair. ‘I love you, too.’ They’re too close for him to see Dirk’s smile but he can feel it through Dirk’s whole body.

It takes a long time for them to roll away from each other and even when they do they’re still touching; elbow to elbow, knee to knee.

‘Todd?’

‘Yeah?’

‘I definitely need a shower.’

Todd’s not sure what he’s supposed to say. ‘… sorry?’

It’s the wrong thing. Dirk’s eyes widen. ‘No! No, it’s not bad, I just meant… do you want to join me?’

Oh. Todd definitely isn’t sorry now. He grins. ‘I wouldn’t say no to a shower.’

‘Good.’ Dirk places a kiss on his lips and hops off the bed, heading for the bathroom. ‘I’ll get the water warmed up. Have you noticed it always takes so long in this place? When the agency starts making money we’ll only ever stay in five-star establishments. You know the trade, Todd, you can probably get us a discount.’

Todd’s about to tell Dirk it doesn’t work like that but the bathroom door is already closed behind him. So instead he lies on his back and grins at the ceiling and waits for the shower to heat up.