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Getting the Hang of Thursdays

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There are days--though not as many now as there were before--when the sound of his ringing alarm triggers a wave of almost-forgotten panic. Not that his life is devoid of panic, but these days that panic tends to be of the oh-god-we're-going-to-die variety instead of the pre-Dirk oh-god-I'm-going-to-be-late-for-work variety. Caught in the drowsy haze of not quite wakefulness, Todd sometimes loses track of time.

That is, until he remembers that his old life is gone and Dirk Gently is now his boyfriend. But that's a whole other variety of panic. One Todd tries very hard not to think about.

It would be easier, he thinks, if Dirk was here. If they woke up in the same place. Maybe then Todd would have a chance to get used to the idea instead of having it sprung on him every time he sees Dirk anew. It's like his brain keeps forgetting and Dirk keeps showing up to remind him. But waking up together would necessitate sleeping together and they haven't done that, yet.

Not that Todd needs them to have sex. He's perfectly content with the hand holding. And the cuddling on the couch. And the kissing. And the way Dirk goes impossibly still when Todd mouths a line down his neck. Or the way Dirk trembles all over when Todd's hands find their way into the back of his shirt. Or even the way he moans sometimes, low and directly in Todd's ear before pushing Todd away; needing a minute to gather himself.

It's all fine. Really.

It's just that sex is something Todd likes. It's something he thinks Dirk would like. And it's something he thinks they might like together. It's also something he hasn't had a chance to do in a really long time so he can be forgiven for thinking about it more than he probably should.

Not that there's anything wrong with thinking about it. Todd likes Dirk. And Dirk apparently likes him. So given the circumstances it's perfectly normal for him to want to have sex with his maybe-virgin boyfriend.

Somewhere in all of that he's pretty sure he's screwed. Metaphorically, anyway.


"I'm not complaining," he tells Amanda, cradling the phone between his ear and his shoulder as he hops himself into a pair of shoes. He can hear the Rowdy 3 in the background. They sound like a pack of hyenas.

"You sound like you're complaining," Amanda tells him. Todd cannot express how happy he is to be talking to her again, especially now that everything's out in the open and he has nothing to hide.

"I'm not. Trust me, I'm not. I mean, it's going way better than I thought it would, it's just..."

"You want to speed things along a little," Amanda says. Todd bites his tongue.

Because that's not what it is. He's more than happy taking his time if that's what Dirk needs. The problem, he thinks, is that he doesn't know what Dirk needs. Or what Dirk wants, for that matter, the change in their relationship status almost as confusing as their cases.

He has absolutely no idea how to convey any of that to Amanda.

"God, I don't even know why I'm talking to you about this," he says instead.

"Cause I'm your sister and I'm awesome?" Amanda says. "Also, you should probably to talk to Dirk about this."

She's not wrong. Dirk's exactly the person he should be talking to about this. It's just that talking to Dirk is... well, challenging sometimes. When they're on a case Dirk is usually preoccupied by the universe's relentless bullying, and when they're not on a case he's usually preoccupied by finding new and interesting things to do with his tongue. Neither of those things are conducive to conversation.

"Also," Amanda says, clearly not finished. "You should learn some patience, because if he's not ready..."

"I know," Todd tells her, because he does. He really, really does. He's not about to push Dirk into anything he's not ready for. He's not that much of an asshole.

Patience, he thinks to himself. He can do patience.


Patience, of course, lasts just until the next time he finds himself on Dirk's couch. Dirk is pliant beneath him, his hands fisted in Todd's shirt, near tearing at the fabric as he holds Todd against him. His tongue is doing impossibly wicked things inside Todd's mouth. Todd doesn't think he's ever been this hard.

He's fairly certain Dirk can feel it, too, what with the way his thigh is pressed between Todd's legs. Todd, for his part, is acutely aware of the erection pressing into his hip. It's taking every ounce of his self control not to rotate his hips, line them up and start rutting.

God, he hasn't felt this out of control in years. Not since he was a teenager, anyway.

It doesn't help that Dirk is trembling beneath him, his hips moving in erratic little circles. It's driving Todd crazy. This is also the point where Dirk tends to back off. Not tonight, apparently. Tonight when Dirk breaks their kiss it's to press his face into Todd's neck, his mouth latching onto Todd's pulse point as he begins to suck. Dear god, Todd thinks. He's going to die if Dirk keeps this up.

"Umph," Dirk says at one point, speaking directly into Todd's skin. He tugs ineffectively at Todd's shirt. Todd freezes. Anyone else he might have interpreted the sound as enthusiasm. Dirk, however, needs to use his words.

"You okay?" Todd asks, pulling slightly back. Dirk's mouth leaves his neck with a wet pop. His eyes are wide and glazed, his pupils fully blow. He seems to be having trouble with his thoughts.

"Dirk, are you okay?" Todd asks again, throat like sandpaper. Dirk blinks.

His gaze trails down, to where their chests are still pressed together, Dirk's hands trapped between them. He appears genuinely confused.

"I thought I took this off," he says, tugging at Todd's shirt like it has personally offended him. Todd goes impossibly still.

They haven't done skin to skin yet. Todd's not entirely sure he can handle it. Not without thoroughly embarrassing himself, anyway.

"You want..." is as far as he gets before Dirk's kissing him again. Nothing elaborate, just a quick peck that immediately stills Todd's words.

"I want us to have sex, and I believe that involves removing our clothes, so..." Again he tugs at Todd's shirt. "Off," Dirk commands. Todd swallows.

Because, yeah, okay, good. That's good. They can definitely do that. It's just...

"Have... Have you done this before?" Todd has to ask. For as much as he sucks at communication, even he knows this is a conversation they should have before things go too far.

Dirk shifts beneath him, the move strangely avoidant.

"You mean have sex?" he asks, sounding more than a little breathless. It's the second time he's used the word, and yet it still manages to fry Todd's brain. Todd manages a nod.

"Of course," Dirk tells him, which is not at all the answer Todd was expecting. His brain struggles to catch up. Dirk grows unnaturally still.

"Once," he clarifies.

This time when he shifts, it's to put some space between them. Todd obliges by drawing back, propping himself on an elbow so that there's a sliver of space between them.

"Once?" he asks.

"It wasn't very good," Dirk admits. "It all happened very fast and, well, it hurt a bit, and then the next morning he was gone and I never saw him again. The whole thing was a bit traumatizing, to be honest."

Of all the things Todd was expecting Dirk to say, that wasn't it. He has absolutely no idea what to do with the information, so instead of answering, he stares. Dirk gives a nervous laugh.

"But I'm sure it'll be much better with you," he says, which is not at all what Todd wants to hear.

He knows it's not his place to tell Dirk how he's supposed to feel. It's certainly not his place to get upset about something that's happened in Dirk's past. But there are things that are okay and then there are things that are decidedly not okay and this falls squarely into the latter.

It also places Todd under a considerable amount of pressure.

"You know," he says, Dirk's admission better than a cold shower. "Maybe we should slow things down a bit."

Dirk appears momentarily startled.

"You want to take things slower?" he asks.

"If that's okay," Todd says. He's still laying half on top of Dirk, heat still spilling between them, but for the first time since they started doing...well, this...Todd isn't thinking about sex. Sex, in fact, is the furthest thing from his mind.

Staring up at him, Dirk's features soften.

"Of course," he says. "We can wait until you're ready."

And just like that they've taken sex off the table.


Not that it helps the situation.

Todd has never, not once in his life, been afraid of sex. From the moment he knew what it was he wanted it, and as soon as he could find willing partners he was having it. The vast majority of those partners were one night stands.

Part of that came with being in a band. They'd started playing together the tail end of highschool, Todd barely seventeen, and then stayed together well into their twenties, every show they played filled with people more than eager to take the lead guitarist home. Todd never wanted for partners.

He's had good sex and bad sex and mediocre sex, but he's never had sex he regretted. At least, not until now.

Now he's regretting a good deal of the sex he's had, because now he has no idea how many of his ex-partners were like Dirk. How many were having sex for the first time and hoping for... something... only to find that sex amounted to bodies fitting together in ways that weren't always pleasant.

God, did he ever once take a partner's needs into consideration?

He's pretty sure the answer to that is no. Sex was always about getting off. He'd just assumed, without ever asking, that his partners were having just as good a time as he was. He'd certainly never called any of them the next day.

Even the scarce relationships he's had never really lasted long enough for sex to be anything other than bodies coming together. Not even Adam, who was probably the closest he ever came to a real relationship, and even that was mostly a farce.

"God, I'm such an asshole," he says. Not that anyone's listening. He just needs to say it. Needs the universe to know that he doesn't deserve someone like Dirk Gently. He certainly doesn't deserve to be the person Dirk entrusts with his...

Well, with his anything, really.


"I don't want to talk about it," he tells Amanda, quite firmly. The look she shoots him is somewhat scathing.

"Too bad," she says. Her hands are still planted firmly on her hips. Outside, the rumble of the Rowdy 3 van carries into his apartment through the open window. Amanda remains rooted in her spot, blocking Todd's only means of escape.

"Look," he tries, but Amanda's not hearing it.

"No, you look," she says. "I don't know what you did, but whatever it is it has Dirk making sad eyes at you and he deserves better than that. So I don't care what you have to do, just fix it."

Easier, he thinks, said than done.

Because the thing is, he hasn't done anything. Him and Dirk are still him and Dirk. They still work cases. They still get shot at and chased by tutu wearing llamas. They still hold hands. They still cuddle on the couch. They still kiss. They just don't...

Well, anything else.

And yes, Todd did ask to take things slow, and maybe Dirk took that a bit too literally, but Todd also can't bring himself to push, not when there's a chance he'll screw this up. Not when it's Dirk who stands to get hurt.

Not that any of that makes Amanda wrong. He just really, really wishes it did.


"So what now?" Todd asks, half collapsing onto his couch. They've been running in circles for... Todd checks his watch... thirty-six hours now. He still has no idea what they're dealing with. Neither, he suspects, does Dirk.

"I... I don't actually know," Dirk says. He hesitates only briefly before collapsing onto the couch at Todd's side. Todd glances over. Dirk's expression is utterly perplexed, like the universe has failed him in some spectacular way. It probably has. Todd still has no idea how they're supposed to connect a missing heiress to a stolen painting and a set of bloody hoof marks.

"I still think we shouldn't rule out ghosts," Dirk says, like he genuinely means it. Knowing Dirk, he probably does.

"I think we can safely rule out ghosts," Todd tells him.

This was meant to be a quick stop, a chance to regroup and maybe change out of their cobweb encrusted clothes. The past thirty-six hours, however, are beginning to catch up. Todd sinks a little further into the couch.

The move brings his shoulder in line with Dirk's, the point of contact warm and comforting. Dirk sighs. It's barely audible, Todd feeling it more than hearing it. Sparks of electricity--the good kind--travel the length of his spine. If he wasn't so tired he'd probably drag Dirk down onto the couch and...

At his side, Dirk stifles a yawn.

"Maybe this is the universe's way of telling us to get some sleep," Todd says, his gaze drifting to his bed. The blankets are still a mess from yesterday morning, Todd barely out of them when Dirk appeared at his door. God, he'd give anything for a few hours of sleep.

He's expecting reproof for needing something as pedestrian as sleep during a case. Instead Dirk grows impossibly still. Todd hazards a glance and finds Dirk staring straight ahead, his expression somewhat pained.

"Of course. You're right, we should get some rest," he says, rising swiftly from the couch. Todd immediately misses his warmth. He misses Dirk, too, this not at all what he meant when he asked if they could take things slow. His sleep deprived brain screams at him to say something.

"You could sleep here," is what comes out. Already halfway to the door, Dirk freezes. Todd hoists himself from the couch.

"I mean, if you wanted to," he says, still not entirely sure what Dirk needs.

Very slowly, Dirk turns to face him. Todd doesn't miss the brief flicker of hope in his eyes. It lasts only a second, and then it's gone, replaced by something more guarded. If Todd didn't already hate himself, this would do it.

"Do you want me to?" Dirk asks, very slowly, like he's half afraid he'll say something wrong. Todd deflates.

Because of course he wants this. He hates that Dirk doesn't know that. He hates that he's not good at this, that he's already screwed this up not two months into their relationship.

"I don't know why everything fell apart," he admits. Dirk's eyes grow wide. Todd's not sure he's ever seen him this still. It's painful to watch.

"I mean, things were going so good and then..."

"You wanted us to slow things down," Dirk says, sounding oddly hurt.

"I didn't mean this. I just... I didn't want to disappoint you," Todd says before he can stop himself. He's still new to this whole honesty thing. It's getting easier, but every truth leaves him feeling gutted and on display.

Dirk's staring at him like he's grown two heads.

"Disappoint me? Why would you..."

Todd flails a little. He's far too tired for this conversation.

"You told me about that guy. And you said things would be better with me. But it's been years since I've been with anyone, and I'm not sure I was all that good at it to begin with, and now you're expecting..."

It's as far as he gets before Dirk's moving, closing the distance between them faster than Todd's fatigued brain can process. One minute he's standing across the room, and the next he's standing inside Todd's space, looking very much like he's just unravelled a clue that will prove instrumental in solving their case.

"Oh, Todd," he says, a wide smile spreading across his face. Todd's brain struggles to catch up. "I thought you were put off by my lack of experience. I didn't realize..."

He pauses then, Todd not entirely sure if he's meant to say something here or if Dirk just needs a minute to unravel his thoughts.

"That guy," Dirk says, sounding far calmer than Todd feels, "was a one night stand. I didn't even know his name. I only went home with him because he expressed interest, and up until then no one had ever expressed interest. Don't you see? You're already different."

He sounds so hopeful, like now that everything's out in the open they can move past it, get back to where they were. Todd wants desperately to believe him. Unfortunately nothing is ever that easy.

"I've only ever had one night stands," he admits. "And I'm not sure I ever treated my partners any better than that guy treated you."

The universe, it seems, is bent on reminding him that he's an asshole. It also seems utterly determined for Dirk to know it as well.

Which really doesn't explain why Dirk is smiling at him again, practically grinning like Todd's just said something wonderful.

"Dirk, I think you're missing..."

"I'm not missing anything," Dirk tells him. The edges of his smile grow soft and fond, like Todd takes a tremendous amount of his patience. Todd would give anything to follow his train of thought.

"Don't you see," Dirk says. "I'm your first real relationship. And you're mine. So neither of us know what we're doing."

Todd's not entirely sure why that's a good thing, except that Dirk is smiling like it is.

"Aren't you a little worried about that?" he asks. Dirk quite firmly shakes his head.

"On the contrary, it takes a lot of the pressure off. Come on," he says, extending his hand. "We can figure it out together."


Figuring it out, Todd learns, involves shedding their clothes and climbing into bed. It should probably feel a little more awkward than it does, except that they're both tired and filthy and honestly, Todd's mostly just relieved he gets to ditch the jeans he's been wearing for two straight days. He falls asleep almost as soon as his head hits the pillow, though not before he catches Dirk's eye, Dirk still smiling like he's solved a case; like the universe makes sense again.

Falling asleep next to Dirk also means waking up next to Dirk, which really does help to solidify the whole boyfriend thing. Especially when Dirk nuzzles a little closer, his face pressed into the side of Todd's neck. He's wrapped around Todd like an octopus, holding on so tight Todd's not sure he could move even if he wanted to.

It's probably a good thing he doesn't want to.

Because this is nice. Really nice, Todd content in a way he hasn't been in... a while, actually. It's also something he'd like to do more often. Like every morning kind of often. Maybe even the rest of his life kind of often.

The last thought should probably scare him, but then Dirk shifts a little closer and Todd forgets to be scared. He forgets, too, that this isn't something they do, impulse guiding him as he reaches down to brush aside a stray lock of Dirk's hair. Dirk stirs at the touch.

"Goat worshippers," he mumbles in his sleep. Todd stifles a laugh.

It's almost comical, watching him fight his way into consciousness. He starts by stretching, somewhat luxuriously, his body sliding against Todd's, tight sparks of pleasure spreading the length of Todd's limbs. It seems, too, to remind Dirk, even in his sleep, that Todd is there, Dirk tightening his grip. A shift of his hips betrays what Todd assumes is morning wood.

Todd touches him again.

This time it's his shoulder, bare in the undershirts Dirk likes to wear. His fingers trail down the length of Dirk's arm. Dirk lets out a breathy sigh.

And then comes awake. Seemingly all at once.

He seems surprised to find Todd awake, and then relieved when he realizes where they are. Still caught in the uncertainty of the morning, Todd remains perfectly still, and waits.

"I was having the strangest dream," Dirk tells him.

"Let me guess. Goat worshippers," Todd says, all of this feeling strangely familiar. Dirk's eyes grow wide.

"How did you know?" he asks.

"You talk in your sleep."

He's touching Dirk again, without really meaning to, the hand on Dirk's shoulder sliding down, coming to rest on Dirk's bicep where his thumb seems bent on tracing continuous circles. Dirk relaxes into the touch. He also loosens his grip, though not to withdraw. Instead his hand settles on Todd's chest, restless fingers drumming against his heart.

"This is nice," Dirk says as though making an offhand comment. Todd doesn't miss the slight hitch in his breathing.

"Yeah, it is," Todd says, and then, in part because it seems the thing to do, in part because he just really wants to, he twists a little further into Dirk's embrace and leans in for a kiss.

Dirk responds enthusiastically.

Or maybe that's just relief. Certainly Todd's battling similar emotions. It's near suffocating, the overwhelming rightness that Todd can now trace back to a single hunch. He wonders if this is how it works for Dirk. If he just instinctively knows something without ever understanding how. Like how Todd instinctively knew Dirk was asking him out on a date.

Like how he instinctively knows they're going to have sex.

Dirk seems to be on the same page, his hand once again fisted in Todd's shirt, his mouth moving against Todd's like he needs Todd to breathe. Todd still has his hand wrapped around Dirk's bicep, the point of connection the only thing keeping him afloat. He uses it to drag Dirk with him when he shifts, pulling so that they end with Todd on his back, Dirk half sprawled across him. Dirk ruts a little into Todd's hip.

"Todd, Todd," he says, breaking the kiss. He sounds more than a little desperate.

"Yeah," Todd answers, and then tugs a little so that Dirk gets the hint and covers Todd completely.

And god, he's all limbs, just endless arms and legs that seem to exist everywhere at once. Dirk touches Todd's chest, his arm, his face, hands wandering wherever Dirk can reach.

Eventually they settle in Todd's hair, Todd letting his own hands trace the length of Dirk's spine. It earns him an involuntary shudder, one that settles Dirk a little more firmly between Todd's open legs. Dirk's erection is unmistakable.

God, why didn't they do this sooner, Todd wonders, letting his hands wander lower, until he's tracing the contours of Dirk's brief-clad ass. Dirk bucks against him. Todd squeezes. Dirk breaks the kiss with a startled gasp.

And then immediately burrows his face in Todd's neck. Todd stretches to accommodate him, enjoying the feel of Dirk's breath, warm and moist against his skin.

"Is..." Todd has to swallow. Start again. "Is this okay?" he asks. Dirk mumbles something into his skin. Todd grits his teeth. They're definitely not doing this again.

"I need you to answer."

"Yes, god, yes," Dirk says, the words still muffled but at least Todd hears them.

In response, he hooks a leg over the back of Dirk's thighs, holding him in place. Dirk's cock, separated only by twin layers of cotton, slides against his own. Dirk lets out a strangled moan. The sound goes straight to Todd's cock, his leg tightening around Dirk's thighs.

They are, however, wearing entirely too many clothes. He tugs a bit at the back of Dirk's shirt, flashing back to that night on the couch, to the hungry look in Dirk's eyes when he practically ordered Todd to strip. Todd thinks idly about doing the same.

But his tongue is thick in his mouth, words lost before they even form, so instead he tugs until Dirk gets the hint; sits up long enough to drag his shirt up and over his head. Todd props himself onto his elbows and does the same. Dirk is on him in an instant.

There's nothing tentative about his kiss. Nothing sweet, either. It's practically feral, Todd a little worried about what he's unleashed. Not that he's planning on stopping--he's not sure he could stop even if he tried. It's somewhat of a shock, then, when Dirk pulls back, looking somewhat crazed when he meets Todd's eye.

"If we're going to stop, it has to be now, otherwise I'd really like for us to..."

"Yeah, okay, yeah," Todd says, pulling him back down. Dirk latches onto the side of his jaw. God, Todd's going to be covered in hickeys. He can't find it in him to care.

Because Dirk's doing that thing with his hips again. Tight little circles that have pretty much shut off Todd's ability to think. He cants his hips. It earns him a breathy moan. Todd commits the sound to memory.

He's thought a lot about how this might happen. About whether he'd fuck Dirk, fast and frantic into the mattress, or whether Dirk might fuck him, slow and halting until one or both of them fell apart. He's thought about falling to his knees, taking Dirk into his mouth and sucking him dry. He's thought about Dirk nestled between his legs, fingers working their way slowly inside.

But this... This is good, Dirk pinning him down, their cocks pressed together, every roll of Dirk's hips sparking intense waves of pleasure.

It would be better, though, skin to skin, Todd wanting more than anything to take them both in hand.

Dirk's face is still pressed into Todd's neck, his mouth moving restlessly against the underside of Todd's jaw. Todd kisses the only thing he can reach, which turns out to be Dirk's shoulder, and then slides his hands into the waistband of Dirk's briefs, tugging gently.

That seems to get Dirk's attention. He immediately stills, entire body taut as he slowly pushes himself up onto his arms. His expression is one of complete bafflement. Todd can't help but smile. He tugs again at Dirk's waistband.

It seems to get the point across, Dirk growing decidedly flustered. More so than he already was, which all things considered is a somewhat remarkable feat. Todd makes a mental note to congratulate himself for it later. For now he simply wants Dirk's underwear off. He tugs again.

This time Dirk lifts his hips, Todd getting Dirk's briefs down and over his hips, his gaze dropping to catch his first glimpse of Dirk's cock.

It's long and slender and perfectly curved, Todd fingers twitch with the need to touch.

But there's something in the way Dirk stills that feels like embarrassment. Todd glances up, and sure enough Dirk's refusing to meet his gaze. Without really thinking, Todd brushes his thumb against the ring of Dirk's foreskin. Dirk bucks into his hand.

His gaze also flies to Todd's face, Todd grinning as he wraps his hand around Dirk's base.

"Bloody hell," Dirk says, thrusting into Todd's hand even as he surges forward, reclaiming Todd's lips in a somewhat messy kiss.

Whatever plans Todd had for getting them skin to skin vanishes beneath the onslaught of Dirk's attack. It's all he can do to stay afloat, Dirk crashing back into him, his teeth gnawing at Todd's bottom lip, his hips relentless as he thrusts into Todd's hand. If Todd was close before, he teeters on the precipice now, Dirk's ardor seemingly contagious.

Also, he's talking again. Mumbling, really, though Todd's fairly certain he hears a litany of Todds scattered amongst Dirk's words. It's that rather than the body moving against his that sets him off. Well, that and the second hand he's gotten between them, Todd squeezing himself through his underwear while he jerks Dirk with his other hand. The suddenness of his orgasm still takes him by surprise. Of all the things he was expecting to do this morning, coming in his boxers wasn't exactly one of them.

His only consolation is that Dirk follows soon after, his entire body shaking as he thrusts twice more into Todd's hand and then stills completely, warm wetness spilling between them. The sound Dirk makes is unlike anything Todd has heard before. It almost makes him wish he was young enough to go a second round.

But Dirk's already collapsed against him, unconcerned with the mess. Tiny tremors continue to wrack his body. Todd gets a hand free and runs it soothingly down the length of Dirk's spine. Dirk hums into Todd's shoulder.

They lay like that for a while. Todd loses track of time. He's half convinced Dirk's fallen asleep, except that when his hand stills its petting, Dirk grumbles something that sounds like a complaint. Todd renews his stroking, Dirk stretching against him like some enormous cat.

"You are far too heavy and I am far too sticky for this," Todd says. Dirk chuckles into his shoulder.

He does move, though, rolling himself off of Todd so that they're lying side by side, shoulders pressed together. Todd blinks up at the ceiling. From the light, he'd guess it was well past noon.

"You okay?" he hears himself ask, not really trusting himself to glance over. He needs a washcloth, possibly a shower, and a change of clothes, never mind an entirely new set of sheets. He feels Dirk shift onto his side. Steeling himself, Todd turns to face him.

And finds Dirk grinning at him dopily, like Todd is his favourite person in the world. Like Todd's just done something remarkable. Like probably that was the best sex he's ever had.

Todd's fairly certain it ranks inside his top three.

"You don't look disappointed," Todd says. The look Dirk shoots him is one of utter disbelief.

"I can't believe you were worried about that," he says. "That was amazing. That was incredible. That... Can we do that again? Sometime soon? Possibly later tonight after we've solved the..."

He sits bolt upright, Todd only then realizing that he still has his briefs pushed down past his bum, sticky white semen drying on skin.

"Todd!" he says, rather too enthusiastically given what they've been doing. Todd's almost afraid to ask.

"It's still not ghosts," Todd says.

"Not ghosts Todd, but people who'd very much like us to think it's ghosts."

He springs from the bed almost as soon as he says it, only then seeming to register his current state. The blush Todd remembers from before spreads across his cheeks. Now uncomfortably tacky, Todd slips from the bed.

"Shower first, case second," he says, catching Dirk around the shoulders.

"Fine," Dirk says, "but we have to be quick. I've solved the case!"

Of course he has, Todd thinks, dragging Dirk into the bathroom. Unsurprisingly, Dirk doesn't complain when Todd shoves him under the spray.