The story just randomly jumped up in my head, expecting me to write it down. I did that, and now, here it is, waiting to be read. You can take it as Joe/Nancy friendship or something more than that – choice is yours.


Summary: Joe also wanted a long hug – because it really was unfair that only Frank got one of those.


"Nancy!" Frank shouted in surprise.

Joe, who was on all fours on the ground, trying to look for a badge which would help him and Frank take one step up to solving the case (or so Frank had said – he actually didn't agree with him, because he was dead sure James was the guy waiting to be thrown in jail), turned his head in such speed that, if it were more, could have just about broken his neck (or could have rotated his head to a full 360 degrees). And how lucky were his eyes as they beheld a familiar sight.

Well, he wouldn't exactly call his eyes lucky – rather, they were unfortunate. Why, of all things visible in the world, did his eyes have to see a view that was none other than Frank and Nancy hugging?

He stood up and dusted off his jeans. He looked around at the trees, the sky, the empty, secured park (where the crime took place) he was in, his feet, his gray shirt, the sky again, the birds, the grass under his feet, his feet, the flowers, the slide, the swings, the blue thing that his eyes had hurriedly skipped; now he was looking at the blue thing, which happened to be Frank's shirt (which Frank happened to be wearing), and now he was looking at the never-to-end scene.

He wasn't jealous – but did they have to prolong their hugs?

"You guys do realize that I still live in this world, don't you?" he loudly said, bending to pass under the security line, and strode over towards them.

Great. Now two red faces (which were red because of the sun, Joe assured himself) were looking at him. Yes, he shouldn't have interrupted them, and should have let them continue for days to come.

"Hello!" Nancy said awkwardly, smiling.

"Hey," he replied.

Then she asked him, how he was, and he answered, he was fine. He took her offered outstretched hand in his and shook it. Suddenly, feeling they were being formal, he asked her to tell him why they were being formal, and she said, "If you wanted a hug so bad, you could have just asked."

Well, he wouldn't say he felt warmer inside and out; he wouldn't say he liked her hug; he wouldn't say he liked her small form against his. He was just trying to imagine how Frank felt when he was hugging her. He got the feeling (because he tried very hard to conjure it, he told himself). But, of course, the hug was brief, so, obviously, he didn't get to feel everything Frank got to feel. (Frank was lucky he got to feel those feelings for a longer time.)

Reluctantly, he let go of Nancy, who asked him soon after she was released, "Happy?"

No, because it wasn't long.

"Yes." Because it felt good.

And from now on, he decided, whenever he would get the chance, he would hug her for a longer time, even if she was disinclined to do so.

What's happened to me? I used to run away from hugs, let alone long ones. Maybe it's got to do something with Nancy – and her warm hugs.

No. It wasn't that; it was not her. He just wanted a long hug – only because Frank got one of those (and it really was unfair that only he got those).

They soon found out that James was the guy they had been looking for. ("Told ya," Joe had said as he had been looking at the helpless James – who didn't seem to have tired out from yelling at Joe – and had earned two punches, from Frank and Nancy, on both his shoulders, simultaneously.)

Right now, they were walking Nancy to the hotel she was staying at. Along the way, Joe suggested, "You know, Frank, try to listen to me more: it will help you in future." And me as well, because it would save my time and energy.

Frank plainly snorted in response.

Joe decided to continue. "Why, you ask. Well, because I always carried this feeling with me like a pregnant woman carries a baby" – now, he heard two snorts – "that James was the person behind this all."

"You didn't have a proof. And for that, God gave us brains, which are better than your guts." Frank looked pointedly at Joe, and he tapped his finger on his temple.

"Oh, really. If it is so, then why didn't you know that James was the criminal beforehand? Ha. Turns out, my feelings are more advanced than your brain."

And then, an argument about brains and guts began.

They reached the hotel, but Frank and Joe were too immersed in their conversation to notice.

Nancy, after clearing her throat loudly, announced that they had reached the hotel, and it was time to part ways. Frank gave her a gentle smile and hugged her, rubbing his hands up and down her back.

Joe looked at the two, and rolled his eyes, whispering that they should quit hugging, as it had been more than hour since they had started.

This time, he would get a long hug, too. Nancy was cruel: she always gave Frank long hugs, not him – never him. He had always noticed that. Couldn't she discern that he felt left out when she did that?

"What's with you?" Nancy asked, breaking him out of his thoughts.

What broke their hug? he asked nobody.

"You don't want to say goodbye?"

No, I don't want to say it. A hug would be good enough to do the trick. "Bye."

She smiled, and moved forward, opening her arms.

It wasn't warm; it wasn't good; it didn't make his heart beat wildly; his chest didn't feel light; he was not enjoying her warm breath on his chest; he didn't like her small arms enveloping him; he, by all odds, didn't love that she had her head resting on his chest; he, for sure, didn't want to play with her hair; he was definitely not tightening his hold on her; he most definitely not wanted it to be long.

And that was why he didn't let go of her when her arms around his waist loosened their grip.

"Er… Joe?" Nancy asked.

He didn't let go, and she had to keep her arms around him.

He rubbed her back, and she leaned into him, unconsciously enjoying his warmth. After he squeezed her, and after an "Ehem!" from Frank, they unwound their arms from around each other.

"Why did you do that?" a really red and flustered and mortified Nancy asked.

It was simple, really: he just wanted a long hug – from her, and her, solely.

It's official: I am losing my skill in writing – and describing hugs (only I wasn't good at that before, as well). I wrote this to recover from my three months bout with writer's block. I expected to see disappointing results, and they are, to me. I, honesty, published this here to get some constructive criticism, or some kind words – basically, I just wanted to know everyone's opinions about this; otherwise, I never planned to publish this. (And I apologize if it was rushed.)

Thanks for reading. :)