Hisui was not used to being touched, plain and simple. In the village, he didn’t really have a place to call home or a family or anything so he was never hugged or kissed or touched. Sure, people had touched him, but it wasn’t anything intimate that families would do. And in the mansion, he was poked and prodded and stroked, but again, it wasn’t in any way Hisui wanted to be touched.
It was because of this that Hisui never really knew what he was missing out on. He had never cuddled or hugged anyone and therefore could not miss it. Except, he did. He was sure how intimate people were supposed to be with one another, but he still wished someone would treat him like they would their family.
Of course, because Hisui had never been touched, and therefore could never miss the feeling, he was surprised when anyone actually did touch him in an intimate, non-creepy way.
His first memory of anyone ever touching him so casually was when he had spent about a month on the ship. He was downstairs with some of the men, listening to Yassen tell a particularly exciting tale of the time he had been attacked by librarians. Hisui was sitting next to Yassen, listening eagerly when he felt something heavy fall on his shoulder Hisui jumped and scrambled back to see Yassen’s arm falling.
“Hisui, are you okay?” Yassen asked, looking worriedly at him.
“Yeah, I’m fine, just startled.” He gave Yassen a smile and then crawled back to his side. Yassen stared at Hisui for a minute before wrapping his arm back around Hisui’s shoulders. It was nice, Hisui decided. Nice and heavy. Hisui leaned into Yassen and enjoyed the feel of the arm around his shoulders.
It was after that that Hisui realized Yassen was not the only one who liked to touch Hisui. Fox had no problems kissing Hisui’s head when he saw him. And Ikuta loved to just sit there and play with Hisui’s hair for hours. Hisui would often wake in the middle of the night to see that he and Jean had snuggled together, with Jean’s arms wrapping around Hisui’s shoulders. And, more often than not, Hisui using Jean as a pillow. Hisui would find himself being hugged by the crew members, sometimes in big bear hugs and other times in one-armed hugs. All in all, the crew was very touchy-feely with Hisui.
It confused him at first. He didn’t know how to reciprocate these displays of effects, or even if he should reciprocate them. He would feel weird coming up to James and hugging him, or kissing Wood on the forehead. But none of the men seemed to be thinking about it too hard so maybe Hisui should just do what feels right.
He got his chance one evening. He was reading in Ikuta’s cabin when the captain walked in and plopped down on the chair, letting out a long groan.
Money had been tight recently and Ikuta was worried they wouldn’t have enough food to feed everyone if their bad luck kept up. Hisui bit his lip and looked at the man. When people hugged him he always felt better. Perhaps the same could be true about Ikuta.
Carefully marking his place, Hisui stood up and crept towards Ikuta. He felt nervous, what if Ikuta didn’t want to be hugged and was weirded out by Hisui’s advances. Maybe he should ask first if touching was okay. Except for no one else asked when they started touching him. Hisui felt like he had to do something soon, though, it was weird to just be standing here doing nothing. So Hisui stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Ikuta’s shoulders. It was an awkward position, and Hisui could feel Ikuta stiffen. However, right before he was about to let go, he felt Ikuta running his fingers through his hair.
“Thanks, kid,” Ikuta said softly.
Hisui smiled into his shoulder and made it his goal to start hugging people a lot more. It was just as nice to give hugs as it was to receive them.