Sealed with a Kiss
Dick and Wally are in the communications room. Dick is working on some Titans files while Wally watches and annoys him. I smile softly and wonder who should be first. Definitely Dick, I decide.
Wally looks up and nods at me. Slowly, with a tiny creak that the others can’t hear, the chair turns and Dick looks up into my eyes. He says nothing but instead gives me a questioning look. The detective in him sees my nervousness as plain as anything. I bend down towards him slowly. Sudden movement might be considered as a threat to him, even if I am his friend. The confused look on his face deepens under the mask as my lips find his. I hear Wally gasp behind us. I smile at Dick’s expression as I pull away. His lips are moving to ask, but no words leave his mouth.
Wally’s eyes are large and surprisingly, he doesn’t run away as I grab the front of his costume and pull him into a kiss also. This time it’s Dick’s gasp I hear. When I’m finally through with Wally, I turn to leave.
"What was that?" I hear Wally ask.
The only response is the rustle of fabric. I can see Dick shrugging in my mind’s eye. Their footsteps follow me as I continue my search.
The smell of food cooking in the kitchen guides me onward. As I step in the doorway, Lian looks at me from her booster seat. Roy is cooking with his back to the door. She begins to speak, but I quickly bring my finger to my lips motioning her to keep quiet. I bend down and give her a peck on the lips. I am rewarded with a giggle.
"Just a sec sweetie. Your bacon will be done in a sec," Roy says without turning around. I creep up behind him and tap him on the shoulder. As he turns, I plant one on him before he can react. I pull back instantly when I feel him beginning to shove me away. Lian's giggling gets stronger even as her father pulls his arm back to punch me. I put my hands up in surrender. A couple of deep chuckles mingle with Lian’s. Roy turns, red faced, to look at Dick and Wally. I use this opportunity to slip from the room through the other door. At least the hardest is over with.
"What are you laughing at?" I hear Roy bellow.
Dick’s softer voice calms him. "Don’t freak. He did it to us too."
Three sets of footsteps now follow me. Roy must be carrying Lian because I can hear her asking why I had kissed her father.
They follow me towards the living quarters. Kory and Donna, who I encounter next, are heading towards the kitchen. I stop Donna first and look into her eyes before I kiss her. The kiss is deeper than the others were.
"Garth," she begins to protest, but I place my fingertips on her lips.
I turn my attention to Kory. She smiles and wraps her arms around my neck. She pulls me into the kiss first. When we finally part, I laugh at her forwardness.
"I always wanted to learn Atlantian," she says in my lyrical language. This makes me laugh as I move on in my search.
"You better’ve not enjoyed that Troy," I hear behind me.
"Shut up, Roy," is the reply.
Five sets of footsteps follow me now and there is much murmuring and speculation mixed with the sound of their steps. I walk slowly through the living quarters checking each room in my search. The next person I meet is Toni. She appears to have just gotten out of bed, and yet still looks fashionable. One day, I shall have to ask her how she achieves that.
She looks at me sleepily as I put my hands on her hips and pull her towards me. I kiss her softly only to have it returned in spades. She presses herself against me greedily and her hands reach back and squeeze my rear, which startles me out of the kiss. I can hear the chuckling behind me and I quickly push her back and walk on.
"Isn’t that illegal?" Wally asks on cue.
Toni replies just as pat, "I gotta take my shots when I can!"
Ignoring the comments behind me I head toward Grant’s room knowing that he’ll probably still be asleep. As I expected, I find a large Grant shaped lump in his bed. I pull back the covers carefully, hoping that he doesn’t sleep in the nude. He mumbles in his sleep and turns his head toward me. I gently lean down and press my lips to his. He responds in his half-sleep only to open his eyes and realize who is kissing him. He jerks away quickly to the head of the bed spouting, "DUDE!" There is riotous laughter in the doorway and I chuckle myself before pushing through the crowd continuing in my search.
"What is going on!?!" Grant asks, exasperated.
"Come on and find out," someone replies as I turn the corner towards the labs where my next teammate should be found. I am surprised to discover Garfield sitting in a little waiting area outside the labs reading a magazine.
He looks up and speaks, "Hey Garth! Vic kicked me out of the lab do you think you could...."
I interrupt his question with a kiss. His body digs down further into the seat, but his lips move together with mine with a hunger that takes me aback. His body language shows his surprise and discomfort, but again, his lips betray something else. That one kiss seemed to slow time. When I finally pulled away, Gar was panting and blushing a dark green. I felt more than surprised at the electricity and need that flooded from Gar. My eyebrows knit together in concern and the green jokester looks away. I shall have to speak to him later. I don’t want this misinterpreted, and I think he needs to talk to someone about his almost overwhelming loneliness.
I move on only slightly paying attention to the whispers behind me.
"I knew it!"
"Knew what Roy? You just shut up!"
"Roy, Gar, knock it off."
The door to the lab opens and I see Vic’s shining form bent over one of the computers. I watch my reflection as I approach him. I can see the others peeking in the doorway behind me. Vic turns to look at me as I lean down to kiss him, as I had the others. He seems nonplussed by this act. He half-heartedly returned the gesture. Once I pulled away, he stared through me for a moment before commenting; "Did you know that the chemical consistency of your saliva is different from humans?"
I smile and shake my head at him and turn to leave. The others let me pass. There is one more.
"His saliva is different?"
"Yes, it has more salt content and less of the natural bacteria than humans."
"So you’re saying he slipped you the tongue."
"How many times do we have to tell you to shut up, Roy."
"Never worked before why should it work now?"
My last teammate was not in the complex. I headed back to the communications room and pushed the button for a Titans Priority Alert. I knew that it wouldn’t talk long. Sure enough, Jessie Quick appeared after a minute.
I silenced her speed talk with a quick kiss. I pulled her close and kissed her gently, because we still did not know each other well. She was silent for half a second before the tirade began again.
"Youreallyshouldn’tusethesignalthatway.It’sunethical.IlikeyouandallGarth. Imeanyou’rereallycuteandall,butI’mnotinterestedinthatway. I’mnotintohavingaboyfriendrightnow...."
I silenced her with a hand motion and looked back at the group in front of me. Old friends and new stared at me with confusion. I suppose that it was time to explain myself.
"I know that you all are wondering. I have a very good reason for kissing you all today. Today is Cleito’s day. It is much like your leap year. It comes every six ocean cycles. It is a holiday where we Atlantians show our love for those we care about. We do this with a kiss. I have never shared this day with you because I know how humans regard such things. Some of you would not have accepted it."
I paused and looked right at Roy. I continued, "I felt guilty because you are all my family and this is an important day. I could neglect you no longer. I care about you all, old Titans and new. You are my friends and as I said, my family. If you are still angered by my actions, I understand. I just wanted you all to know how much you mean to me."
I stared at the floor unable to look into their eyes as I finished my explanation. There was utter silence. Even Lian was quieted. Suddenly, I heard a soft chuckle. I looked up as Donna approached me.
"Garth sweetie, you don’t need an excuse to kiss me."
"Me either," Kory agreed.
"Damn straight!" Toni said in a sultry voice.
"Yeah, Garth, just warn me next time!" Wally said with a chuckle.
Dick smiled and agreed, "A peck on the cheek will be fine for me, thanks."
"I don’t care what any of you say," Roy suddenly spoke up. The others grew quiet and looked at him. "No more kissing. A hug is fine. Yer gonna give my kid ideas."
The group burst into laughter and I found myself surrounded by my friends. I received many hugs and even a pat on the back from Roy. We spent a little time together just being with each other without a crisis. It was very nice. Later that afternoon, I slipped into the water feeling much more confident than when I had come out. I almost had my nerve up to go look for Arthur. It was Cleito’s Day, after all.