Life Changes

by Casey

DISCLAIMER: DC Comics own the characters of Dick Grayson, Nightwing, and Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern, as well as any other characters appearing in or referenced to in this story. I am only borrowing them for a short time. This story is written solely for entertainment purposes, and I am not making any money from it. If the subject or idea of M/M sex and relationships offends you, then please stop reading now. Please feel free to send feedback to  HYPERLINK mailto:Casey1122@aol.com Casey1122@aol.com November, 2001

"Life Changes"

by Casey

He found his friend sitting quietly on the sofa, legs pulled up to his bare chest, hands wrapped around a warm cup of coffee that rested on his knees. Nearby, a painting of his colleagues in the Justice League stood on an easel, unfinished. Paints and brushes were scattered haphazardly on the table next to it, except for the one brush that lay on the floor in the far corner of the room. The smear of paint trailing down the wall told him that it had been thrown there. It didn't take Nightwing's detective skills to know that something obviously wasn't right. He quietly eased himself through the window, purposely making just enough noise so as not to startle him.

"I was wondering when you'd show up..."

Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern, didn't get up as he spoke. He continued studying the tiny cracks in the wall at the other side of the room. Over the last several weeks, he had gotten used to Nightwing's surprise visits through his window, as well as the smell of his cologne, Calvin Klein's Obsession. He smiled to himself as he realized that he couldn't even name his girlfriend Jennifer's perfume...

"You didn't have to come all the way over here, bro. You could've just called me."

"I wanted to see if you were okay", replied Nightwing, helping himself to a cup of coffee from the kitchenette. Absently, he thought about how much coffee he'd been drinking lately and made a mental note to start using decaf. He walked over to stand behind Kyle, gently putting his hand on his friend's shoulder. "So? What was the big emergency that J'onn needed you for?"

Kyle felt the gentle kneading of Dick's strong fingers on his shoulder but didn't turn around, didn't stop staring at the wall as he replied, "He wanted to talk to me. About us."

Dick's heart sank slightly. He was afraid of this. {Damn it, Wally...}

"What about us?" he asked, already knowing the answer. He sat down at the other end of the sofa, near Kyle's feet, as he removed his mask and tossed it onto the coffee table.

"C'mon, RJ", Kyle smiled half-heartedly. It was the first time he had looked at Dick since he entered the apartment. "You're the great detective. Figure it out."

Dick took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his soft, dark hair. "Wally told him..."

"Yeah." Kyle sipped his coffee and resumed his scrutiny of the cracks.

"And...?" Dick asked, arching one eyebrow.

"And I resigned."

Dick's lips stopped inches away from his mug as Kyle's words hit him. He couldn't possibly have heard what he thought he'd heard.

"You did what?!?"

"Resigned. I resigned from the JLA."

"Are you kidding? Why??"

Kyle shrugged his shoulders. "'Cause it's the best thing for everyone...", he said simply.

Nightwing slammed the mug down onto the coffee table, spilling hot liquid everywhere as he exploded off the sofa and attempted to gain control of the anger threatening to erupt like a volcano. His thoughts were a jumble as he paced the floor, his hands locked together behind his neck. Donna was right, this relationship wasn't going to be easy. He knew that, was prepared for it. But did it have to get so hard so quickly? He had finally confronted his feelings for Kyle and was ready to admit them to Kyle himself. But now? After seeing what even the hint of a relationship with him would cost, how could he expect Kyle to return those feelings? Maybe he was right to deny them, after all. Maybe they weren't meant to be together.

{They made him resign from the League...!}

Finally, he lost his internal struggle and his fist went flying, putting a fairly large hole in the wall of Kyle's apartment.

"Dammit!"

Kyle jumped from his seat and grabbed his friend's shoulder.

"Whoa! Hey, calm down, man! Relax!"

"Relax?? Kyle, it's not fair!" snapped Dick as he spun to face his friend. "They have no right to do that to you! How can you be so calm about this?"

{Calm, he says. Yeah, riiiight...} Kyle smiled to himself as he remembered the 'GL Kills the Flash' scenario he had created with his ring only hours ago.

"They didn't do anything, bro, I did. It was my decision."

"Your...? But, why? I mean, I know how you feel about the JLA, man! If they didn't make you resign, then why did you? Listen, let me talk to Wally..."

"No!" The sudden anger in Kyle's voice stunned Dick. He watched as Kyle stared at him, apparently just as surprised as he was, before turning to rest his forearm on a nearby doorframe and leaning his forehead against it. "I just don't want you bringing this up to him, okay? It's done, RJ; let it rest..."

Silently, Dick walked behind him and put his hand on his shoulder, turning Kyle around to face him. It was then that he saw the slightly trembling lower lip and the desperate, sad look in his friend's eyes.

"Ahhhhh, dammit...C'mere, Picasso..." Dick whispered, gathering his lover into his arms. Kyle grabbed onto him, wrapping his arms around Dick's strong back, leaning into his embrace and trying desperately to hold back his tears. He could feel Dick's chest rise and fall against his own as his lover's hands ran soothingly through his hair. "Talk to me...", Dick whispered.

For a moment, Kyle was silent. Then, he raised his head and looked into Dick's dark blue eyes.

"Wally told J'onn, but apparently not the rest of the League...", he began. "Or, at least, J'onn doesn't think so."

"Why not?" Dick asked, trying to keep the anger at his former best friend out of his voice as he led Kyle back to the sofa.

"He said that Wally only came to him for advice on what to do about the 'situation'. Funny," Kyle grinned, "I've never been part of a 'situation' before..."

Despite his simmering anger, Nightwing grinned back at him. " I have. Trust me, you haven't missed anything."

"Oh, yeah. That thing with Huntress, right?"

"Yeah." He put his hand to his head and shook it in a 'What-Was-I-Thinking?' manner. "Next subject."

Kyle laughed. "Yeah", he said with a smirk, the tiny bit of wetness in his eyes making them sparkle. He wiped at them as he continued. "Anyway, J'onn explained how this whole thing could be detrimental to the JLA's teamwork, what with both Wally and Batman on the team. I-I hadn't even thought about that."

Dick stared into his coffee, realizing that he hadn't, either.

"So, after I calmed down a bit", Kyle continued, "I realized it was best for everyone if I just resigned. It was the only thing I could do."

"Not the only thing..." Dick said quietly, still staring into his mug.

"What do you mean?"

Dick looked up and said matter-of-factly, "You could have just told J'onn that you'd stop seeing me." He hoped desperately that his voice didn't betray how much he hated that idea.

Kyle looked down at his toes running through the rug and laughed a short, rueful laugh. When he spoke, it was barely a whisper.

"I told him that wasn't an option."

Dick looked at him, trying to understand. "But, it would've kept you in the League..."

"Maybe", Kyle replied, looking up at his friend seriously. "But it wouldn't have been worth it."

Dick felt his heart melt. "Kyle..."

Before he could finish, he was interrupted by Kyle's strong hands upon his shoulders.

"Look, bro, I know you're not the mushy, emotional type. I get that. But I am, and I think we could have something really great here, if we work on it. Just give me a chance to..."

Dick placed two fingers gently upon his lips. "Kyle, shut up and let me talk for a minute, okay?" He grinned when Kyle replied with a dumbfounded nod. Satisfied, Dick stood and began to absently admire the books on Kyle's bookshelf, specifically his collection of Hardy Boys books.

"For weeks now", Dick continued, "I've been seeing you, sleeping with you, and it's been great, really great." He smiled and blushed slightly at the memories of long, passionate nights. "But, as you've just found out, this relationship of ours could have some pretty serious repercussions. It's one of the things I've been afraid of. I...I wasn't sure that either of us was ready for them."

"But..." Kyle began. Dick spared him a stern look and the words froze in his throat. The man was definitely trained by Batman, all right. "Okay. Sorry."

Trying to stifle a grin, Dick continued. "More importantly, I wasn't sure that I was ready for them. It's no big secret that I'm not the best when it comes to relationships...."

"Uh, D'uh!"

Again, the look.

"Well, it's true..." Kyle sulked.

"Anywaaay...Starfire and I ended in disaster, Babs is still keeping me at a safe distance, and I won't even get into my 'marriage'! Those things tend to scare a guy, y'know? So, for weeks I've been avoiding thinking about how I feel about you, trying to keep it 'just sex'....I-I can't do that anymore."

He walked over to stand in front of Kyle, whose face was a mixture of confusion and hopefulness.

"What I'm trying to say, Kyle, is that I do care about you. A lot. And, if you're willing to see where this relationship goes and deal with the consequences, then I definitely want to, too."

Kyle didn't say a word. He looked down thoughtfully at his feet, flexing his toes, and Dick's heart sank. Maybe he was wrong? Maybe, somehow, he had misinterpreted his lover's feelings all this time? But, Kyle did resign from the League rather than give him up, didn't he? That's what he said...But maybe he didn't want to anger Dick by telling him the truth, that the League really had kicked him out? God, what an idiot he was. A few mushy, intimate moments after sex, some things said in the aftermath of passion, and right away he thinks the guy's in love with him! What a jerk.

Suddenly, Kyle grinned up at him and bounded off the sofa, bowling him over backwards. The two of them tumbled over the coffee table and landed with a thud on the floor. In seconds, Kyle's lips were covering his own in an intense kiss. After a moment, the shock wore off and Dick returned his lover's fervor, exploring the soft, probing tongue with his own as his hands roamed the bare, muscled back of the man on top of him. The kiss was deep and long, silently conveying the long-denied happiness and love that these two shared in their hearts. Eventually they parted, their chests heaving as they stared breathlessly into each other's eyes.

"Why is it that, when I'm with you, we usually end up on the floor?" Dick teased.

"Is that a complaint?"

"Mmmmmm, no. Not really." Dick smiled. "I just think we might need a little more variety, that's all."

Kyle laughed. "C'mere, stud, and I'll show you variety...!"

The kiss resumed and eventually the two men turned to more passionate, lustful pursuits. In the morning, they would wake in Kyle's bed, completely content in their new relationship. If anyone else had a problem with it, they would deal with it together. As friends, and as lovers. At least, that was the plan...

*-*-*

end


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