One More Time

by Casey

DISCLAIMER: The characters in this story do not belong to me, they belong to DC. I am not making any money from this, merely writing it for fun and, hopefully, enjoyment. The story contains explicit m/m sex, so if you are bothered by that or are not of legal age to read it, please stop now. I would like to thank both Dannell and 'Rith for being so helpful and supportive. You ladies are the best! This is a sequel to my story "Switching", and takes place a few months later, after Kyle's breakup with Jade. Please feel free to e-mail me at Casey1122@aol.com. September, 2000.




No matter what time of day or night, there is always something happening in the city called Manhattan. Even in the late night hours, when most people are fast asleep, you will find others roaming the city streets or shadowed alleys. The city is home for many who prefer the dark, quiet hours to the glaring brightness of daylight. Appearances to the contrary, Kyle Rayner is not one of them.....

*Damn! I just can't think of anything!*

Arching his broad back as he stands, Kyle leaves the empty canvas in front of him and walks to the tiny kitchenette in his small apartment. He adjusts the red baseball cap on his head, the brim turned behind him, and pours himself a cup of hot coffee. It is his fourth cup in the last hour.

"Man", he says, rubbing the stiff muscles in the back of his neck,"I never thought this job was gonna be this tough. I don't know what's wrong with me....."

Taking long, hungry gulps, he jumps slightly as he feels the tiny drops of warmth seep out the corners of his mouth, down his chin and onto his naked chest. He grins ruefully as he notices the bright splotches of paint on his tanned skin.

"Great, Rayner. Very nice. How old are you, three?", he chides himself.

With a long sigh, he grabs a handtowel and wipes the coffee off, dull fire shooting through him as he accidentally rubs the soft towel against his left nipple. Coffee in one hand and the towel in the other, Kyle's bare feet pad back across the tiled floor to the lush carpet in the living area beyond. Reaching the canvas, he puts the mug down on a nearby snack table and closes his eyes, rolling his head on his shoulders.

"Man, maybe I should just give it up for tonight. I've still got a couple of days 'til deadline. I mean, look at me; I'm even starting to talk to myself!"

"Well, at least you realize you have a problem......"

Spinning towards the direction of the deep voice, Kyle is startled to see a young man, dressed in blue and black spandex, sitting on the windowsill, grinning. A cool summer breeze from the open window blows his dark hair across his masked eyes.

"Jeez, Nightwing! You scared the hell outta me!"

"Sorry, Kyle. It's one of those things I picked up from hanging out with the wrong people...."

"Yeah, I guess. How is Batman, anyway?"

Nightwing grins and shrugs, then replies. "He's.......Batman."

Kyle smiles. Having worked closely with The Batman in the JLA, he knows exactly what his friend means.

"Yeah, I guess that says it all, huh? So, what brings you to New York, man?"

"Well, actually, I was hoping we could talk.....", Nightwing replies, his firm, lean body moving catlike from the window to the sofa across the room. He removes his mask and tosses it on a nearby coffee table while Kyle's eyes admire the way his round bubble-butt moves beneath the spandex as he walks. Dick turns and motions towards the sofa.

"Mind if I sit down?"

"'Course not. Mi Casa, Su Casa, dude. Want some coffee?"

"No, thanks", answers Nightwing, running his hand through his jet-black hair. "I've been having enough trouble sleeping as it is...."

"Problems? Listen, man, if there's somethin' I can help you with, just ask. I know how hard the Bat rides you guys sometimes......"

Dick grins and shakes his head as he leans back into the plush pillows, laying his left arm on the armrest. Kyle watches his friend's muscles move and stretch, chest flexing as he gets comfortable.

"No, it's not him, Kyle. We've actually been getting along pretty well, lately."

Kyle hops up on the stool next to his canvas, and Dick cannot help but notice how his cock and balls bounce beneath the grey sweatpants. Subconsciously adjusting his crotch, Kyle reaches over and picks up the steaming coffee cup, bicep bulging as he lifts it to his lips.

"Really? That's cool. So, what did you want to talk about, then?"

Nightwing's eyes take in the sight before him. Kyle is sitting, barechested and barefoot, toes curled around the bottom rung of the stool. The palms of both hands pressing down on top of his thighs, just above his knees, elbows facing outward, showing off his broad shoulders, hard biceps and muscular chest perfectly. The way his cock is bulging out the front of his sweats, it's obvious there are no briefs underneath. He notices the splotches of paint on the tanned skin of Kyle's chest and abs, and starts smiling, trying unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh. Kyle looks at him, confused.

"Ummm, Dick? You okay? Don't tell me you've finally lost it, dude...."

Regaining his composure, Nightwing leans forward and rests his elbows on his knees.

"I'm sorry, Kyle. It's just.........Man, you really should try getting some paint on the canvas!"

Following a nod of Dick's head, Kyle looks down at the multi-colored paint smeared on his torso. He grins, sheepishly.

"Wha.....? Oh, yeah. Heh. I, um, get kinda sloppy when I paint, sometimes........I was just thinkin' about jumpin' in the shower when you came in..."

"Go ahead, I've got time. I think all the bad guys took the night off because of this heat, anyway."

For a moment, their eyes lock, each young man looking intently at the other. Kyle's mind flashes back to a night, months ago, when he and Dick became closer than he ever dreamed they would.......

"Okay, if you're sure. Won't take me long....", he says as he gets off the stool and walks slowly towards his friend. He stops squarely in front of Dick, absently running his left hand up and down his bare chest and six-pack abs. His eyes hungrily take in the tightly-muscled, perfectly formed body before him. "..........unless, of course, you wanna join me........"

Nightwing looks up into Kyle's eyes. He is suddenly aware of an electric shock travelling up from his groin and throughout his body. Slowly moving his eyes up and down the half-nude body of his friend, he admires Kyle's tanned, athletic physique. When Dick's mental inspection is complete, and their eyes meet again, there is an undeniable lust between them. Dick even subconsciuosly licks his lips slightly as he stands.

"Ahem.....Listen, Kyle, maybe we should wait to talk about this."

Kyle stares at his friend, obviously puzzled. "Why? What's wrong, Dick? You can't tell me you don't like what you're seeing, man......."

"It...It's not that", replies Nightwing, feeling even warmer inside his spandex than he did before he entered the apartment.

"Then.......", Kyle asks, scratching his head in that little-boy-lost look that he does so well, "what is it?"

"Kyle, it's...it's Donna."

"What? Donna?? What does she have to do with this, dude?"

Dick turns away with an effort, letting out a long puff of air.

"Kyle, Donna and I have known each other a long time. She's my best friend, man. She told me that you guys have been talking again lately, and if she ever found out about us....what we did....."

Once again, the hand through the hair.

"That's why I wanted to talk to you. If you're getting back together with Donna, we've gotta make sure she doesn't find out what happened between us, and that it never happens again. I won't let her get hurt again, Kyle."

Kyle throws up his hands.

"Whoa! Whoa! First of all, Donna and I are talking, yeah, but that's it. I don't know where it's gonna end up, but for now, we're only talking, nothing more."

Dick watches in unabashed admiration as the buff, sexy body of his friend slowly moves closer.

"Now, if that's settled, can we continue?", Kyle asks, smiling.

"Hold it, Romeo", Dick grins back, putting his hand against the bare, paint-smeared chest in front of him. "What about Jade? I wouldn't want to hurt her, either. She's a good kid."

"Boy, would I like to let her hear you call her a 'kid'! Dick, Jen....Jade...and I are over. She's made it clear that she doesn't want to have anything to do with me anymore...."

Dick notices a tinge of sadness creep into his friend's eyes,and then it is Kyle who turns away.

"Maybe you're right. Maybe this isn't a good idea....."

A wave of guilt crashes over Nightwing. Obviously, the woman meant a lot to his friend, and bringing her up brought back the hurt Kyle must have felt over their break-up.

*Way to go, Grayson. Open mouth, insert foot......*, thinks Dick.

The man called Green Lantern feels a strong, gloved hand on his shoulder, gently pulling on it. As he turns, Dick's face is apologetic.

"Kyle, I'm sorry. I honestly didn't know what was going on with you two....."

"Hey, it's cool, man. Don't worry about it."

For long seconds, the two young men stand there, staring into each other's eyes. Then, Nightwing turns and bends down to retrieve his mask.

"I....guess I'll go, then."

Suddenly, two muscular arms wrap themselves around him from behind, sliding up his torso to caress his chest. A deep, familiar voice whispers in his right ear.

"Do you really want to?"

Wet lips tug at his earlobe. A tongue licks at his neck. Strong hands run up and down his costumed chest as his ass feels something hard and throbbing press against it.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............No. No, I don't......."

He turns, and Kyle's arms slide down to rest at his sides. Dick takes a long look at his friend, eyes moving down and admiring every inch of his body. As Kyle stands in his typically relaxed, almost-cocky way, Dick feels an electricity shoot through his body.

*Damn, he's gorgeous....*

Kyle grins. "Well? Did I pass inspection?"

"Still no tan lines?", Dick grins back.

"Nope."

"Mmmmmmmmm.....Yeah. I guess you'll do."

The two men quickly close the space between them, wrapping their arms around each other as their lips meet, tongues plunging into each other's mouth. Their hands glide over each other's muscular bodies, massaging and rubbing each tight muscle, as their lips and tongues explore each other's mouths. When they finally run out of air they seperate, both chests heaving.

"Man, you really know how to cheer a guy up.", smiles Kyle. "There's just one problem........"

For a moment, Dick is taken aback. "What is it?"

"You have way too much spandex on, bro....", grins Kyle sexily.

Dick chuckles slightly. "Oh, yeah? Think we should do something about that?"

"Oh, definitely........"

Unfastening the back, Kyle slowly slides the dark costume off his friend's broad shoulders, down over his bulging biceps. He pauses a moment to admire the smooth, muscular chest that is slowly being revealed underneath the skintight spandex. Dick's arms are practically pinned to his side by the rolled fabric that is pulled tight across his forearms and stomach. Realizing how restricted his friend is, Kyle grins evilly and bends down, flicking his tongue at now-erect nipples.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmm....Hey, that's not fair.....!"

Kyle's wet tongue begins to make long, sweeping circles around the gymnast's chest, mixing his saliva with the thin sheen of sweat covering the smooth skin. Dick looks down and admires the broad, muscled back that is displayed before him, then at the tight, rounded ass covered by the clinging cotton sweats. He feels Kyle's lips move up to the nape of his neck as fingers play with his hardened nipples.

"H-Hey.....Didn't you say something about.....mmmmmm.....a shower?", Dick asks, breathlessly.

Kyle removes his face from his friend's neck, his lips and chin glistening with saliva and a playful, satisfied smile on his face.

"Yeah, I did, didn't I? But first, let's take care of this......."

A burst of green energy, and Dick's costume suddenly vanishes, leaving him comlpetely naked in front of his buddy. He tries to move, but finds his arms and legs shackled by glowing green bands of energy.

"Hey!"

"Relax, Dick. I'm just havin' a little fun, that's all. Now, c'mon. Let's hit the showers...."

Nightwing feels himself being lifted of the floor and carried on a green cot, his arms and legs still restrained by the glowing energy. Then, Kyle smiles wickedly as he begins running his strong hands all over the athletic body on display before him, knowing that Dick is unable to stop him.

"Having fun?", asks Dick with a rueful grin.

"Oh, Hell, yeah!", Kyle smiles back, intentionally sliding the palm of his hand over his friend's growing erection.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..........You realize that you are definitely gonna pay for this, right?", asks Dick, smiling.

"Promises, promises.....", returns Kyle.

A pointed index finger lightly runs across Dick's six-pack abs, tracing every muscle. Then, it is replaced by a probing, wet tongue that slides slowly over each ripple, causing Dick to bite his lower lip to keep from moaning, refusing to give his buddy the satisfaction. Then, the tongue is joined by two soft, moist lips as Kyle begins to savagely lick, kiss and suck Dick's belly-button, covering his friend's smooth naval with saliva. The attack on one of his most sensitive areas is more than Dick can stand, and he moans loudly, despite himself.

"Unnnnnnnhhhhhhhhh!.....Oh, you are so gonna....mmmmmmmmmm.......pay, Rayner!"

Kyle's only response is a soft chuckle that sends a buzz through Dick's naval and down to his crotch. As he continues to slobber over Dick's belly-button, a hand unintentionally grazes against Dick's ribs, causing his entire body to tense and the breath to catch in his throat. Kyle notices the reaction, and intentionally does it again, never lifting his head, but this time letting his fingers linger a moment or two. Again, the tightening of his muscles, only this time a tiny....giggle?....as well. Then, he glances up at his friend's naked body and notices how the tight biceps and chest muscles strain against the glowing green bonds. The sight makes him even more aroused.

*No way!*, Kyle thinks. *Dick's....ticklish??? This is too good to be true!*

With a wicked gleam in his eyes, Kyle uses his ring to create tiny feathers that begin to slowly stroke Dick's ribs, teasing them.

"No....Oh, no!....Kyle, please...ha ha...Please...heh heh....don't!"

The sound of the usually serious, take-charge Nightwing laughing and begging him to stop sends a rush through Kyle's groin, increasing his desire for the tightly-muscled, prone body lying before him. He forgets everything but the lustful feelings he has for his friend, and the burning desire to touch and pleasure him. As the feathers continue to elicit nervous laughter, Kyle begins to devour Dick's body with his mouth and hands. Soft lips suck gently on an earlobe.......butterfly kisses run down the sensitive neck......then across the shoulders and collarbone.....the wet tongue licks sensuously at pointed nipples before teeth bite gently into them.......then soft, wet lips slowly make their way down the middle of his chest to the six pack abs.........

"Mmmmmmmm.......Kyle....heh heh........Let me up, man........This isn't.....ha ha!....fair!"

Without stopping his oral attack on Dick's body, Kyle answers.

"Only if you....mmmmmmm.....ask nice.....", he grins, slowly kissing each abdominal muscle.

"Oooohhhhhhhhhh...........Okay, okay......Please?"

"Nope."

"Aw, c'mon!", Dick smiles. "Pretty please?"

"Wellllllll......maybe....."

"Aargh!!! With a blowjob on top???"

Kyle immediately stops, his head popping up from Dick's belly, a silly grin on his face. Dick smiles at the sight of saliva sloppily smeared all over his attacker's chin and lips. He can only imagine what his own abs look like!

"Well?", asks Dick, still slightly breathless from the tickling.

"Deal!", answers Kyle, already dissolving the emerald energy-cot. Nightwing falls gracefully to the floor, easily landing on his feet. It takes him all of a second to get his bearings before he flings himself headlong into Kyle, tackling him to the floor.

"Hey!!!"

The two roll around on the hardwood floor, sweating bodies moving against each other. It doesn't take long for the more experienced Nightwing to gain the upper hand and pin his buddy to the floor. With a determined grin, Dick uses his strong leg muscles to slide Kyle' sweats off his hips and down to his ankles. It only takes Kyle a second to kick them the rest of the way off, leaving them both naked.

"Better?", he asks breathlessly.

"Yeah. A lot.", Dick replies with a smile.

They kiss, then, a long, lingering, hungry kiss. Thoughts of the various women in their lives, and the cares of the world outside, are gone now. All that remains is their almost animal lust for each other. A lust they find themselves, at this particular moment, more than willing to give into.

Hours later, he lies in his bed, propped up on his elbow, staring at the moonlight that falls upon his lover's bare chest. Without thinking, he reaches over and runs a gentle finger down the middle of his torso. A satisfied moan and slight movement is all it takes for him to quickly remove it. He doesn't want his lover to wake and guess how he truly feels about him. After all, it was understood that it was only sex between them. No emotional strings attached, just pure, animal lust. It wouldn't do for Kyle Rayner to wake up and find Dick Grayson staring at him like some puppy-eyed schoolgirl. Besides the fact that Kyle would probably freak, it would definitely.... complicate things.

Kyle shifts in his sleep, rolling over to drop a muscled arm across Dick's naked hip. Dick smiles as he feels Kyle's long fingers make tiny circles on his skin.

*Oh, yeah. Definitely complicate things....*, he thinks. With a deep sigh, he thinks about all the lives a relationship with Kyle would affect. Babs, Tim, Donna definitely!, the other Titans, even Helena. Of course, there's also the possibility that this is just some kind of compensation for Garth's marriage to Dolphin. Maybe what he's feeling for Kyle is actually his feelings for Garth transferred to a more.... accessible....guy? Could he possibly be that unaware of himself, of his emotions?

*Face it, Grayson. If you'd had the balls to tell Garth how you really felt all along, this wouldn't even be an issue now. One way or the other, you'd know where you stand with him. But, I guess getting married to his mentor's former lover is a pretty good indication. The man's definitely not interested in a relationship with a guy, but Kyle...Kyle's obviously interested.... *

Deep brown eyes suddenly flutter open, followed by an easy smile.

"Hey."

"Hey yourself. Sleep okay?"

Kyle pulls himself into a sitting position, biceps flexing as he does. He arches his back and stretches as Dick watches appreciatively. When he answers, he is running his hand through his tousled, dark hair in that "little boy" way that he does so well.

"Mmmmmmm, yeah, actually, I did. It's weird. Ever since I was a kid, I've had trouble sleeping in strange beds, but not here, not in....yours."

Their eyes meet, and they instinctively kiss, their mouths devouring each other's. Long seconds later, they part, both chests heaving breathlessly. Now, it is Kyle's turn to stare at his lover's body, playfully running his long fingers through soft, dark hair. As his body relaxes, Dick remembers last night's lovemaking. It had begun in Kyle's apartment in New York, but, sometime during the night, Kyle had used his ring to fly them through the night sky to Dick's place. Dick knows he will never forget waking to the feeling of Kyle's mouth on his balls, and seeing nothing but the clear, star-filled sky above him. He had been with many women in his life, exotic and adventurous women, but none of them had ever made love to him on a glowing green mattress in the sky. Suddenly feeling very content, Dick closes his eyes and moans softly.

"Like that?", asks Kyle, smiling as if he'd accomplished some great feat.

"Uh-Huh", smiles Dick.

Emboldened by his friend's approval, Kyle begins to lay soft kisses on the handsome face. Temples, eyelids and finally the tip of his nose are covered in butterfly kisses, causing Dick to begin to laugh.

"What are you up to, Rayner?"

"Moi? Nothing! I am absolutely shocked and appalled that you would think I am up to something!"

More laughter, but now his eyes are wide open, staring up at Kyle with an expectant look.

"Riiiight. C'mon, what d'you want?"

"Wellllll.... Maybe a little of this....?"

A kiss on Dick's left shoulder.

"Or this....?"

Another, this time on his nipple.

"Or maybe this....?"

A series of them, slowly running down his ripped abdomen.

"Okay, okay!", Dick laughs. "I get the point, man!"

"Oh, no, bro! THIS is the point!"

Suddenly, Kyle slides his soft, full lips over the head of Dick's cock, causing a mixture of laughter and moans from his lover.

"Ohhhh, God! Kyle...that feels...that feels...."

"DISGUSTING!"

At the familiar voice, Dick's eyes immediately snap open. Kyle's do, too, although he neglects to take his mouth off Dick's cock.

The Flash stands in the doorway, obviously furious at what he sees. His best friend, Dick Grayson, with his cock in the mouth of another so-called friend and teammate, Kyle Rayner. This is not the welcome he expected when he ran over here to talk to Dick.

"Dick, what the Hell is goin' on here?!?"

"Wally! Where'd you come from?" asks Kyle after suddenly remembering the softening member in his mouth and letting it drop. The tiny smack it makes against Dick's naked thigh sounds for all the world like a thunderclap.

"I came here to get some advice from my best friend, Rayner, but I can see he's obviously occupied!" answers Flash hotly. "Dammit, Dick, what's this kid done to you?"

"Done to....?!? What's that s'posed to mean?" asks Kyle, slowly rising from the bed and wrapping the sheet around his waist. With no sheet left to cover himself, Dick quickly grabs a pair of sweatpants from his dresser drawer and puts them on.

"You know damn well what I mean! I should have known you'd pull something like this! All this time you've pretended to be my friend, and all you've been doing is using me to get closer to Dick.... literally!"

A super-fast punch knocks Kyle across the bed.

"Wally! Stop!", cries Dick. "It's not like that!"

Without warning, The Flash appears at Dick's side, gently shaking his shoulders.

"C'mon, Dick! You're tougher than this! Whatever his ring's done to you, you can snap out of it, I know you can! Don't let him make you into something you're not, man!"

Suddenly, there is a burst of green light from behind the bed and Kyle stands, clad in his Green Lantern uniform and bristling with energy. "Okay, that's it, West!"

Bands of green envelope The Flash, pinning his arms to his side.

"First of all, I'm not forcing him to do anything he doesn't want to do! Second, whatever we are doing is none of your damn business!"

"Yeah, right!", replies Flash. Spinning furiously, he vibrates through the bonds, causing them to explode. The two heroes are so engrossed in their feud that neither of them sees the force of the blast throw Dick Grayson across the room. "Dick isn't gay, Kyle, no matter what your libido might prefer! I've known him since we were kids, and he's as normal as I am!"

Grabbing Green Lantern's arm, Flash swings him backwards into a wall. Only Kyle's foresight in creating a personal forcefield saves him from serious injury.

"Normal, huh? I've got news for you, Speedy; it's the year 2000! The word ‘normal' is completely relative these days!" A barrage of emerald arrows flies through the apartment, easily avoided by the fastest man alive. "And I wouldn't talk about libidos, if I were you! Aren't you the guy who slept with half the women in Central City?"

"And all of them were more than willing, Greenie! I didn't have to use any magic rings to get them into my bed!"

"Unhhh....."

Both heroes turn at the sound, and are shocked to see Dick lying sprawled in a corner, bloody and moaning. "Dick!", they yell in unison. In a second, Wally is at his side.

"Rayner, this is all your fault! If anything happens to him..."

"MY fault?!? You're the ass that barged in here looking for a fight! You..."

There is a sudden knock at the door. "Dick? Are y'alright? What in God's name is goin' on in there? It sounds like World War III!"

"Oh, no...Clancy....", whispers Dick, rubbing his head.

"Now see what you've done, you moron? That's his landlady!"

"Y'know, I've had enough of being blamed for this whole thing!", answers Kyle as a green beam scans Dick's body. "Dick's gonna be fine! What d'you say we finish this outside?"

"Fine with me!", answers Flash.

In seconds, the two are gone, having left the apartment through an open window and leaving Dick to deal with Clancy.

"Gee, thanks, guys....you jerks....", he whispers.

On a nearby rooftop, the battle continues.

"I always knew you were straight-laced, man, but I never knew you were such a bigot!"

A series of green, glowing bear traps appear in the Flash's path, but he zigzags around each one.

"Look, I have nothing against gay people.", he replies. "My friend The Piper is gay, AND he's an ex-con to boot!"

"Aw, man, spare me the 'One-of-my-best-friends-is-gay' routine, okay? You might be able to put aside your hang-ups for a visit with the Piper, but when it comes to Dick or me, anyone you're really close to, then that's a different story, isn't it?"

"Close to you?? Don't kid yourself, Greenie! We're teammates in the League, nothing more. And, when I get through telling them what you pulled with Dick, we won't even be that!"

At the suggestion of his expulsion from the League, Kyle's anger explodes. Deep down, he knows that they would need more cause than this, but the fact that Wally even brought it up stings him. The League is like a family to him. He won't lose another one.

A group of green Richard Simmons lookalikes suddenly appears on the roof, surrounding and charging Wally. They drag him down by sheer weight of numbers, covering him and pinning him to the ground.

"No matter what you think, West, I didn't cast any spells on Dick! He was with me of his own, free will! And, if anybody should be drummed out of the League, it's you! Exactly how many people have you refused to save because they were in a gay bar on Christopher Street? Or they were at the beach with their male lovers? The League is supposed to represent all people, Wally, not just the ones you pick and choose!"

Below him, the glowing green mass of bodies begins to vibrate. Faster and faster, they shake until they begin to dissipate, green tendrils floating away on the breeze. One of Wally West's powers is the ability to imbue other objects with speed, an ability he has used to speed up the decomposition of Kyle's ring constructs. In seconds, he is up and running to rip up an antennae wire.

"...I..."

Swirling the wire above his head like a lariat, he launches it into the air, snagging Green Lantern's ankle.

"...am..."

Yanking quickly on the wire, he pulls Kyle easily down to the roof.

"...not..."

A series of devastating super-fast punches sends Kyle reeling, causing him to slam into a nearby chimney.

"...prejudiced!"

Racing over to his stunned teammate, Flash grabs him by the front of his uniform, ready to deliver another series of blows. He stops at the sight of the large shadow that falls across Kyle's face.

"Stop it, Wally. That's enough."

The Flash looks up from the battered form of Green Lantern to see Nightwing, in full costume with batons in hand, standing atop the edge of the roof. The expression on his face is deeply serious, reminding Wally too much of his friend's dark mentor.

"Dick! You're okay!"

"Relatively. Clancy probably thinks I'm a nut for bugging out while she went to get the police, but she'll get over it. She always does."

Solemnly, Nightwing looks down at the moaning Kyle, then back at the Flash. "Let him go, Wally."

"Look, Dick, maybe I overreacted, but after what he did to you, controlling you with that damn ring of his like that...!"

Nightwing walks quietly over to his best friend and puts his hand on his shoulder.

"He didn't control me. I wanted to do it. Kyle didn't do anything to me. "

"What?!? But...You're not gay! You can't be!"

"Why not?" Dick asks simply.

"I-I would've known!" he replies, letting Kyle slide to the ground. "All those years together in the Titans, all the...things we've shared and done together! "

"Look, Wally, you're one of my best friends, but you've always had a tendency to see people in black-and-white terms. You've always expected us to act exactly the way you viewed us. Me, Kyle, Roy, Donna...My God, Wally, look at what you cost Donna!"

Green Lantern stands, somewhat shakily, and moves quietly to Nightwing's side.

"What d'you mean 'what I cost her'??", rages Flash. "If it wasn't for me, she wouldn't even exist right now!"

"That's true, and I'm more grateful for that than you know. But think, Wally. Has Donna truly been herself since she came back? Hasn't she been searching for something that's missing? The things that make her the fun, vibrant, complicated, and complete woman that she used to be?"

"She's just confused," answers Wally, looking at his feet, "going through a rough time. You should know that, man! What with Terry and her son, Dark Angel...."

"It's not just that, Wally. Did you know that, when we used to hang out in the Tower, Donna, Kory and I went skinny-dipping in the pool?"

"Donna???? You're kidding! I...."

"Quiet, Kyle."

"Oh. Sorry."

Wally stands dumbfounded. "You're telling me that you and Donna.....? No way! Kory, yeah, definitely, but you two were waaaay too uptight for stuff like that! And Donna's not the type for anything that kinky!"

"That's because you never acknowledged those sides of her! Not in your mind, at least! To you, she's the sweet, chaste, motherly type...."

"Oh, and you're saying she's not all those things?"

"Of course she is! But that's not all of it! Don't you see? None of us are that simple! We've all got facets to our personalities that you may not like or agree with, but you have to acknowledge them!"

The Flash is silent, contemplating what he has just heard as Nightwing places a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

"Look, Wally, you might not like the idea of me being with Kyle, but I am going to be with him, and not because he's controlling me with his ring, either. I want to be with him. I just hope that doesn't change things between us."

Wally West looks up into the dark blue eyes of his best friend, a man he would have given his life for, a man he thought he knew inside and out. Looking into those eyes now, all he feels is resentment and disappointment.

"It does change things, Dick. It changes everything. You say that Kyle's not controlling you? Fine. Then, that just means that all these years you've been lying to me, man. Me. Your supposed ‘Best Friend'. And besides that, I find out now that you resent the way I helped bring Donna back, yet you never said a word about it! How the Hell d'you expect me to trust you, man? How?"

"Wally, I..."

"No, Nightwing. No more. You have something to say, say it to your lover. I'm outta here."

And with that, the Flash is gone.

Kyle watches Dick's head slump, and his shaking hands tighten into fists.

"You okay?"

Taking a deep breath, Dick turns to face his friend, head held high.

"Yeah. I'm fine. Those things needed to be said."

"Did you mean them?"

"What? Of course I did, why?"

"Well, I just think it's a little presumptuous of you t'say that you're gonna be with me, when I might not even want your sorry butt...!", Kyle answers with a smirk.

Dick grins back. "You like my sorry butt, and you know it."

Kyle wraps his arms around Nightwing, sliding his strong hands to Dick's rounded bubble-butt.

"Yeah, I've gotta admit, you do have a nice butt", he smiles.

"Coming from an ass like you, that's saying a lot", Dick smiles back.

"Hey! Whaddayou mean ‘an ass like you'?? That whole drama scene was not my fault, Dick! I wasn't the one who started it! He was...."

"Kyle?"

"Yeah?"

"Shut up and kiss me, okay?"

Kyle grins and leans closer. The two men kiss, enjoying the closeness of each other's bodies and hearts. They are not fools. They each know there will be trying times ahead for both of them, and difficult situations they must deal with. The League, The Titans, Clancy. Still, at this particular moment, on this grimy rooftop, they are content.

*-*-*

end


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