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 August 2001

This story takes place immediately after "Guilt" and is the fifth installment of my "Emerald Wings" series.


By Casey

"J'onn. You wanted to see me?"

Green Lantern hesitated before entering the JLA Monitor Womb. Although he and J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter, had developed a close relationship, he could tell by the "tone" of J'onn's mental summons that something was seriously bothering him. Although he hoped he was wrong, Kyle had a pretty good idea of what it was.

"Kyle", replied the Manhunter absently, his eyes never leaving the many viewing screens before him. "Thank you for coming so quickly. Give me a moment."

"Sure. Take your time."

For long moments he watched as green fingers flew elegantly across the Womb's keyboard. Those moments seemed to take forever. Finally, just as Kyle was about to suggest he wait for his colleague in the kitchen area, J'onn's chair swiveled towards him.

{Damn. So much for bribing him with cookies...}, Kyle mused.

The Manhunter sat quietly in the chair, hands clasped against his mouth, staring intently at his teammate. At this moment, he looked for all the world like the elder statesman of the League that he truly was. Of all the current members, only J'onn had been there through most of the various incarnations of the League. Even Superman and Batman respected his experience. Kyle found himself nervously shifting his feet like a schoolboy called into the principal's office.

"So, uh, what's up?"

"Walk with me, Kyle. We need to talk."

The Manhunter rose from his chair, pulling his deep blue cloak about him. The material stretched tightly across the broad expanse of his muscled shoulders as he led Kyle out of the Womb and into the adjoining hallway. Although he knew it was a ridiculous idea, Kyle wondered absently how long it would take for those arms to crush his windpipe.

"Yeah, so you said. But, what about the monitors? Aren't you on duty?"

"I have programmed them to alert me of any serious threats", he replied. He stopped and eyed Kyle curiously. "Surely you've done the same thing at times? After all, even League members must 'relieve' themselves from time to time..."

Kyle mentally slapped his forehead.

{So that's how they do it!}

"Oh, yeah, of course! I just didn't know that this visit was that important, that's all..."

Green lips struggled to resist a knowing smile. "Mm-Hmm."

Then, the seriousness of the situation reasserted itself in the Martian's mind and his demeanor returned to its former sternness. "Kyle, Wally has approached me about a potentially serious situation. A situation that involves you and, by association, the League."

{DammitDammitDammit! West, I'm gonna kill you!}

"Really? What situation is that, J'onn?" Kyle asked, a little more defensively than he had intended.

The Manhunter stopped, turned and looked at his teammate intensely. "I think you already know, Kyle." His eyes left no room for evading the issue.

"Yeah, I guess I do", Kyle replied. "What I don't know is why West had to come to you about this! Frankly, J'onn, it's really none of the League's business who I sleep with!"

"Then it's true?" J'onn asked carefully. "You and Nightwing are lovers?"

Kyle was startled to hear his friend ask about his relationship with Dick so casually, deflating his momentary anger. He nervously rubbed the back of his neck.

"Yeah. It's true."

For a moment, the Martian was silent, weighing his next words carefully. Although he knew he they had to have this conversation, he did not want to hurt his friend unnecessarily.

"Kyle, I've known Wally a long time", he began. "I have served on the League with him longer than any of the other current members save perhaps, Arthur. I suppose he sees me as some kind of mentor and I hope, as a friend, as well. Having said that, I must tell you that he is deeply troubled..."

"Why, J'onn?!? Why in the Hell would Wally be 'troubled' about me seeing Di...Nightwing? Because we're both guys?? Because I happen to be sleeping with his best friend? Is that it?" Kyle felt his anger rising. At that moment, he didn't care. "And why is the League involved? I mean, did anyone in the League question Flash when he was sleeping with every bimbo in Central City?"

"That was a completely different situation, but actually, yes, I did."

Once again, the Manhunter's words diffused Kyle's outburst. "Oh."

The Manhunter gazed out a nearby window into the void of space, smiling to himself.

"Kyle, stop and think. Dick Grayson..."

{He knows???}

" Wally's best friend. Finding the two of you in that...situation...was extremely unsettling for him."

"Yeah, well, it wasn't real pleasant for us, either! The guy should really learn how to knock!" Kyle replied, plopping down on one of the chairs in the JLA lounge. "And then, he went all ballistic on us! I swear, J'onn, I tried to reason with the guy! We both did!"

"I know. He told me."

"He did??"


J'onn turned from the magnificent view and took a seat across from Kyle.

"Kyle, Wally is not a bad person. In fact, he's one of the most decent people I know, despite his past indiscretions. However, this current situation has put him in a very uncomfortable position."

"So he came running to the League? What, he wants you all to kick me out just because he can't deal?"

J'onn's eyes narrowed slightly.

"First, as far as I know, I am the only member he has confided in" he replied tersely. "None of the others know, although I'm at a loss to explain how you've kept it from Batman..."

Kyle groaned inwardly at the thought of confronting the Dark Knight.

"...And Wally is not expecting us to oust you from the League. He is angry. He is hurt. But he also knows how much you contribute to the team. That is why he came to me; for advice on how to proceed with this."

"What did you tell him?"

The Martian Manhunter rose from his chair and resumed his study of the stars.

"I told him I would think about it and let him know what course of action I thought best. I also told him it was only fair that I speak to you about it."

"Well, we've talked", Kyle replied dismissively. "Now what? Wanna play some pool?"

J'onn felt a twinge of irritation at his colleague's antagonistic attitude. His voice became deeper, more demanding.

"Kyle, you are obviously not taking this seriously enough! I cannot in good conscience ignore a problem that could jeopardize the League's effectiveness as a team! Although I am loath to tell anyone who they can or cannot sleep with, be it man or woman, something needs to be done about this! Although it may not seem so now, this will have repercussions for the team!"

Now, Kyle was angry. He stood, facing J'onn, chest out and veins on his neck bulging.

"That's crazy! How, J'onn?? How could my sex life possibly affect the team? Unless, of course, you're referring to Wally's 18th century mindset exploding out of his head during a mission! I'm sorry, but my relationship with Nightwing is none of the JLA's business!"

"It is if two members cannot put aside their differences long enough to work together!" Now it was J'onn's turn to be angry. His eyes flashed angrily as Kyle felt himself flinch at the force of the Manhunter's response. "Have you forgotten what happened after the incident with Batman? How we all began to mistrust one another? Members taking sides, barely able to tolerate each other? If this becomes common knowledge, and even you can't guarantee that it won't, it has that same potential! I will not see the League suffer again because of secret agendas!"

Suddenly, J'onn's outburst eased, as if he realized he had gone too far. Kyle eyed him warily as J'onn took a deep breath to calm himself.

"Kyle..." he began quietly, "We have finally been able to put Batman's actions behind us and trust each other again. At the very least, surely you can see how this would affect Wally's and Bruce's concentration while working beside you?"

Kyle was silent a moment. Then, he lowered his head slightly.

"No, actually. I-I didn't think of that..."

Looking at Kyle's sagging shoulders, J'onn felt a stab of sympathy for his friend. It was obvious that this was immensely difficult for him, too.

"Do you love him?"

Kyle blinked, not sure if he heard correctly. "W-What did you say?"

"Do you love him?" the Manhunter repeated.

He raised his eyes to J'onn's and stared into the warm, caring eyes he had grown to know and trust. His mouth went dry and he felt himself trembling.

"I-I don't know. I mean, I.....God, J'onn, I think I do, but I'm just not sure..."

Looking into his friend's pleading eyes, J'onn enveloped him in a fatherly hug, his huge biceps tightening protectively around Kyle's shoulders. He felt Kyle cling to him, his body quietly trembling, as the emotions from the past few weeks came crashing out of him. At that moment, J'onn made his decision.

"I will talk to Wally", he whispered. "We'll find a way to work this out."


The reply was quiet, yet firm. Gently, J'onn pushed Kyle away and looked at him, questioningly.

"What did you say?"

"I said 'no'...", Kyle replied again, pulling away from J'onn's embrace as he rubbed his eyes with his fist. Not for the first time, J'onn could understand the boyish charm that others saw in Kyle.

"I'll go. I'll...resign from the League."

"Kyle, that's not necessary. As I said, I'll talk to Wally and..."

"No, J'onn. You're right; Wally and Bruce would both have a hard time with this." He took a deep, calming breath and stared out at the starry void. "The League means too much to me for me to let this jeopardize it. But I do have one condition..."

"What is it?" J'onn asked, stepping behind him to put a reassuring hand upon his shoulder.

Kyle turned to face his friend. "Let Jade replace me. I'll make her a ring and she can take my place. She might be a little rusty at first, but she's got the experience..."

The Manhunter paced as he thought for a moment, rubbing his chin.

"Considering that, as well as her heritage and experience with Infinity, Inc., I don't see a problem. Does she know?"

"No..", he replied. "She doesn't. And I don't want her to until I know exactly what I'm going to do. Do you think Wally would...?"

"I'm sure he wouldn't. He may be angry with you and Nightwing right now, but I'm sure that anger wouldn't extend itself to hurting Jade. As I said, he only came to me for advice, not to 'out' you, as they say. Besides, I'll be keeping an eye on him for a while."

Kyle grinned at J'onn's use of the terminology, as well as his loyalty. The man constantly amazed him.

"Good. That'll work. I'll give her the ring tonight, then."

"What will you tell her? And what shall I tell the team?"

"Tell them I...just needed a break from all this, some time to myself. They'll accept that. After all, I'm the new kid, right? You can't expect me to be as responsible as Hal was..."

J'onn could hear the sorrow and resentment in the young man's voice. They all knew that Kyle felt, at times, inferior to the memory of Hal Jordan, his predecessor, but they had hoped that as his experience grew, so would his confidence and comfort in his place on the team. Looking at him now, it seemed that any progress made in that area was suddenly dashed.

"You are far from the 'new kid' any longer, Kyle. You are an important and respected member of the Justice League. Are you sure you want to do this?"

Kyle felt a surge of pride at the Manhunter's words. Still, he knew what was best.

"Yeah, J'onn, I'm sure. I guess that in the back of my mind, after the run-in with Flash, I knew this was going to happen. The only other choice is to break it off with Nightwing and I just can't do that. I'm not sure where it's gonna lead, but leaving him isn't an option."


The two men walked silently to the teleportation chamber. As Kyle entered the tube that would transport him back to New York City, J'onn offered his hand.

"If you ever need me...", he offered.

"I know", Kyle smiled. "Thanks, J'onn, for everything."

"Goodbye, Green Lantern."

The Martian Manhunter turned to the control console and watched Kyle's form vanish in a wave of energy. Seconds later, J'onn J'onzz turned from the teleporter, wiped something from his eye, and returned to the Monitor Womb.

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