title: Nowhere home
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Garth
rating: Teen
warnings: naked swimming
summary: Dick looks for a place to stay. (AU)
notes: a slice of life that seems out of context. =/ um, but imagining them in the "real world" whatever the f@#$ that is...
also, fairly sure this story is crap, so read at your own risk...

The snow stuck to the skinny limbs of the tree, but not to the sidewalk. At this hour, there could only be one person at the door, though it had been over a year since the last time he had come. He stood in the doorway, holding open the screen, patiently waiting for Garth to open the door, but he didn't lift his head when Garth did.

"Sorry," he said blankly.

There were innumerable things for which that could be offered, but it was irrelevant. "Come on in." He stepped aside to give Dick room, but Dick remained just as he was.

"Do you... miss her?"

There was no right or wrong answer to that, or anything that could possibly be construed as a response. "It's cold, Dick. Come inside."

Dick lifted his head, and looked Garth in the eye. Dick's own eyes were bloodshot, and he looked pale. "I should have come by sooner. Fuck. You should tell me to fuck off."

Garth smiled just a little. "That doesn't really sound like something that I say, however."

"You're too nice," Dick sighed, walking in. He brushed against Garth slightly as he did. "What about the baby? ...I don't remember his name..."

Garth winced. Dick was more politic than this, although he tended to be rather straightforward. "It's been a long time, Dick. What can I do for you?"

Dick watched him, sharply. "Wanna go for a swim?"

Raising an eyebrow, Garth waited.

Dick looked away. "I feel like... stretching out, doing something... physical."

He wished that didn't make his heart skip a beat, didn't make his skin tingle. Wished it didn't make him just a bit happy to have Dick in his home again.

They went downstairs to the pool. It was still the same as the last time Dick was here, so there was nothing for them to say. Dick dumped his clothes on the floor in front of the shelves for changing. "I don't have a suit. That's ok, right?"

Garth looked away, smiling softly. "You can borrow one of mine."

"True," he said, stripping to his skin, "but you don't mind, do you?"

"Of course not," Garth said softly. He was hardly immodest, but he was comfortable in his own skin, and he wasn't embarrassed by other's nudity. Dick's nudity, though...

He jumped into the water first, instinct guiding him despite the years of retirement. He was halfway across the pool when he felt Dick enter the water.

They didn't really have an objective to the exercise, nor did they need to have one. For Garth, pushing through the water was as natural as breathing, almost. He had always dreamed of being a fish, of being able to go under the surface, and not come up for air, ever again.

Dick was athletic, perfect, but he wasn't a swimmer. He loafed through the water with the sort of casual playfulness Garth might have had in gym. It gave Garth a chance to watch Dick, to watch his body move. Gave him a chance to think.

After about an hour, Dick hitched his arms on the side of the pool, and pushed his hair out of his face. He was breathing heavily, the water beading on his skin. He looked at Garth, his face on his arms. "Do you mind if I stay the night?"

Garth looked into Dick's eyes, the color of water, deep, cold water. Of course he didn't mind. He reached across the water, and put his hand on Dick's shoulder. "How long will you want to stay?"

Dick put his forehead down on his arms. "Well, I'm not going back home for a while. So I guess it depends on how long you can put up with me."

"That could be a long time," Garth joked weakly.

"I don't deserve you," Dick looked away.

"No, probably not," Garth agreed with a sigh. He wanted to ask about a million questions, but there were no answers, he knew. "What about Kory?"

He didn't answer right away. "I never liked her. Your wife. I couldn't come by and pretend to be upset or caring when I was just as happy to see her gone. I was jealous."

The water thickened and his belly shifted. "Jealous. That's nice. What right..." He bit off everything that he was going to say, everything that he was thinking. He pulled himself out of the water, and strolled over to where the towels were. "It was your choice, if I remember correctly. You had a career, dreams, your face on the Wheaties box, and a deal with Nike, and you couldn't risk it, right? Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, because it was ten years ago."

Dick was watching him, just floating in the water. "Can't apologize now. Can I? It's too late. Have to go forward. You said that. When you introduced me to Kory."

Garth smiled softly, bitterly, and turned to face Dick, letting the towel fall to his side. "Speaking of jealousy... Why are you here, Dick? What happened?"

"It's the first day of spring," Dick sighed. "Snowing on the first day of spring. I can't wait for it to get warmer... She had a miscarriage, Garth. Three years ago. It's not... it's not the only thing, you know, but... We lost our friendship. We just stuck together because we didn't have anyplace else to go, but she's... tired of waiting for me to grow up. She told me, 'Suck it up and go see him.' Spent about a day just... being stupid about it. I've missed you."

Dick never played fair. Somehow, he always managed to tip the scales to his favor. It was his charm, it was his innocence. It was the way he smiled when things were tight. There were at least a million reasons for Garth to kick him to the curb, but he wouldn't do that. Couldn't. "You want to grab a shower?"

"Not really," Dick sighed, looking up at him. "I'm sorry about Ceridan. I hope you get to see him."

"I do," Garth shook his head. "You really are a mess."

Dick looked away. "Not quite the catch I used to be, mm?"

"Eh, you'll do," Garth titled his head to the side, affecting an air of humor.

Dick was watching him, but he could only see Dick's eyes. "I've missed you."

"You said that already," Garth said softly. "So, is this someplace else to go, then? Is that why you came?"

Dick let go of the side of the pool, and floated off toward the center. "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Maybe I'm... chasing windmills. Or something. I don't know what you want or what I want. Just tired of... not being who I want to be. Feel like... life could be so much... more. Maybe it would be different with you, or maybe I'm just projecting. But it's the first day of spring, and... I don't know if I've lost you already or not, but if I haven't..."

"Get out of the water, Dick," Garth sighed, affectionately.

He went under the surface at first, emerging from the water like a Greek god. These fingers that were tangled in the curls of his hair were so familiar, so welcome. These lips that parted his and opened his mouth to that questing tongue were like much beloved and frequent houseguests who had too long been away. He would have liked to have been strong, he would have liked to have been resilient, and made this seduction more work for him, but he was willing, too willing, and whether it was the tiles of the floor around the pool, or the jersey sheets on his bed, if they could wrestle together, roll over and around each other, everything else seemed less significant.

He normally loathed sleeping in, but when he had a warm, welcome body to wrap around, bed was the only place he wanted to be. Even long past the time that he could sleep, he lounged, and ran his fingers through Dick's thick, unruly hair, and over the skin of his back.

He answered the phone as quickly as he could, hoping that it wouldn't wake Dick. He answered in a hushed whisper, disentangling himself from his lover slowly, hoping that it would just be a wrong number or a telemarketer, so he could get back to being with Dick.

A low, airy chuckle answered him. "He's sleeping in, isn't he? For a world class athlete, he's really very lazy."

At once on edge, but also amused, he slipped out of bed entirely, and padded to the other side of the bedroom. "It's been a long time, Kory."

"I suppose it has been," she sighed. "I hadn't realized it, though. I'm sorry."

"You have no reason to apologize," he scratched the back of his head. He leaned back so he could see out the window without disturbing the drapes. The sun was bright, and it was beginning to look like spring, finally.

"Oh, well, there are probably things we could discuss. But it's better not to dwell on the past, isn't it? How is he?" Even her voice was pretty, soothing and light, her feelings always evident, even over the phone.

"I think..." He watched Dick fidget in his sleep. "What happened?"

"Mm," she sighed. "I'm sure you know as well as I do. He... It sometimes takes him a long time to get things that should be obvious."

Kory was as direct a person as Garth would ever meet. She wouldn't evade, so he had to take her words at face value. "Well, he has plenty of time to get it right, it seems."

"Good," she said approvingly. "Tell him to give me a call in about a week, ok? I'm off to Paris in an hour."

"Have a good trip," he smiled. He wouldn't have introduced Dick to her if he didn't like her, but she often seemed intimidating. After all, she was one of the most lucrative models out there for good reason. Dick never judged her by her looks, though. He knew the Kory that no one fantasized about, which was the reason that Garth was so glad to get her 'blessings.'

"No worries on that account; I always have fun," she laughed. "...Take good care of him, ok?"

She hung up before he could answer.

After a minute, he went back and put the phone back in its cradle, and crawled into bed with Dick. He must have disturbed his lover a bit, because Dick rolled over and opened his bleary eyes a crack.

"Mm? Garth?"

Garth just brushed a kiss over Dick's cheek, and drew Dick into his arms. "Go back to sleep, Dick."

Dick curled up against Garth, blanketing him. "'K. Love you."

Garth stayed awake, and held Dick in his arms, feeling like he was floating on cool, clear waters, and there was no land in sight.