I rather suspect that the end of this may suck a bit, but I've misplaced miss_porcupine and I'm on my way out and I wanted to get this posted before I go in case I get home late.

Second Chances
By Smitty

Garth of Shayeris sat on the dying grass in front of Donna Troy's grave and traced the letters of her name with one finger. The edges of the engraved metal pressed into his flesh, painful slices that never quite broke the skin. Sitting on the ground, the actual dirt and grass, was the closest he felt to home on the dry land. To have the elements of nature under his feet and fingers was like speaking with a friend, or more accurately, the friend of a friend. It was like speaking to the current Robin instead of Nightwing, or visiting the Outsiders' headquarters instead of Titan Tower. The brown, crackling remains of the lawn were stiff in the February frost and offered less comfort to him than usual.

The letters and dates on the memorial were familiar to him, as familiar as the letters and dates that marked his own life. He'd come here often in the months after her death, always alone outside and always empty inside. It was too late to claim the life he wanted, but he wasn't about to settle into one that made him unhappy.

"I never told you how I felt," he admitted aloud as his fingers traced the smooth strip between the words, Friend and Princess. "I had my life and I had my wife and child and you were always there and it never occurred to me to miss you. And you, you were always with Dick or Roy and I was...content to watch. Until." He smiled. "Until I stopped being content and then when I had something to say, it was too late."

"You mean too early." Next to him, Donna Troy tilted her head at the stone block and the chiseled image of herself standing proudly atop it. "It's kind of creepy sitting here looking at my own grave. Let's go get some dinner."

"I like that plan." Garth stood fluidly, taking Donna's hands and pulling her upright. "It's good to have you back, Donna."

"It's good to be back," Donna whispered before fitting her mouth against Garth's and kissing him deeply.

They parted with shared smiles and he took her hand as they walked into the setting sun, Donna's grave at their backs.

Just before they were out of sight, Donna glanced backward one last time and sighed. "It's too bad," she said matter-of-factly, "that when they immortalized me in stone, they had to pick that costume."

"It could have been worse," Garth said philosophically, and paused until she looked up as him. "They could have used the ponytail."

Author's Note: Donna's not dead for long. Garth/Donna is kerithwyn's sekrit OTP.

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