title: Sea & Sky: Explanations
fandom: DC Comics
characters/pairings: Dick/Garth, Roy, Donna, Lian
rating: G
warnings: misuse of grape jelly and legos
summary: Telling the Titans was easy. (Set after Sea and Sky: Revelations and Conversations.)
notes: rithy mentioned that she wanted this fic, and i offered to write it for her. she has me trained so well... ^_^ so this takes place after Sea and Sky: Revelations and Conversations.
Sea & Sky is the brainchild of the amazing and wonderful 'rith and Dannell Lites. it's a phenomenal tour de force, and my offerings don't really do it justice, so. go check it out!!

Dick tied up his boot, concentrating on getting it on tightly. He had on his tough work jeans, and a flannel shirt with a plain Henley on underneath. He had gotten cash last night before he had gone out on patrol, and his cell phone was fully charged. He had his mp3 player, a couple of dvds he had picked up at the rental place that morning, and a videogame thing he had borrowed from Babs. He was pretty sure he was ready.

"Garth?" He got up, tossing his necessities in a backpack. "You ready to go?"

Garth stepped hesitantly out from the bathroom. Clearing his throat anxiously, he averted his eyes. "Just about, yes."

Dick blinked, several times. "Garth? Why are you in costume? I thought we were going as Dick and Garth."

Garth sighed, shuffling from foot to foot in a decidedly uncharacteristic manner. "Ah, yes, about that... I got a call from Arthur while you were out this morning, and I need to go beneath the surface for a while. I should be back before dark. I'm sorry."

Dick scratched the back of his head, confused. "But I checked the monitor when I got back and there weren't any incoming calls recor-... Hey!! No fair! If I have to go, then you do too!!"

Garth met Dick's eyes, shamed. "I love you, and I would do anything for you... but you're on your own today. I have to go."

With a quick kiss to the cheek, Garth was out through the secret door to Dr. Fledermaus' apartment.

Dick stood in place, fuming. Even the parting view of Garth's fine ass only slightly cooled his temper. He tried to think of a way to get out of the day's torture, but nothing came to him.

He would have to go in alone.

It was cowardly to stand outside the door and not knock. He told himself that several times before the door swung open on its own, a scowling Roy glaring gleefully at him.

Dick swallowed hard, and tried to smile.

"You aren't getting out of this."

"But Garth can't be here today." Dick honestly had not known that he was going to try to beg off, but Roy seemed to have a good idea, and he was going to run with it.

Roy crossed his arms over his chest, and smirked. "I got Donna and I tickets to the latest show, Up, Up, and Away!, and Chanda has the day off, so either way, Grayson, you're babysitting."

Dick's heart sank as he shuffled dreadfully inside. There was no way out.

Donna was in the living room with Lian, blowing bubbles. Donna's understanding smile was completely lost on Dick. He was staring down at the little girl with the big eyes and sticky shirt who was grinning from ear to ear.

Lian jumped up and bounced over to Dick, squealing. "Uncle...!" She looked him up and down, three times, before she was sure she knew which name he would be using. "Dick! Yay! Are you gonna play with me today?"

Dick smiled, and held his arms out for her to jump in. Swinging her around in a big arc, he laughed. This wouldn't be too hard, would it? "Yup, that's right!"

Lian screamed with giddy delight, and Roy grabbed Donna's wrist. "All righty then, Boy Blunder, don't make me kick your, er, behind when I get back, and have fun. Donna and I will be back around seven."

Donna waved goodbye, and perhaps tried to say 'sorry,' but Roy had swept her away too quickly.

Dick looked down at Lian's adoring brown eyes. This was going to be a piece of cake.

Dick made the first attempt at talking to Lian while they were making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, hungry from a hard few hours of laying waste to the entire Decepticon army with their powerful Autobots.

He spread the thick peanut butter over the bread, and cleared his throat to talk. "Lian, honey, there's something I want to talk to you about. See, I need to tell you about something really important to me, and if you have any questions, please just ask. I don't want you to think there's anything weird or secret going on. But you should know that Uncle Garth and I are living together now, and we are in love."

That's what he meant to say, but before he could get past the 'Lian, honey,' he got a bug spoonful of jelly on his cheek.

Lian squealed, and jumped from her chair, cradling the jelly and her spoon with a wicked shine to her eyes. Dick groaned, and tried to grab her, but she was her father's daughter, and she managed to climb up onto the counter and open the canister of flour before he knew it.

Jellied and floured, Dick tickled Lian into submission, and then they cleaned up the kitchen, and then he gave her a bath, and then he shooed her out to wash himself off.

While he was in the bathroom, for a whole of ten minutes, she managed to drag her toy box out into the living room, and disassemble every toy inside it and spread all the toy parts out over the whole living room, even wedging several doll heads under the couch and between the cushions.

While they were reassembling the toys, Dick tried to talk to her, but he couldn't get her to pay attention for more than two minutes, and when she insisted that they put in her favorite dvd, there was very little point in trying to saying anything other than 'Wow!' or 'Cool!' to her.

After they had cleaned that up, Dick was hungry enough to brave the kitchen again, although this time he stood at the counter and made the sandwiches while Lian sat at the table. He tried to talk to her while they ate, but she wanted to play the Superhero Guessing Game, and she refused to listen to him about anything else.

Dick figured that one change of clothes was sufficient in a day, so even if Lian had a jelly smear and a peanut butter smear on her shirt, it wasn't that big of a deal. After all, her shirt had been sticky when he first got there.

They built a fort, pulling Roy's Navaho blanket out from his footlocker. Dick assumed that if Roy didn't want him to use that blanket, he would have put a more complicated lock on the footlocker. They even played Powerpuff Girls, although Dick wanted to be Blossom or even Buttercup. Still, Professor Utonium wasn't that bad. And playing Mojo Jojo was actually fun.

He was sure that they could talk after that. He even had her in his lap, and he had her all tickled out. But she wanted him to read to her. And then she wanted him to tell her a story about her dad and the other Titans when they were just kids.

Dick had promised himself that he would sit her down and talk to her right after the next race of Mario Carts when he heard the front door open.

Lian jumped up, and dove straight for her dad, who spun her around just like Dick had earlier. Donna grinned, looking over the trashed living room.

"Did you children have a good time while we were gone?" Donna winked at him as she helped him pick up put the couch cushions back where they belonged.

"Yeah!" Lian declared definitively, throwing her arms up in victory. "Uncle Dick is the best babysitter! He let me have a food fight, and he didn't even get mad when I put a lego in his ear." Lian grinned, kissing her dad's cheek as she proclaimed the proficiency with which Dick had completed his task.

"Food fight, eh?" Roy raised his eyebrow and looked in askance at the kitchen. "I think later I'm going to have to give Uncle Dick a lecture about responsibility and decorum."

Dick made a face at Roy while Lian groaned and begged "Daddy, no!"

Donna laughed, and put her hand on Dick's elbow in a comforting gesture. "So, did you two have lots of time to talk?"

"Yeah! Uncle Dick read to me and he did an awesome Mojo Jojo and he even told me all 'bout the time you guys saved the Red Pearl from some big monkey. I'm gonna call the monkey Mojo." She started giggling and her dad spun her around before putting her flat on the couch.

"Oh, is that all you guys talked about, then?" He grinned evilly at Dick, who started to pick up the living room with a vengeance.

Donna sighed, and took pity. "Well, since Uncle Dick did such a great job this afternoon, why don't you and he go and have a popsicle while your dad and I clean up in here? And Lian, sweetheart, your Uncle Dick has something really really important to talk to you about, so be a good girl and listen, ok?" Donna leaned down to kiss Lian's head and give her a pat on her back, sending her gently in the direction of the kitchen.

"And that kitchen better be clean when you're done!" Roy warned with a wink.

Dick stuck his tongue out at him.

Lian took her time picking which color popsicle she wanted, and Dick did nothing to rush her. They sat down next to each other, and Dick sprang up immediately to get her a napkin. They got their popsicles started, Lian's huge eyes on Dick the whole time.

"So, is it good?" Dick smiled, hiding his nerves behind his cherry treat.

Lian tilted her head to one side. "What didja need to talk to me 'bout, Uncle Dick?"

Dick sighed, and took his time sucking on his popsicle. Garth owed him so big... "Ok, Lian, sweetie, see... Here's the thing. Uh... you know how, in the fairy tales, the handsome prince and the princess go off and live happily ever after?"

Lian screwed up her nose in purposeful confusion. "I don't like those stories. They're boring. I like stories with robots and superheroes better."

Dick sighed. "Ok. Well, anyway, my point is, you know that most of the time, a guy likes a girl and they end up getting married and living together, right?"

Lian looked up at Dick seriously. "My mom and dad don't live together. They like each other ok, but mom isn't a good person, and so she can't live with us."

This was going to be even harder than Dick thought. "Right. Ok. Well, see, sometimes, sweetheart, boys don't want to live with a girl. Some boys like living with other boys. Or, some boys don't care that much if they live with a boy or a girl, they just want to live with someone who makes them happy, right?"

Lian licked her popsicle messily, looking up at Dick with her eyes narrowed in concentration. "Uh-huh..."

"Well, this is the thing, kiddo. See, I'm in love with a boy. That's ok, right?" Dick tensed, suddenly finding it incredible important that Lian understood and accepted things the way they were.

Lian considered for a moment, and then her whole face beamed. "Oh! You and Dad are gonna get married and you're gonna live with us and we can play all the time! That's great! Yay!!!" She jumped immediately into Dick's arms, hugging him so tight he could barely breathe.

Somewhere off in the distance, Dick could hear Roy choking and sputtering and Donna laughing, but it seemed very far away.

Lian was still bouncing and cheering, but Dick put his popsicle down on the table, and took her by the shoulders. "Lian, Lian, sweetie, listen to me, ok?" Lian calmed down enough for Dick to talk to her, but her face was still beaming. Somehow, Dick felt badly about what he had to say. "I'm not in love with your dad, Lian, although he is one of my very best friends. I'm in love with Uncle Garth, and he's in love with me, and we're going to live together and be together, like a married couple, only we're both guys. Is that ok?"

"Oh," Lian said, her shoulders slumping a little as her dark bangs blocked Dick's view of her eyes. "Oh, ok." She smiled up at Dick, leaning up to give him a hug. "That sounds cool, too. Can I come visit you guys sometime? Uncle Garth does the best tricks in the tub!"

Dick grinned, his heart pounding. Kids were too damned adaptable. "Sure, kiddo, that sounds like fun."

Lian jumped off his lap, licking the juice off of her sticky hand. "But Uncle Dick," she turned to him to ask. "Why did you hafta ask me? You're the adult and I'm the kid, right?"

Dick sighed, and put his head on the table.

Garth was waiting for him when he got home with a rueful grin and a pizza. Dick was feeling generous, but righteous.

"How did it go?" Garth put his arms around Dick and kissed his neck gently, nibbling almost imperceptibly on Dick's earlobe.

Dick sighed and leaned into the caress. "You should have gone with me."

Garth snuggled closer, reaching over to offer Dick a slice of pizza. "I am sorry, Dick. I just... I panicked."

"Hmph." Dick pushed his back against Garth's lean, strong side, chewing on his double cheese pizza absently. "You owe me big time, you know."

Garth's hand idled tentatively over Dick's groin. "I do know, Robbie."

Dick grinned. "Now, that wouldn't really be a punishment, would it? No, I think you need to do something a little more... definitive."

"Oh?" Garth drew back just enough for Dick to notice, his eyebrows arching upward suspiciously.

"Foot rubs. Back rubs. Oh, and when Lian comes to visit? You're helping her make the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches." Dick nodded firmly, and snagged another slice.

Garth eyed him carefully. "Lian is coming to visit?"

"And I think I'm going to have to require that you watch at least four sporting events with me. Yes, I think that will cover it nicely." Dick toed his shoes off and sighed contentedly.

Garth continued to watch Dick with suspicion. "Lian is coming to visit?"

Dick smiled. "Don't worry, Garth. She's totally fine with everything, she just likes to play with her uncles. Oh, and she might still want me and Roy to shack up, but you know kids. Anyway. I think I need to take a shower before patrol. Thanks for the pizza." He kissed Garth hard on the mouth and strolled out of the room, heading for the shower.

Garth watched Dick go numbly. Lian was coming to visit. And she wanted Dick and Roy to... Garth suddenly got a mental picture, and he decided to join Dick in the shower.

He needed to rehydrate after all.