Sea and Sky:

Boundaries

by Smittywing



"...it's not that she doesn't love him," Kyle was explaining to Connor Hawke. "It's that they can't be together because of the perfect moment of happiness. So they can't sleep together and that's just torture for them both."

Connor raised a skeptical eyebrow.

"I got the impression that the unconditional love and acceptance Buffy exhibited was the true source of his happiness," he commented, "not the accompanying...expression."

"Yeah, well, as it turns out, you're *right*," Kyle admitted, dropping onto the floor to switch out the disks in the DVD player. "But we don't figure this out until the third season of Angel. I think."

"Angel has his own show?"

"Yeah, but not until we get into Buffy's fourth season and the DVDs for those aren't out yet. Which really sucks, because you should really see the parts about Willow and her new girlfriend. It's cool. And not just in a girl-on-girl kinda thing, y'know?"

"Um, Kyle?"

"Yeah," Kyle mumbled, juggling disks on his fingers. "Wait a sec, I'll--"

"Now would be a good time."

Kyle paused.

"Not the Batman imitation?"

"No."

Kyle winced and raised his head to see the shadow of two pointed ears and the reflective glow of Starlite lenses shining down on him.

"Justice League mission?" he asked hopefully.

"No."

"Random intergalactic crisis?"

"No."

"Need a greeting card drawn?"

"What we need," Batman growled, "is to set some boundaries."

"Ye-ah. Should I be sitting down?"

Batman didn't reply so Kyle rocked back to his heels and moved back up on the couch next to Connor.

"So..." he said after a full fifteen seconds of silence. "Boundaries?"

"Boundaries," Batman confirmed, pulling his self up rigidly straight.

"Well," Kyle started in what he considered tact, "since you didn't show up in my bedroom tonight--" Connor flashed him a look that wanted to be shocked but never quite managed it. "--I guess we're talking 'bout me, huh?"

"Nightwing and Tempest."

"Yeah, Wally and I talked about that and that was it, story over, lip zipped," Kyle swore.

"This information--" Batman paused and shifted his gaze to Connor. "--is need-to-know. And nobody needs to know."

"We wouldn't tell a soul," Connor told him solemnly. "It's not our place to share personal business."

"I wasn't worried about you."

Batman's gaze shifted back to Kyle, who wilted, just a little.

"Not another word," Kyle promised.

"Be sure that there's not," Batman stated. "Because I will hear it. And I will know. And next time--I won't be so lenient."

A blink and a sweep of ridged black cape and Batman was gone. Or, to be more accurate, he was no longer visible.

"Well," Kyle said, blinking at the television. "I feel thoroughly chastised, how about you?"

"I wasn't the one spreading gossip through the JLA Watchtower," Connor said mildly.

"I wasn't--" Kyle paused. "Where do you *hear* this stuff?"

"Roy." Connor waited for Kyle to formulate the next question. "From Donna," he answered before Kyle could ask, "who heard it from Diana."

"Good to know," Kyle nodded. "Ok, then."

"So, more Buffy?"

"More Buffy," Kyle agreed, aiming the remote at the tv.

"Kyle?" Connor asked as Kyle shuffled through the episodes.

"Ya?"

"I talked to Nightwing that day. The day you told me," he clarified.

"Oh yeah?" Kyle stopped in his perusal and cast his eyes sideways at his friend.

"Batman's only trying to protect his identity," Connor said softly. "It must be nice to have someone to look out for you like that."

Kyle studied Connor seriously.

"I'll look out for you like that," he promised. "You're safe with me."

"I know," Connor admitted, turning his eyes to his lap and reminding himself that Kyle's affection had its own boundaries. And if he wanted to earn that loyalty and protection, he had to respect them.



{end}