Sea and Sky:

Debut Postscript 1

by Chicago

'rith will forward feedback

Garth's head was resting on his shoulder, and the Atlantean had thrown an arm possessively over Dick's midriff. His breathing was deep and even.

Dick was glad he was sleeping so soundly.

The reception had not been an easy thing to handle, although it had all been for the good and had gone better than Dick feared it might have. Getting through it had felt like finishing a marathon, and their lovemaking had been of that unique variety that follows high stress events.

They had barely managed to get to the room before they were peeling one another's clothes off, struggling to get naked without parting lips. They had fucked--there was no other word for it--purging every restrained emotion from the reception in hot passion. Then they had started again, more tenderly, reassuring one another that they were both still there, all slow caresses and heavy holds. A long shower had rehydrated Garth as well as given Dick an opportunity to wash his lover's body, trading sex for tender care and maybe another blow job. Garth had been almost asleep before he got him into the bed.

But Dick was an adrenaline junkie. The stress of the event had only amped him up. It flashed him back to younger days, when he had attended various WE functions or Wayne parties out of a sense of obligation and a promise that he would hit the jumplines when all was over. His body was still waiting to do a tour of the city and bust some heads, even if his heart and soul were much happier to hold his lover tight and watch him sleep.

So Dick was staring at the ceiling without seeing it and thinking.

He had tried not to show it, but even he had been surprised and impressed at the level of community support. Of course, not all of the superheroes present had known that Dick was Nightwing, but that made it even better, because that meant they had been there for Garth. Some were undoubtedly moved by curiosity, but he was relieved that they had come not to condemn, but to make it known that whatever else happened, they would back an openly gay hero.

There had been something touching, as well, in the number of friends on both sides who were checking on their happiness. It was...unfamiliar, although it shouldn't be, to have so many people be openly solicitous. It was unfamiliar to have Bruce, however awkwardly, voice his happiness for Dick.

Dick replayed their final meeting of the evening, the almost-scene with Selina. He was almost glad she had baited him with her "happy family" remark. Bruce's quick intervention had been more than what was socially necessary; it gave lie to her mockery.

Dick still wasn't sure he trusted Bruce's new relationship with Selina, but if he was honest with himself, it was better than what Bruce had had before. However wrenchingly horrible the show-down between Dick and Bruce had been those months ago in the cave, it had dispersed a shadow. Strangely, instead of shipwrecking both of them, it seemed that they had both been set free, not just to live their lives, but to know each other differently. To have a peer relationship, Dick realized. To be friends who cared about one another's happiness.

It was the difference between Dick *needing* to hit the jumplines after a night in the spotlight of society and his ability to understand that it was not his need.

Garth shifted against his body, murmuring something in his sleep. Dick ducked his chin enough to kiss the top of Garth's head, tightening the arm curled around Garth's body. This was real. It was good. And now that it was open and known? It was so right.