Sea and Sky V:

Full Fathom

by 'rith

Archive: Ask first, please.
Warnings: M/M slash. If this concept disturbs you, read no further.
Fandom: Modern comicsverse. Nightwing and Tempest explore a new world. Fifth in the "Sea and Sky" series, following "A Sea Change" (by Dannell Lites), "World's Finest II: 'But What Does It *Mean?*'," "Something Rich and Strange," and "Interlude (500 Words)"which can all be found at
Disclaimer: All characters property of DC Comics. What I have done with them is mine.

"Trust me?"

"You know it."

We were standing at Montauk Point, naked on the edge of the sea.

"Look at me, then." Easy enough. More than easy. His eyes--so beautiful--drew me in.

He laid his hand flat on my chest. For a moment there was only the touch, then a slight warmth that spread outward through my upper body, and down. He whispered something--a spell?--and the heat faded.

I felt the same, except for the fact that I was now hard as a steel bar. I couldn't help it. His eyes, his hands, his *magic* suffused me.

He smiled and stepped back. "Done. That will allow you to breathe, protect you from the pressure, and enhance your vision as well. A very efficient casting, that one."

"Was that something you learned from Atlan?"

"No. I researched. I wanted to show you my home, as I see it."

It warmed me again, that he had done that for me.

Something in his smile made me wonder, though. "Was that really part of it? Looking into my eyes?"

He flashed a grin that he could have stolen from Roy. "You guessed. I just like looking at you. And touching you. Now, come! Follow me." And he leapt.

I fought off instinct, exhaled, and dove.

Down deep. After the first shock of breathing water instead of air, it seemed almost natural.

I'd never really seen Garth in what truly was his native element. The pool in Titans Tower barely had room for him to stretch, though he never complained. And the last time we'd been together underwater had been during our assault on H.I.V.E.--so long ago! That was just after Terra...after Tara died. And Tula was still alive. We'd all been too busy to watch him, then.

Now I did. All the awkwardness he sometimes showed on land vanished completely. The sea welcomed him, caressed him as he moved with uncanny ease, and I almost felt like an intruder.

He reached out and took my hand, pulling me farther down.

He showed me wonders. Creatures never catalogued by oceanographers, the alien and utterly beautiful landscape of his world. In sharing it he'd given me a rare and precious gift.

I know he watched me as I stared astonished, clearly enjoying my amazement. And in between everything else, I watched him.

From the beginning he was so different than the rest of the founding Titans, it formed a gap we could only rarely bridge. Garth's whole experience reflected an entirely different environment than any we could imagine. We didn't know how to relate to a boy who knew nothing about the television shows we grew up on, or the collective consciousness of history, or the ingrained habits of social interaction. He adapted well, mimicking our mannerisms where he could and staying silent for the rest--but there was always that gap.

Yet he never hesitated to answer when we called, returning again and again despite his own concerns. I blushed to remember what he'd told me, that at least one of his reasons was his feeling for me--and I'd been oblivious, all that time. Some detective! But still, that was only one. The Titans were as much a part of him as they were of me, little though we'd done to earn such loyalty.

Or maybe given his past, just being there--and occasionally needing him--was enough.

The man who guided me now was such a far cry from the boy who used to be "Aqualad." The Garth who quit the Titans because he feared himself a liability to the team had vanished, replaced by a hero with unwavering confidence and such purity of character it shamed me. Quietly, without fanfare, one of my oldest friends had become one of the strongest men I knew.

A man who hadn't been afraid to reach for me on a lonely day when I never could have made the first move, even if I'd known how he felt. A friend who shared my bed and a serious case of mutual lust. A teammate I'd known for years, and was only now really starting to know.

Today I'd put my life literally in his hands--not for some crisis, as all of us had done a thousand times before--but simply to be here with him, seeing the world through *his* perspective for once. I'd only gained an inkling and I wanted to know so much more--

I touched his hand and the sheer physical *presence* of him suddenly stuck me, a bolt of desire that swept through me like a tide.

I saw the echo of that desire rise in him as if he'd only been waiting for a sign. Gently he pulled me closer, hands on my hips, and kissed me. In a moment we were entwined around each other, his hands coming up to tangle in my hair, mine around him and clutching at his back.

Words fail. I can't describe how incredible it felt, without the pull of gravity. We tumbled over and around, never caring which way was up and completely free. The feel of him over, under, against me, drifting with the currents and intoxicated with the feel of his skin.

I drew back for a breath--how strange that seemed, here--and just *looked* at him, really looked. He smiled and struck a bodybuilder's pose, so unlike him I burst out laughing, sending air bubbles racing for the surface fathoms overhead. But it wasn't funny, not at all, how much I wanted him right then and there. I grabbed him and his hands slid over my ass and I gasped with the pure sensual shock of it. God, I hadn't been this horny since...since....

Whatever, it didn't matter, all that mattered right *now* was the sight and feel and taste of him, his hands touching everywhere and his mouth on me, mine on him, falling deeper through the ocean. This wasn't just sex, it was raw, elemental, and over and over that tide rushed over me until there was nothing in the world but Garth and the tempest he'd raised in my blood.

It wasn't until much, much later that I realized when I'd felt that before.

I used to feel that same way with Kory, too. Back when I...when I was in love with her.

That couldn't be right, could it?


Author's Note:
The title is, obviously, a lie. For a man who prides himself on his powers of deduction, Dick lies to himself--a lot.
Things are getting interesting. Stay tuned.