Sea and Sky Ia:

A Sea Change (Garth)

by 'rith

Archive: Ask first, please.
Warnings: M/M slash. If this concept disturbs you, read no further.
Fandom: Modern comicsverse. Garth's pov on the very first story in the S&S series. The rest of the stories can be found at
Disclaimer: All characters property of DC Comics. What I have done with them is mine.

Things have changed a lot, lately.

For the Titans, but more specifically for me. And for me in relation *to* the Titans.

How strange--and yet not strange at all--that the five first Titans have come together again to refound the team. All of us back where we began; and none of us as we were.

Donna, to whom I was closest in those earliest days... Donna has been through more changes than anyone can name, even herself. So much loss has made her uncertain of her own feelings, and even of ours for her. That fear, at least, is unfounded: Knowing the tragedies she's endured makes all of us feel even more protective of the woman who has *always* been the team's heart. And very close to all of ours.

Roy would have everyone believe that he hasn't changed at all. He *still* hides behind a wall of casual insults...more annoying, and more hurtful, than he realizes. But watch him with Lian even for a moment and the fašade of indifference fails. He used to be so careless of his friends, his lovers, even his own life. Now he cares very much indeed, and not only for his daughter's sake but for his own.

Wally has become comfortable in his own skin, something astonishing after so many years of seeing him struggle with who he wanted to be. He has taken his mentor's legacy and made it his own, and of all of us I think Wally is most fundamentally at ease with the life we lead. And love, too, has made him content.

My own changes--at least, the outward ones--are easiest to see. My friends shake their heads to realize that time spent *elsewhere* means I am now the eldest and not the least-powerful Titan where I used to be the youngest and most helpless; and my awakened powers bear witness to that time and everything I learned there.

And Dick...

Dick has changed most dramatically. Dick hasn't changed at all.

He's more at ease, freer as Nightwing than he ever was as Robin; yet he's haunted. By the specter of his mentor, by his losses, by a deep abiding loneliness--

That seems all too familiar, truth be told. We are both very much alone these days. Neither of us likes it. Since losing Kory he's thrown himself into a number of relationships, all fleeting, none seeming of any comfort to him at all. When I lost Tula...I did the same. In greater measure, and for a far longer time. Lori and Jero and Lia and others I barely remember for the grief that clouded me. And while Dolphin and I tried for something more than affection, when we parted there was only the mildest regret between us.

It's no surprise at all that Dick and I have both returned to the team where we feel at home, and loved.

I should thank Wally for convincing Dick to rejoin the Titans, to allow us to begin again. The team has never truly functioned without him. For all of us, at this point in our lives, it's become more important than ever to have that support in place, and friends to come home to.

Friends. That alone would be enough to bring me back, but introspection forces me to admit to more. I'm not at all certain what I should do, or say, if anything...but I can't stop wondering. Wally has found love with Linda Park. I've seen the resurgence of the old attraction between Donna and Roy. And Dick and I...are both very much alone.

I can't help but think about possibilities. But then, I always felt for him. More than I should have, from the beginning.

And recently--

I've seen him watching my hands, following their movements when I work my small magics. I've seen his fascination. And I've caught him looking at me other times, and I wonder....

I wonder if he really is watching, or if it's just my own longing that makes me imagine his gaze. And the desire in it.

I don't want to be imagining it.


He followed me to Montauk Point. I wasn't sure why, and didn't care; his unexpected company was more than welcome. We sat for a long while, watching the sunset, until finally he asked me if I missed Atlantis.

The answer to that was twofold. I miss the city, and I miss the ocean around me...but I don't necessarily miss the people or their close-mindedness, or Arthur.

Arthur and I are distant, these days. Another of my choices that I do not regret.

In response I wondered if he missed Gotham and Bruce. I realized the question was a mistake even as he deflected it. There are things about his relationship with Bruce Wayne that Dick has never wanted to think too deeply about, even aside from having grown up in the shadow of that overwhelming personality.

But Dick is the man he is because of that force of will who shaped him, and there is simply no doubting his strength, or his brilliance, or his dedication to his work and his friends.

It was easy to fall back into the old familiar pattern, teasing and joking with him, more at ease than ever. And then....

A simple movement of my hands, and the world changed.

His arousal was...a revelation. It was all the invitation I needed to reach for him as I'd longed to do since we first met. I wanted to touch him, to discover the taste of his mouth. To learn his body. All of my old yearnings not only permitted, but *wanted.* I don't dare wonder, not yet, what else he might want.

Right now, resting on the edge of the sea with his arms around me, I see very clearly the paths that have brought us both here. Loneliness and desire. Friendship and--

And perhaps more. But it's enough right now be here, like this, and see what tomorrow brings.