The bags were already loaded in the car parked in the garage. It was just a staging house in case anyone tried to track the car back to it's home. It was also their last time to say anything as Dick and Gar. Already in their disguises, they were only one step away from assuming their new roles. Dick had chosen a new appearance and went by Gray in these types of situations. Keeping his black hair, he changed his facial hair and added a chip to alter his voice.
Gar had dawned a new face complete with dusty blonde hair and stubble. When asked to pick a name he had joked, "John..." Then held out his hand to Dick a little low to shake. "John Hand. Cock." Even with Dick trying to destroy the joke by correcting the name, Gar still found himself funny. John ended up being pretty predictable and something they would both now remember.
"Last time to back out," Dick joked, laughing over the unusual knots in his stomach. "I wasn't exactly the prime example of a boyfriend."
"I don't know you were pretty great the other night." Gar gave him a playful tap on the shoulder with his fist.
They had gone out as regular Dick and Gar and done everything they could think of. Not superheroes but regular guys out on a regular night. It started with a stroll through a museum, dinner at a nice restaurant, dancing at a club, and dessert on the pier with a few rides. Everything in front of people, building up their mask of a solid relationship. Well past last call and normal adult's bedtimes, they laid on the grass overlooking the ocean and Titan's tower.
"Well, I think you were the perfect date," Gar said, rolling to his side to complement his friend.
"Eh," Dick stayed on his back, throwing a rock into the air and catching it with the other hand. "It was an act. A puzzle. I'm thinking about what's coming up and what I can do at every minute to pull this off." The rock made a few more passes before he sat fully up and looked back at Gar. "I'm always thinking about the mission. If not a current one, what's next and how can we get better before it comes. I can't help it. I could have pretended to be that guy with... her. But it wouldn't have been real." The rock landed in the ocean with a small thud.
"Do you even want a real relationship?" Gar asked.
"I should. I mean I don't want to be alone at 70. But I can't get my head around being in a relationship like that. Now that I'm less in charge, if I get called out on a solo mission, I get pumped and I just leave without really thinking of leaving anyone behind." Laying back, he propped himself on one arm as well and looked at the grass between them. "Do you?"
"Yeah. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart. I mean I enjoy being a single guy sometimes. But yeah, someday."
Finally looking up, Dick met Gar's eyes. He looked happy. Comfortable. They would be living these new lives 24/7. It wasn't just acting, it was full immersion.
"And you're going to be okay with this?" Dick asked, staring at Gar and hoping he understood the severity of it.
"Yeah." The answer came after several seconds and gave some reassurance. Laying down, with his arm as a pillow, he continued, "I mean I do know you. I know what an ass you would be as a boyfriend."
Dick rolled his eyes but had to laugh and joined Gar in laying down.
"Doesn't mean I can't enjoy myself though. You are a surprisingly good kisser."
Trying to fake a scoff Dick rolled onto his back, his body already blushing. "I mean, of course, I am."
The body weight pressed him down before he had time to react. Immediately, his body went to push the attacker off. His heart pounding at the feeling of being held down. His hands were pinned before he could even raise them and he laid there, unable to move or hide his ragged breath.
"Some jobs don't have to be all work," Gar whispered into his ear. "We can have a little fun." Just the night before Gar had discovered how much Dick liked his ear licked. Laying in the grass, off the path and hidden in the night, he pulled out this bit of insight. The beginning of Dick's gasp escaped before he managed to contain himself.
"And I don't think I'm the only one enjoying it."
Dick laughed lightly, pulling Gar up to eye level. "Or I'm just one hell of an actor."
"Are you?" Leaning down for a kiss, Gar ended up staying for several long kisses.
"Of course," Dick murmured as Gar rolled away.
"Do you remember the signs?" Dick asked, switching to the team's language. It had been developed years before by Victor, a mix of several other languages but entirely their own. Such a unique mix that others overhearing would guess Spanish, French or some other frequently overheard language. But only if they didn't speak it. Everyone sure it sounded familiar though no one could pinpoint it.
"Yes," Gar said, leaning over to touch Dick's side. Pressing with the last two fingers twice and then the pointer, he added "Are we being watched?" Then the top two fingers twice and the pinky once. "We are being watched." The pointer two taps, "Yes" and the pinky twice, "'No'. Oh and 'stop talking'." Gar drummed the first three one after the other, down his side.
Dick nodded, running over any others they should learn.
"We could add one, probably more for you though."
"Yeah?" Dick glanced over.
"Yeah," Gar's hand left his side to travel up his inner thigh. "I'm having fun." Dick jumped and pushed the laughing teammate away. Heating all over again, he rose to his feet and made an excuse to go home.
"But relax," Gar said bouncing the keys in his hand. "I promise, I won't fall for you."
Dick rolled his eyes but couldn't let his stomach fully settle. Snatching the keys as they hung in midair for a brief second, he opened the garage door and stepped out.
"I'll drive the first leg," Gray said waving the keys.
"And the second?" John replied, plopping into the passenger seat.
Gray pursed his lips, pausing in front of his door.
"Probably," he mumbled, climbing in. Three hours later, they had exhausted all their fake topics already. The new book James would be working on while Gray was out. The winter house they would visit in several months. The obsession Gray had with antiques.
"Do you have any thoughts on our next anniversary?" John asked, watching the helicopter overhead through the sunroof.
"No," a little thrown, Gray attempted to guess what a normal couple would do. "We could go to a resort."
"For our... 3 year? In January right?"
"Yeah, 3 years in about 5 months." He must have forgotten how long they had been dating already. Though, Gray had to admit it was a clever way to ask.
"What about Mexico? Or some island in the Caribbean?"
"Sure. All I want is drinks, sun, and you in as little as possible." John reached over and plucked at his clothes, laughing as he sat back in his seat. It had only taken the slightest gesture and Gray was flushed. There was no hiding it either. Despite telling himself again and again he had control over his body. It had happened several times before. In front of other Titans, junior Titans, strangers, anyone and everyone. His heart and rise in temperature had to be evident to John, after all, he had trained him that way. This only made it worse. Each time John only seemed to get a kick out of it and move on.
"Yeah," Gray quickly took the move in the subject and pulled off at the next exit. Damned if there was anything good here or not.