He'd been having the same dream nearly every night since he was nineteen. In the dream, however, he was fourteen, and walking down a road that he'd never been down before. Yet it seemed vaguely familiar. He entered a house he'd never been in before, yet it also seemed familiar. There was a party going on inside, full of people he'd never met, that didn't really seem familiar, except for a few of them. Then he climbed a set of stairs and finally ended up at a door with a purple triangle on it, which, while again seeming vaguely familiar, he knew he'd never been in before, because someone would always stop him from entering.
Everyone from Elton John to Ru Paul, even Marilyn Monroe had done so; and when Kon woke up, in a sweat, panting, he was always freaked out. What lay beyond that door?
Kon had no idea. All he knew was that it had to be what made him freeze up whenever a woman got too close. What made him practically have seizures whenever someone with two X chromosomes even freaking touched him.
All the therapy in the world hadn't 'fixed' him, and Kon was tired of being twenty-three years old and virginal, just like he had been at twenty-two and twenty-one and twenty, and on and on… Five different girls had left him over his 'problem' and how could he blame them? Most girls appreciated a guy who wasn't grabby, but what kind of girl wanted a guy who could barely stand to kiss her without freaking out? What kind of girl wanted a guy who couldn't even dream about sex without waking up bathed in sweat, heart hammering from fear instead of arousal?
None, was Kon's experience.
And now, since his father was in the hospital – maybe Dad wouldn't have had a heart attack at forty-five if he'd quit the extreme sports on the side of both running his own business and being on the board of directors of the Audubon Society – Kon was going to be face to face with tons of pretty girls that he couldn't touch, but who would find his all-American good looks extremely attractive, and he'd probably faint again, like he had at his cousin's wedding during the group dancing
Three days later, after two plane trips and a ride in a cab, Kon Kent ended up at Wayne Memorial Hospital; the current residence of Clark Kent, his father, world-traveler, and owner of the only restaurant franchise to outsell Hooters, The Cockatoo Koo-Koo-Ca-Choo Café.
It wasn't that Kon didn't want to visit his dad in the hospital – not many men would have been as understanding of Kon's…problem…as Clark; hell, even his stepmom, Lois, had been less than helpful – it was just that his dad's 'birdies' were going to be visiting him in the hospital, and Kon really didn't think he could handle running into them.
The birdies were the staff, and the most important part of the cafés: pretty girls whose 'uniforms' consisted of halter tops and flouncy skirts with suspenders covered in marabou feather trim. They had hats that looked like beaks, and all went by 'codenames' of birds.
What had initially started as a gimmick for a meeting of the Audubon Society – hosted by his father, of course – had snowballed into a chain of over a hundred cafés across America, with a few dozen more internationally.
The main branch, however, was still in Metropolis, New Troy, with a satellite office in Gotham City, New Jersey; also home of Wayne Memorial Hospital. Kon could not delude himself that he wouldn't run into any half-dressed birds while visiting his convalescing father.
"Kon!" Clark greeted him with a grin, and Kon gave his father a sickly smile of his own as he was pulled into a hug. Lois wasn't there, but three of his dad's birdies were.
"Girls, this is my son, Kon. Kon, these are three of my birds: Raven, Canary, and Robin." The dark-haired girl dressed in gothic-themed clothes, the tall, blonde woman in fishnets and leather, and the shy-looking brunette with glasses dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, nodded in turn.
"Rachel," Raven introduced herself, voice a dry monotone.
"Dinah," Canary said cheerily, smiling wide.
"Kim," Robin mumbled, seemingly trying to blend into the oatmeal-colored walls.
"Hi," Kon said, and tried to breathe. It wasn't as hard as he thought it would be; beauties they all were, but Rachel didn't seem too forward, Canary seemed to think he was too young for her, and Kim seemed even shier than he was.
All in all, things could have turned out worse.
Worse had come to worse; Robin actually liked the job.
"I still can't believe you talked me into this," Robin hissed to her friend, trying not to disturb the sleeping man in the other room.
Stephanie gave a one-shouldered shrug, the other shoulder currently occupied. "Why not? You're good at it."
Robin snorted. "Right, like that also isn't your fault."
"Hey, just because we grew up next door to each other, and played with each other all the time, doesn't mean you had to play dress-up with me when we were four," Stephanie argued.
Robin, actually named Timothy Drake, going by the pseudonym 'Kim' whenever 'she' donned the feathery red costume of 'her' waitressing job, folded his arms over his chest and glared at his best friend.
Unrepentant, Stephanie finished burping her daughter and said, "Look, when I asked you to take over my job for a few weeks, I thought that was all it would be. Then when I asked Jason to drive me to my appointment, he…"
"Argued with you over the abortion and you decided to move into together and raise the little rugrat," Tim finished. "I know, Steph. And I'm happy for you. Carrie's adorable, and you and Jay seem real happy together." He sighed and flopped down on a chair. "But I really wish I'd known going in that you wouldn't be taking your job back, because then I wouldn't have agreed to this farce."
Steph gave him a rueful grin. "Sorry, but Jay's dad offered me a better job, with benefits and daycare and stuff. Besides, this way you get to keep all the money you make – and you do make a bundle playing the shy birdie, don't you, 'Robin'?"
Tim snorted, turning away to hide his grin. He was making a bundle – in tips. He'd already paid off his student loans and was actually acquiring some savings.
If only he didn't have to wear a freakin' skirt to accomplish it.
"Welcome to the Cockatoo Café, may I take your order?" Raven droned.
"Yeah, I'd like the pineapple parakeet salad and an artic penguin slushie," the young man ordered, grin faltering at Raven's stony stare.
"That'll be six eighty-four, sir," Raven said, forcing a lightness into her tone. She liked being cashier because fewer men hit on her, and was willing to forgo the tips of waitressing. But fewer men didn't mean no men.
The young man, Bernard Dowd, Bernie to those of his friends who couldn't resist nicknames, was imminently more pleased by his server, the shy little bit of fluff – dressed in only a little bit of fluff, it seemed – whose nametag read Robin.
He wasn't pleased when a circuitous pinch of her – very very fine – ass led to her punching him in the nose.
"You can't keep doing this, Robin," Clark scolded, managing to put on an expression both upset and disappointed, even while propped up in a hospital bed with more wires coming out of him than a telephone pole.
Because it was Clark, Tim flushed and ducked his head, unable to argue. His actions had been a bit over-the-top.
That didn't mean he regretted punching the guy, however. "I'll try to keep my impulses in check, sir," Tim said, using the lighter, breathy voice of Kim. One of these days, he was going to give himself laryngitis, forcing a soprano when he was a natural bass.
Or he could tell Clark he was actually a man; Clark probably wouldn't mind, as long as Tim continued to dress as a woman on the job. Probably.
"You do that. I–" A knock at the door preempted anything else Clark had to say. His son, Kon, stuck his head in the door, and gave a rather wobbly, uncertain smile when he saw 'Robin' there.
"Hi, dad," Kon said, fidgeting nervously and swinging the door back and forth a few inches. "Um…you wanted me to stop by? I could come back later if you're still busy–"
Clark waved that away, gesturing for Kon to come closer. "Nonsense, Kon. I was just about to procure you some entertainment for your stay in Gotham."
Tim watched with some shock as Kon turned ash white, then beet red. "Er…" Clark would never actually ask 'her' to do something like that; he should know that heart attack or no heart attack, 'she' would put the hurt on him for even making the suggestion.
Clark didn't seem to notice Kon's condition – either that, or it happened so often that he was inured to it. "As I was just about to ask you, Kim: would you mind showing Kon around the city for the day?" Clark gave her his usual charming smile, and if there was a glint of mischievous matchmaking there, well, it wasn't all that hidden. "He's never been to Gotham before, and I know you've lived here all your life… I'd pay you your usual hourly rate, of course."
Tim shrugged. Money he could make without a bunch of guys ogling him like the latest free comic book day giveaway notice or newest video game cheat sheets? Yeah, he would definitely like that. "I could do that…if you'd like, Kon?" The guy had seemed like he was about to have a seizure a moment ago. Possibly he was epileptic? Asthmatic?
Afraid of girls? Not that Tim was going to alleviate the boy's worries on that last one. Kon would just have to deal with him as 'Kim', for good or ill.
Kon swallowed nervously and pasted on a fake smile. "Sure, uh…Kim. That would be great."
Clark clapped his hands together, grinning widely at the two of them. "Wonderful!"
The afternoon was actually fairly pleasant, Kon was pleased to note. Alone with him, Kim opened up a little, but she didn't crowd him. Kon relaxed once he realized that Kim wasn't trying to flirt with him.
Or maybe she was, she was just less 'hands on' than most of the girls he'd known.
"So, what do you think?" Kim asked, gesturing to the boardwalk before them. It wasn't Coney Island, but the miniature fairgrounds near the lakeshore were nice and clean, and full of plenty of people looking to have fun.
Kon looked around, tried valiantly not to notice how many pretty women smiled at him, and instead, focused on the attractions. The other attractions, technically. "I think that whatever that is with the robot dinosaurs out front looks cool," he said, pointing.
Kim looked amused, but was willing to humor him. "All right."
Turned out the robot dinosaurs were out front of a wax museum, which was pretty cool, since the statues all moved. Kim apparently had a thing for the heroes and villains room; or at least a thing for Indiana Jones. Kon actually let Kim talk him into taking his picture with Lara Croft, who twirled her guns around and smirked. He pretended to be saved by her, swooning into her wax arms.
Apparently fake women didn't cause him any problems. Great! He could have a lifelong relationship with a blow-up doll.
Kon's depression was shoved out of the way when Kim grabbed his arm to direct him to the Ferris wheel. He tensed reflexively, but didn't start feeling anxious. During the ride Kim sat less than a foot away from him, and Kon was pleased to note that he wasn't even sweating at her being so near.
Maybe he was getting better? Or maybe it was just that none of the touches could be construed as sexual in any way. Whatever it was, Kon was definitely in a better mood the rest of that afternoon.
Once they were out of the House of Mirrors, they headed by silent accord towards a nearby lemonade stand. Twenty minutes spent inside a building with no air conditioning, but with tons of reflective surfaces, was thirsty work.
Kim had just gotten her cherry limeade when she felt a pinch to her ass, along with a very unwelcome arm draped across her shoulders. Glaring up at the letch, she growled, "Remove your hands, or I'll remove them for you."
The guy just smirked at her.
Kon was just starting to think that perhaps he should do something, when Kim grabbed both of the guy's hands and twisted his thumbs out of their sockets with a loud, gristly Pop!
"Ahhh! You bitch!" the guy screamed, stumbling over to slump against the wall of a tattoo parlor, underneath an advertisement for spiked dog collars.
"Maybe, but I'm not yours," Kim quipped, and snagging Kon's hand, pulled him out of the milling crowd.
Kon was only too willing to go, and gulped down a third of his frosty drink to keep from saying anything stupid, like, "Wow, that was so cool!" He'd sound like a dork, or a fanboy.
"Men," Kim said, shaking her head in an almost fondness that would have been cute – if she wasn't also leveling the glare to end all glares over her shoulder at the idiot who'd dared to grope her. Said idiot was currently trying to put his thumbs back into their sockets, and failing miserably, since it was a nigh-impossible task without the use of said thumbs. A veritable Catch 22. "What is so hard to grasp about the concept of keeping one's hands to oneself?" she asked Kon, voice pitched so the idiot would hear her.
Kon had been wondering that for years, himself. Even though generally, most girls were less grabby than guys, some of them were still pretty…affectionate. "Well…it's a pretty simple concept, but idiots have a hard time with even simple concepts," Kon replied, biting his lip so he wouldn't laugh.
"True, true…" Kim agreed, and started walking away from the scene of the embarrassment – for her pursuer, that was. "I, for one, am of the opinion that idiots shouldn't breed, and yet that seems to be all they want to do."
Kon shrugged. "Sex is a pretty simple concept; it's probably the most they can manage." It wasn't simple for him, but there was no way he was going to mention that, no matter how much he liked Kim.
"Sex isn't simple." Kim frowned, then corrected herself, "Sex is; making love isn't."
Kon just shrugged, not knowing what to say to that.
Why the freaking fuck had he said that?!
Tim hid a sigh and drank some more of his cherry limeade. Hell, he knew why; he was attracted to Kon. Kon didn't appear to be attracted to him, but maybe that was a good thing. Maybe it meant he was gay.
Maybe it just meant that without the falsies and the feathers, Tim didn't make a very attractive woman.
Tim had a sinking feeling it was the latter. But he firmly told himself to get a grip, and did so. There were a whole lot of men out there; granted, not as many gay and/or bi ones as straight ones, but there were some. And anyway, he and Kon could definitely be friends, at least.
It would probably be a good idea to have male friends, ones who wouldn't manipulate him into crossdressing for them. Though with his luck, he'd find a boyfriend who had that particular kink.
Tim shoved those depressing thoughts aside, and threw himself into being Kim, showing Kon around town.
He'd enjoyed it thus far; no reason to let his own issues ruin the rest of the afternoon.
Clark ended up staying in the hospital for another three weeks to combat a Staph infection, so Kon extended his stay in Gotham. Kon found through repeated weekend jaunts with Kim, that Gotham city, despite being a bit dark in nature, agreed with him. He even decided to transfer over to Hudson U. from Metropolis University before earlier admission ended.
The fact that his relationship with Kim had seemed to be growing beyond friendship – at least, before he had to leave to go back to Metropolis and she was no longer getting paid to show him around town – may have played a part in his decision, but Kon had other reasons. Once he was discharged Clark would go home to Metropolis, and in Gotham, Kon wouldn't have either of his parents bothering him 24/7. Four of his exes went to Met. U. and they had made life difficult for him; he was now known as the most frigid man on Earth. And Hudson U. did have a great business program, one that would allow Kon, as an incoming junior, to fast track through the internship program.
It also allowed him to intern at the office of one of his father's friends, Bruce Wayne. As it happened, it was the very same office where a friend of Kim's worked. Kon didn't plan his entire school schedule as a way to meet Kim again – working for the charitable organization part of Wayne Enterprises was almost like a dream – but if he did happen to run into Kim again…
Tim Drake was not happy. What was Kon Kent doing working for WE? In the exact same section of the exact same department as Steph? He was working there, obviously, but from the grin on Kon's face when he spotted 'Kim' across the room, Kon had clearly planned to run into 'her' there.
Tim hid a sigh; he was so fucked.
Steph eyed the gorgeous hunk of beef walking their way, and turned to Tim with a grin. She obviously thought that Tim had finally managed to score, and with a hottie at that. "Something you want to tell me, T–?"
"He's my boss' son, Stephie," Tim said, adding a titter of out-of-character laughter to the end of his interrupting answer.
Steph's wide eyes proved she understood the seriousness of the matter, but it was belied by the amusement in her eyes, essentially saying, "Oh, Tim, what mess have you gotten yourself into now?" She gestured for him to zip up his jacket and Tim quickly did so, extremely thankful that Kon had never seen 'Kim' in 'her' costume and so wouldn't be surprised by the lack of chestiness.
Tim had never in his entire, admittedly not very long, life, had reason to identify with Lucy Ricardo. He still didn't; Kon was the one who had some splainin' to do.
At Kon's approach, Tim pasted Kim's half-hearted smile on his face. "Hi, Kon… Fancy meeting you here," he said with a sardonically shrewd raise of his eyebrow.
Kon tugged at his collar and blushed. "Yeah, it's a bit of a surprise, I know… Um, sorry?"
At the hangdog look on Kon's face, Tim found it too difficult to stay mad, so he didn't. He did let his exasperation show on Kim's face as he said, "Sorry for what? It's…good to see you again, Kon." It was, too, just…surprising.
At Steph's none-too-discreet elbow jab to his ribcage, Tim coughed and added, "Ah, have you met my friend Stephanie Brown?"
"Soon to be Stephanie Todd," Steph said with pride, holding out her left hand for Kon to shake so they could all admire the small diamond that sparkled there. Tim made the appropriate awed expression; though he'd been hearing about the ring nonstop for weeks, he'd had yet to see it.
"Haven't had the pleasure," Kon said, but from the strained lines on his face as they shook hands, it appeared he felt like the meeting was more of a displeasure.
"You've been working here for about a month, right? We must have just been ships passing in the night," Steph said, then, sending a subtle sideways look at Tim, she continued, "And I'm afraid we're going to pass again; I need to get the Enselmo file down to Johnston in Records. Nice meeting you, Kon." She turned to go, and added over her shoulder, "And don't forget to call me tonight, Kimmie."
Tim nodded, a rather sickly smile on his face at the thought of being left alone with Kon. Kon, who still thought he was Kim, and female. "Will do, Stephie." He turned back to Kon, and words deserted him. What the hell was he supposed to say? What the hell would Kim say?
"We've been set up, haven't we?" Kon asked, biting down on his lower lip and only looking at Tim out of the corners of his eyes.
"I think so," Tim agreed, hiding a grin in a small twitch of his lips.
"So, um…my internship is only for twenty hours a week," Kon said, looking nervous.
"Oh?" Tim asked, brows knitting into a confused frown.
"So I can pretty much take off early whenever I feel like…" Kon took a deep breath and lifted his face to look Tim in the eye. "Would you, maybe, um…like to get some coffee?"
Ah. That was why. Mentally shoving aside thoughts of how it was so fucked that he finally found a nice guy to date, only to have it be complicated by…everything…Tim smiled. "That'd be nice."
It was nice. Kon hadn't felt so relaxed around a woman in years. One not his mother or another relative, that was. And Kim seemed to like him, too. She smiled at him and flirted with him and spent time with him. It was almost like they were dating, only with much less anxiety on his part.
Kim was pretty and lively and had a great personality; everything Kon could have wanted in a girl. She was also really smart, which is where problems started cropping up.
It should have come as no surprise that eventually Kim would bring the topic up. "Why do you always tense up when women touch you?"
And Kon, not wanting to just shove her off with some half-assed answer – mostly because that had led more than one well-meaning person to think that he'd suffered some sort of sexual trauma in his childhood – ended up blurting out the truth, telling her all about the dreams.
Kim appeared more contemplative of what he'd told her instead of outright shocked or outwardly surprised, as had every single one of the therapists he'd told about it had been. Then again, Kon hadn't started having the dreams until he'd stopped seeing psychologists, and he wouldn't have trusted any of them enough to tell them about the dreams if he had been having them back then.
Which might have explained why he still wasn't able to even get to first base with a woman without breaking out in a cold sweat.
"What do you think the dreams mean?" Kon asked. It wasn't out of any real hope that she had an answer, but it seemed the thing to do, to hear her opinion.
Kim nibbled on her lower lip thoughtfully for a moment. "In some cases, when a person can't handle some trauma that's happened to them…the brain makes them forget. That sounds like what happened to you, only now, your brain has decided that maybe you can handle the knowledge of whatever happened, and is trying to make you remember."
He'd finally stopped hoping, and then he got his answer? How fucked was that? "What if I don't want to remember?" Kon asked. He did, he really really did, if only so he could stop being a touch-me-not.
Shrugging, Kim said, "I'm not sure if you have a choice. In any event, if you don't remember, you'll keep having the dreams."
"I will?" Kon asked, feeling caught between distress and panic, with an unhealthy dose of resignation thrown in on top of it.
Kim offered him an empathetic smile. "It's highly likely."
Kon sighed. With the way the dreams kept not ending, he was no closer to figuring his problem out than he had been when it had started.
Four months after they'd first met, Tim was starting to think that he never should have started semi-dating Kon. It wasn't the revelation of Kon's girl-phobia, it was how that related to them, as a couple. Tim had noticed that Kon's problem didn't seem to extend to 'Kim'. Kon had undoubtedly noticed it too, and Tim was sure that the absence of his years-long problem fed into Kon's feelings for 'her'. He saw 'her' as special in some way.
But it was all a lie. He wasn't really female, Kon's problem was still completely in effect, and 'Kim' wasn't special in any way. Tim felt completely rotten, like a worm-eaten apple, about leading Kon on.
Not bad enough to break things off with Kon, however. They weren't even officially together. Kon had never asked 'Kim' out, or even tried to kiss 'her', probably still fearful of his problem rearing up. Tim promised himself that if – when – Kon made a move, he'd tell Kon the truth.
He selfishly hoped that didn't happen for a while. And in the meantime, he was enjoying this low-key hanging out with Kon. It was a great way to de-stress after a long day spent waiting tables and getting pinched on the butt by horny guys, while wearing a feathered spandex uniform that would have looked more appropriate on a stripper.
Tim valiantly pushed aside thoughts of Kon stripping, and focused on savoring the last few bites of his ice cream. McDonalds's two for a dollar, Kon's treat. A great way to end their not-date.
"So," Kon said, once he'd crunched the last bite of his cone. "Would you like to…uh, head down to the park?"
It was a warm autumn day, a nice breeze blowing the smell of late summer flowers their way. Tim smiled. "I'd love to."
Once in the park, they strolled down one of the bike paths, occasionally straying into the grass when a young child or 'tweenager' on rollerblades zoomed past them with nary a glance.
"Kids these days," Kim quipped.
Kon snorted. "Yeah, I know."
Tim started looking for a bench, and his eyes settled on a small playground. It had a sandbox, swings and a slide, a jungle gym and tires, and lots of empty picnic tables. "You wanna sit down somewhere?"
"Sure." Kon smiled easily and looked towards the playground. "I…"
Tim had never actually seen someone stop dead in their tracks; it looked as comical in real life as it ever had on Loony Tunes. Comical, until he noticed the pallor of Kon's face. Frowning slightly in confusion, Tim placed a hand on Kon's shoulder. "Kon?"
"Oh, my God…" Kon breathed.
"What?" Tim asked, becoming more worried by the second.
"That's… I know them." Kon's eyes squinted towards the lesbian couple with two toddlers over by the swingset.
One was tall, blonde and stacked, reminiscent of Dinah at a younger age. The other was not nearly quite as tall, or stacked, but with more curves, luscious-looking mocha-colored skin and black hair. Both were gorgeous, and Tim felt a twinge as he noted how closely Kon was watching them. He'd accepted the fact that men paid more attention to him when he dressed as a woman, and that he could never really get close to Kon while he was essentially lying to him, but seeing this…wasn't fun. "How?" he asked, and got a shocking reply.
"She's my ex."
Tim felt jealously flare and viciously squashed it down, like a cockroach beneath his shoe. "Which one?"
"Both of them," Kon replied, voice numb as if he'd had a double dose of Novocain as an addition to their lunch. "Cassie's the blonde, and Tana's the brunette. I…holy hell, I remember!" His face went paler by the second, eyes wide and horrified.
Seeing that Kon was past freaked out, and possibly on his way to fainting, or throwing up and then fainting, Tim carefully steered him towards a quiet copse of trees. "You remember what?" he asked, careful to keep his tone soothing.
"I…" Kon licked dry lips, and took a few calming breaths. When he was done, his face had gone from chalky-white to something resembling day-old oatmeal. "When I was fourteen…Cassie and I had been dating – at least, I thought we were. Tana had broken up with me a few weeks after she introduced us. Anyway, I decided to surprise Cassie one afternoon, only apparently there was a party and her mother directed me upstairs, and… I accidentally walked in on both of them."
Personally, Tim didn't think that finding out your girlfriend was a lesbian was traumatic enough to make it impossible to touch a girl again ever, but what did he know about it? He was gay, after all.
"And then I realized that not only had I been deluding myself about Cassie being my girlfriend, but I'd been deluding myself about being straight," Kon blithely continued, voice dazed and confused. "And I just…I couldn't handle it all at once."
That made more sense. Not much more, but it had obviously affected Kon rather strongly.
Kon turned to face him abruptly. "Look, I'm sorry, Kim, but I can't do this."
"Huh?" Tim blinked, still caught up in trying to figure out Kon's mental problems; he wasn't exactly in the here and now.
"I'm…it's not you, okay, it's me." Kon winced, and said, "I'm…I'm gay. You're a great girl, and I really do like you, but…you're a girl."
Later, Tim would look back and see how badly things could have gone, but at that moment he was too giddy with relief over hearing Kon's newfound revelations to realize that maybe he should have been less blunt with his own. "No, I'm not," Tim said, deliberately letting his voice fall into its deeper register.
Kon blinked at him, jaw dropping open. "Whaaaa?"
Tim blushed. "A friend of mine needed me to take her place at the Café, and then she got another job, and this one paid well, so I…didn't quit." He shrugged. "My name's Timothy Drake; I go by Tim."
"But you–" Kon objected, "and I– I mean… That doesn't mean that you…" He waved his hands, unable to articulate even one of the hundred things that was obviously going through his mind.
"I'm gay, too," Tim said, and decided to go for broke, leaning up – and up, and up; damn his short genes – to plant a kiss on Kon's slack lips.
That also could have not gone so well, but Tim was gratified to find that Kon didn't spaz when he was touched by a guy. Far to the contrary, he responded enthusiastically.
Way too enthusiastically for a public park, but Tim's apartment was nearby.
When the next morning dawned, the midsummer sunlight and twittering birds found Tim and Kon still cuddled together in bed. Actually, Kon was cuddling Tim, as he'd awoken first, and Tim was still sleeping.
Kon couldn't get enough of looking at him. Just a few short months ago he was looking a lifetime of loneliness, and now…now he was looking – hopefully – forward to a lifetime with Tim.
It had only taken one unforgettable man to make Kon remember everything. And Kon knew he never wanted to forget Tim, ever.