Sequel to "Mirror, Mirror".
Hal studied the map spread out over the trunk of the Corvette. They were meandering their way to I-80, stopping at every scenic turnout so that Kyle could take photos or pull out his sketchbook. Hal had finally convinced him that he didn't mind, that he just enjoyed being able to drive his car. Traveling by ring was convenient, but sometimes you just needed some horsepower under the hood and the open road ahead of you.
Their road trip vacation, meant to be some simple male bonding, had turned out far more interesting than Hal had expected, starting with the interference of a parallel universe version of himself who had knocked him out, taken his place, and then put the moves on Kyle. Hal had discovered them together, in his bed, Kyle moaning and writhing under parallel universe Hal. It was his fantasies come to life, and now he wished he hadn't been so hard on his other self, even if he did get knocked over the head, his ring stolen, and locked in a crate. The other Hal had turned out to be the kick in the ass Hal had needed to admit that he was very attracted to Kyle Rayner.
It wasn't the first time he'd been attracted to a man. And he'd suspected Kyle was attracted to him for a while now. They'd grown close since Hal's return from the dead. Hal had even taken him on that midnight flight, something he'd only ever shared with Carol. But when he felt the mutual attraction get too strong, Hal hid his feelings and his fears by jumping into the sack with Jill Pearlman, because it was just too easy to hide behind the womanizing exterior everyone expected. Then Kyle suddenly took off for Oa. He knew he had hurt Kyle, but at the time he thought it would be for the best, for both of them.
But it didn't work out that way. Jill only reminded him of what a jerk he was, both to Kyle and to her, so he'd broken it off soon after. And then he'd hear from Guy about how Kyle was still withdrawn and upset about Parallax, and Hal would feel a mixture of guilt and jealousy that Kyle didn't talk to him about Parallax. The road trip was meant to fix their friendship, just the two of them hanging out together. Maybe he'd get Kyle to open up about Parallax, or maybe they'd just have some crazy adventures, like he'd had with Ollie so long ago, to take Kyle's mind off things.
But then the Hal from the parallel universe had shown up and changed everything.
The mirror version of himself had revealed that Hal was hiding his true feelings for Kyle. Afterwards, he confessed to Kyle that it was true, but he wasn't yet sure how he wanted to deal with it, and Kyle said he understood and he'd be patient. So they decided to just take a step back and not even consider anything more than friendship until after the trip.
That decision lasted all of three hours, until a spontaneous experimental kiss turned into a make-out session, which ended with Hal fucking Kyle on the living room floor. But at least they no longer had to worry about sleeping arrangements in the hotel rooms.
Sex with Kyle was … like flying. It scared the hell out of him the first time, and sometimes he didn't know which way was up, but Hal just knew it was where he was supposed to be. Everything about Kyle had him all turned around, because rather than fearing commitment, he was ready to follow Kyle back to Oa and convince Guy to switch jobs with him. It scared him that he was so willing to jump into a serious relationship with Kyle so quickly, but hadn't the other Hal said that the two of them as lovers was a 'universal constant'? He had the crazy idea that his previous relationship fears and failures had been caused by the 'universal constant' being divided by zero.
He startled when a finger poked him in the side. "You're studying that map awfully hard," Kyle said. He set his camera on the trunk and pressed close to Hal to look at the map. "Got any ideas for where to go next?"
"No." Hal shrugged. "I was just thinking. About us."
"Oh." The smile faded from Kyle's face. "Are you having second thoughts?"
"No, no second thoughts." Hal reached out to run his fingers through Kyle's soft, dark hair, an urge he'd often had to fight off in the past, and felt Kyle relax under his touch. "Just thinking about what we do after this."
Kyle glanced at the map. His smile was back and he had a playful glint in his eyes. "Looks like Nebraska."
Hal made a show of rolling his eyes. "I was thinking more along the lines of me spending more time on Oa."
Kyle raised his brows at him. "What about your job?"
Hal snorted. "Joining the Air Force again was a dumb idea. I have enough trouble making excuses for the time I need to back up John in the JLA. Then we add in being away days for a time for Corps stuff?" He shook his head. "I was thinking about retiring anyway."
Kyle smirked. "You mean I'm going to be dating an old retired dude?"
Hal gathered up the map and did his best to glare at Kyle. "Get in the car, kid."
Kyle laughed and snatched his camera off the trunk. "Can I drive?"
"No." Hal tried to glare again, but he was fighting a smile from the puppy-dog eyes Kyle was giving him. Damn, he was good at that.
"You'll let me get your back in life and death situations in outer space, but you won't let me drive your car?" Kyle added a pout to the puppy eyes.
Hal sighed and tossed him the keys.