Opening notes:

Nightwing and Changling have a frank discussion about the physical side of their respective marriages...

This was supposed to be a mini-sequel to an epic length story which, sadly, was destroyed along with my flash drive.

This is supposed to stand alone, but a little clarification is needed when Changling discusses the problem controlling his powers; that is a reference to my other (now destroyed) story. Basically, during the course of growing up, he found that his powers were starting to develop further, to the point where he could not only become animals, he could direct other animals. He also found that he was having a hard time battling his animal instincts while morphed (especially the predator forms). They decided it was due to his messed up physiology and most likely hormonally driven. After he and Raven married, the problem, ahem, went away.

This piece of short fiction is based on Warner Bros cartoon series: Teen Titans. I make no money from this in any way; the only profit is my own enjoyment. Warner Bros, please think of this as flattery and free advertising. I encourage everyone who has not done so already, to go and buy this series ASAP.

On with the story...

Nightwing and Changling talk

Although it was at least an hour until the sun disappeared over the horizon, the sky was already on fire. The scarlet and gold hanging from the heavens and reflecting off the water suffused everything with a warmth and calmness that begged you to sit and ponder. And that was exactly what one young man was doing. A lean, muscular figure in casual clothes, with slicked black hair and intense blue eyes, he looked perfectly at ease sitting on the edge of the tall, 'T' shaped tower.

Hearing the door to the roof open, he looked over and saw another young man sauntering toward him. The newcomer was also in casual clothes, cargo shorts and a tee shirt, but startlingly had mint green skin and roguishly long forest green hair. "Hey Rob. Cy said to find you and tell you that dinner's gonna be ready in about half an hour to forty-five minutes." He flopped his thin frame down a couple feet away from the first young man, lying on his side with his head supported by one arm. "Admiring the view?"

Nightwing spared Changling only a glance before turning back to the panorama. He gave a half smile and nodded. "I love the colors. Some of those reds remind me of Starfire's hair."

Garfield laughed. "I know. I think about Raven sometimes during storms when the clouds get that dark purple hue to them."

Rob's smile faded some and he sighed. "You know that tomorrow is Star's and my six month anniversary? It seems like we just got married yesterday. Then again, it also seems like I've never been without her."

Gar gave a half smile at that, thinking how he still felt the same way about Raven after being married a little over a year. However, he noticed that his friend's spirits seemed dampened by something. "That's a good thing, Rob. So, why do ya seem kinda down about it? I know you well enough that it can't be you forgot to get her something."

Rob gave a small chuckle. "No. We already have the whole day planned. It's just..." he trailed off and gave a short sigh as his face turned somber.

Now Gar was a little worried about his friend and wanted to help. He jumped up and strolled over behind his friend, and leaned his folded arms on the back of his friend's shoulders as if resting them on a shelf. "Come on dude. Something's wrong. Spill." he said seriously.

Rob glanced up at his friends face, and then turned back to the sunset as he spoke.

"It's just... sometimes I wonder if Star is really... satisfied... with me. I'm not Tamaranean. I wonder if she would have been happier if I had been one of her own people."

Gar got a thoughtful look on his face as he took a moment to ponder what his friend was trying to convey. "Satisfied with you... spiritually, emotionally, or physically? Well, spiritually and emotionally, everyone on the planet can see she dotes on you." He gave a short laugh, "I know you can be a little unobservant about touchy feely stuff sometimes. It took you long enough to propose! But I know that even you can see how much she loves you. So, I guess you're talking about being physically satisfying?"

Rob turned a little red but just shrugged and nodded. "Yeah."

Gar tilted his head to the side, gave Rob a little nudge and said. "Tell me. Maybe I can give you some advice. After all, I am one half of the 'older' married couple in the Titans. Maybe you're in need of my wisdom!"

"Yeah right," Rob snorted. He was quiet for a moment, and then spoke matter-of-factually. "Did you know that, when they want to use them, Tamaraneans have fourteen inch long, fully prehensile tongues?"

It was always interesting to see Garfield blush. The extra blood in his face combined with his mint colored skin made him turn a fascinating shade of purple. "Whoa." he said, simply.

Rob continued, staring steadfastly out over the water. "Needless to say, I don't. She's also a lot stronger than me. I mean she can lift a car with one hand if she needs to. Guys on her planet are even stronger than that. Me, she has to be careful not to bruise. Last time, she accidentally lit a starbolt and singed my shoulder. It didn't really bother me, but when she saw, she burst into tears."

Gar hummed thoughtfully. "So basically, you're wondering how on earth she can be satisfied with you, when you can't do some of the stuff that normal guys from her planet should be able to do?"

Rob shifted a little uncomfortably. "Pretty much."

Gar didn't say anything. He stepped away from Rob and looked up at the sky. There was a falcon surfing the air currents high overhead. He called a sharp, piercing note to it, and the falcon dived toward him, snapped its wings open at the last moment, and came to a graceful landing on his arm. He sat down with it next to his friend, petting the elegant creature while he mused. The bird ruffled its feathers contentedly.

"You know Rob," he began, "Raven and I had a little bit of difficulty at the beginning also. It took some work for us to set aside our expectations of what was 'normal' and what we 'should' be able to do. I mean, you may not have a Tamaranean tongue, but at least you don't have a set of fangs to work around." He turned to his friend and gave him a broad grin that displayed his long and very sharp incisors. "Poor Raven! She cut her lip on our wedding night when we really kissed for the first time," he chuckled.

Rob gave a little laugh.

"We quickly found out that on a lot of what should be 'normal' things, I have to be very slow and very, very careful; the animal instincts and senses get overloaded pretty easily. So in a way, I can understand what's it's like being worried about hurting your partner, but I also know where you're coming from when you wonder if she'd be happier if I was a normal guy."

Rob gave a little half smirk and jokingly said, "As a shapeshifter I bet you can make up for it in other interesting ways though."

Wrinkling his nose at the idea, Gar released the Falcon back into the air and said, "Remember, I'm not a generic shapeshifter, I'm specifically an ani-morph. Raven and I both agreed right from the start that there would be no shifting of any kind during our 'activities'. That would just be too weird and kind-of wrong. It's already weird enough when I shift in my sleep and she wakes up hugging a leopard or a cheetah."

At that mental picture, they both burst out laughing.

"I have to say though, Rob, thank you for not 'keeping tabs' on us. Even with the control problem with my powers, I REALLY didn't want to be filing reports on my sex life. 'Yes sir, Tuesday and Friday I slept with my wife. We figure we can hold off until Monday.'"

Snorting dismissively, Rob replied, "Don't worry, that's one type of chore report I DON'T want to see."

His friend shuddered. Rob looked at him quizzically.

"Now that's my secret fear," Gar said. "Terror, is more like it."

Puzzled, Rob asked, "What is?"

"You told me what you're afraid of. I'm afraid of something also. That Raven will get tired of 'being with' me. Or see it as a duty. I mean I've heard lots of ladies joke about sex being a chore, but in reality, it actually is one for Raven; it's something we're required to do for my sanity. We've found that we can go for about two weeks at most before I start losing control of my animal forms. And even at one week, the T-Rex is too risky to use. I know she loves me and would 'be with' me if for no other reason than to help me maintain control. But I'm scared that she'll come to resent me for it. Or think that the only reason I want her is to keep some animal instinct in check."

Rob stared at his friend for a few moments. "But, that isn't why you want to be with her." he stated flatly.

"No!" Gar said passionately. "I want to be with her because I love her! Every time I'm in the city and I hear someone joking about how guys have 'only one thing' on their mind... it hurts! They don't understand why sex is so important to guys. Or at least why it's so important to me." A single tear escaped down his cheek. He calmly wiped it away; a motion at odds with the depth of emotion in his voice. "I don't 'want to have her'. I want to GIVE myself TO her. At what other time are you EVER more open and vulnerable to another person? When you are naked together and your bodies are intertwined with and in each other... there is no greater intimacy than that. I can't think of a more wonderful or frightening gift to share. And I DESPERATELY want to know that she delights in sharing it with me." He lapsed into silence.

There was a crack in Rob's voice when he finally spoke up. "That is exactly what I want to know with Star. I want to know that she delights in sharing as much as I do. And..." He stood up suddenly and waved his arms around for emphasis. "And I'm such a tongue-tied, verbal klutz! I try to tell her exactly what I feel, and it all comes out exactly wrong and I just end up confusing her! I get myself all prepared with what I want to say to her, then when I actually am in front of her and SEE her... none of it seems good enough. Because she's too good for it! How am I supposed to tell her how much she means to me, if there isn't anything good enough to compare her to... how?"

Garfield gave his friend a smile that was full of wonder. "I think... that it's a very good thing we have the rest of our lives to practice and try to tell them. Isn't it?"

With an awed tone, Rob replied, "Wow. That's an amazing thought."

"Don't you love anniversaries?" Gar concluded. They both laughed.

Someone behind them cleared their throat. They turned around quickly and saw a white cloaked, young lady with long purple hair standing there looking very embarrassed.

"Raven!" Gar stood up and smiled awkwardly. "Uhm... how long have you been up here?"

Shifting a little uncomfortably, she replied, "Well, I would say that I came in during the intense part, but I get the feeling that the whole conversation was intense. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop; I just came to tell you both that dinner is ready."

"It's not a problem. And thanks." Nightwing said quickly. Turning to Changling, he smiled and said, "Thank you, Gar. It was good to open up and share."

Changling gave him a lopsided grin as they walked toward the door, "Anytime bro. Guys need guy talk just like girls need girl talk. We'd better get downstairs before Cyborg eats everything."

As they walked through the door, Raven just stood there watching them for a few moments. Just before her husband disappeared inside, she called out, "Oh, Garfield?"

He stuck his head back outside, his hair flopping into his eyes. "Yes mi'lady?"

Pausing dramatically, she gave a devilish smirk. "I DO delight in sharing that gift with you."

A blush instantly bloomed profusely on his face and he beamed at her before quickly pulling his head back inside.

Grinning, she laughed loudly to herself, "I LOVE that purple color."

fin

Many thanks to Winter Rae for being my Beta Reader on this.

Any and all reviews appreciated and welcomed. I try to respond personally to every review.