I don't own Young Justice. Written in response to a rather detailed prompt on the anon meme.
Fill in the Blanks
Star City, apparently, had an excellent club scene.
In particular, there was a district called the Tacros, a walkable distance from Roy's apartment, which the archer swore was unrivalled on the whole western seaboard when it came to a night out on the town. And when Kaldur had pointed out that he had absolutely no frame of reference for these sorts of things, Roy had just shrugged and said,
"Prepare to be spoiled for life, then."
When they'd actually arrived, Kaldur had to wonder if Roy had meant to say "deafened" rather than "spoiled."
"Are clubs usually this loud?" he had practically shouted into his friend's ear, a drink clutched compulsively tight between webbed hands.
"Nah, this one's a bit tame," Roy had said, and dragged him onto the dance floor.
Kaldur could not dance. He was, however, quite adept at drinking. And in some magical, perfectly linear correlation, the more he drank, the better he got at dancing, until Roy, clearly threatened by his ever-burgeoning Skills, dragged him back off the dance floor and handed him a glass of water, a trick which Kaldur saw right through but put up with because Roy looked so damn good in civvies.
Almost too good, actually. This particular club – all right, this particular neighborhood – seemed full of men ready to make passes at his friend, and while drinking and dancing were positively correlated for Kaldur, there was a distinct negative correlation between drinking and his ability to refrain from punching them all in the face and telling them to back the fuck off. But Roy was apparently a regular in this club, if the bit where the bartender had handed him his first drink without having to ask had been any indication, and he didn't want to embarrass him.
Or himself, for that matter. Roy really didn't need to know that he'd only agreed to come clubbing in the first place because he'd desperately wanted some out-of-costume time with him. Roy really didn't need to know that he was only drinking so much because he was so damn nervous about screwing up the awkward dance of surfaceside social interaction and destroying their friendship entirely. Roy really didn't need to know that he'd been pining after him like the little fucking mermaid had pined after Prince Eric, for months on end…
But to be damn sure, he was part of Roy's world now, and as the lights swam in his eyes and the music throbbed through his body, he lost track of the people around them, caught up in his own heartbeat and the look in Roy's eyes and that damn smirk, and forgot to remember anything.
He woke up with the worst headache of his life, worse than the time Superboy had accidentally dropped him off a four-story building (team communication had been a little shaky in the early days). The light pouring in through the blinds felt like a sledgehammer to the brain. The noise from the cars on the street seemed to bypass his audio cortex and go straight to the pain receptors in his brain.
Except he didn't live on a street. Not one that ever got traffic, anyway. And his window faced the ocean, not the road…
And he was warm. He was so much warmer than he ever was at home in his own bed, and while it wasn't a bad kind of warm, it was distinctly not the kind of warm you got in an unheated oceanside flat sleeping by yourself. With a growing sense of dread, he reopened his eyes, established the fact that that was indeed not his ceiling, and rolled over onto his side.
As he moved, a hand he hadn't noticed before slipped off his stomach and fell onto the bed, a hand that was definitely not his, a hand with a scar between the knuckles on the index and middle fingers, a scar from a snapped bowstring, a bowstring from a bow that belonged to…
"Oh god," Kaldur murmured, following the hand to the wrist to the arm to the shoulder to the man.
It was a mistake. It had to be. Roy didn't…Roy wouldn't…there had to be some other explanation for those marks on the archer's shoulder. And there were tons of reasons for them both to be dressed, or rather not dressed like this, right? It must have been raining when they'd come home, and their clothes had been drenched, so they'd just slipped out of them and gone straight to bed. Roy had just been giving him a place to crash. That was all. That had to be all. There was no way they'd…had they?
But it hadn't been raining last night. He remembered that much, at least. Around three, Roy had asked him if he'd wanted to go someplace quieter, and as they'd pushed their way outside, the air had been brisk and cool and wonderful after the oppressive heat of that fourth club. They had talked as they'd made their way through the streets, but about what, Kaldur couldn't recall…
As Kaldur struggled to put the pieces together, Roy suddenly shifted in his sleep, nuzzling his head against the pillow and making a sort of rumbling sound deep in his chest as his arms stretched out as if reaching for something. Without stopping to contemplate his own reaction to that particular noise, Kaldur quickly slipped out from under the sheets and began the hunt for his clothes. It would be better if he were gone when Roy awoke. However things had played out the night before, it was almost certainly a mistake of one kind or another.
After he had tracked down what he was pretty sure was his complete outfit from the night before, he slipped barefoot outside and cast a final glance through the flat to the open bedroom door, where Roy presumably still slept. Why the hell couldn't he remember? The blackout was aggravating on so many levels. One, he had no recollection of what had actually happened, though his body was giving him a clue or two. Two, if he was correctly deducing the answer to question one, he had no recollection of how any ofit had actually happened, no memory of what chain of intoxicated events had led to the two of them sharing Roy's bed like…like that. And finally, on some very personal and embarrassing level, it just wasn't fair that after months of fantasies, he couldn't recall a shred of the real thing, wouldn't have even a scrap of memory to enjoy later, would walk away with only the embarrassment and none of the pleasure.
He could only pray that Roy didn't remember, either.
After all, now that his headache was easing and his mind was clearing, it was obvious that there was only one explanation. Somewhere between Too Much and Way Too Much, he'd come on to Roy, or worse, confessed. And Roy, just as drunk and rather free with his affections, if reputation held, had indulged him, like any good friend would. If he remembered, it would complicate things endlessly. Their whole friendship, their working relationship, it would all be compromised, and that would be so much worse than pining. Better to wish for what would never happen than to wish what had, hadn't.
He used the nearest zeta-station, the one in the transit tunnel a mile or so from Roy's house, intending to transfer to the appropriate tube at the Cave to get to his own apartment. Unfortunately, when he materialized in the main hall of Mount Justice, he was confronted by perhaps the last sight he was ready to deal with at the moment – Robin and KF, lounging on the rec hall couch, which they had apparently dragged all the way to the tubes for the express purpose of waiting for him.
"Oh heyyyy," Robin grinned, his legs draped across Wally's lap.
"Welcome back," Wally said brightly. He leaned back, hands behind his head. "Nice shirt."
Kaldur glanced down. Okay, so he didn't wear button-downs very often.
"Thank you?" he replied uncomfortably.
"So…how was your night?" Robin prompted, sounding way too much like he already knew the answer.
"And your morning," Wally added. "It's like, one in the afternoon."
"I am…uncertain that is any of your business," said Kaldur.
"Probably not," Wally agreed. "But we're nosy. Also, it looked like a good night, just sayin'."
Kaldur glanced at the two of them, his discomfort growing.
"What do you mean?"
"When we ran into you last night," said Robin, cocking his head to one side. "At that one club with all the mirrors and the strobe lights and the horrible DJ."
Kaldur stared. There was a long moment of very awkward silence.
"Oh my god, he totally doesn't remember," Wally suddenly laughed, looking to Robin, who just grinned.
"How much do you remember?"
Kaldur opened his mouth, then shut it, then looked past the two of them, desperately wishing someone else would show up and distract the two of them long enough for him to escape, but that seemed unlikely.
"I am very tired," he said at last. "If you don't mind, I will be returning home now. I will see you for training tomorrow."
"Oh, very tired," said Robin knowingly. "Long night?"
"If you must know, yes," Kaldur replied. "I would really rather not dis – "
"Where are your shoes?" Wally interrupted, staring at Kaldur's feet.
The blood drained from Kaldur's face. His shoes. He so rarely wore them, he had forgotten that he'd had to the previous night, and he had left the damn things at Roy's place. Any hope he'd had of denying having ever been there was destroyed with that, and he let out a quiet curse before he could stop himself. Wally, however, seemed to think this was hilarious, and exclaimed,
"Dude, it's like Cinderella, except you totally banged the prince!"
He and Robin shared a high five as Kaldur pressed a hand to his forehead, dismay growing by the minute.
"Don't worry, I'm sure Roy will bring your glass slipper back," Robin smirked. "When he rides up on his – "
"Please, stop," Kaldur cut in, voice hoarse, and the two of them fell abruptly silent. "You cannot speak to him of this. Ever."
"What?" Wally said confusedly. "Why not?"
"We were planning on mocking you both equally," said Robin. "You know, just to be fair."
"You must not," Kaldur pressed. How the hell did they know about this, anyway? Bats. He hated Bats. "There has been a…a miscommunication."
"What do you mean, a miscommunication?" asked Robin. "You guys looked like you were having a good enough time dancing."
"And taking tequila shots…"
"And whiskey shots…"
"And rum shots…"
"Enough," Kaldur interrupted. "Please. I am going home now, but…there is a chance Roy does not remember last night's events, and if that is the case, it would be better he not be told. If he asks, I am in Atlantis. Leave my shoes in my locker."
He made for the zeta-tube that would take him home.
"Kal…are you okay?" asked Robin. When he turned back, the smirk was gone from the Boy Wonder's face, and he looked concerned instead.
Kaldur let out a long breath, trying not to let the last twelve hours ruin his cool, but he was dangerously close to losing it.
"I…I will be fine," he said, forcing a smile. And with that, he disappeared into the tubes.
Robin and Wally shared a look.
"What was that all about?"
Wally's fingers drummed against the arm of the couch.
"…wanna try and find out?"
Roy awoke alone.
This was normal most mornings, but for some reason, today it bothered him. And it really was the aloneness that was the problem, not just the splitting headache; he just had this niggling feeling that he wasn't supposed to be by himself. Maybe he'd just been looking forward to something when he went to sleep. Hard to remember.
He staggered into the bathroom, bleary-eyed and in serious need of a piss. Whatever he'd done last night, he'd definitely had plenty (too much) to drink. Usually it took at least eight drinks to mess with his memory, more if he'd had enough to eat, which he was pretty sure he had. Weird.
As he washed his hands, he happened to look up, and something in the mirror caught his eye. Were those…hickeys? He ran a finger over the marks, and decided they had to be.
"Well done, well done," he muttered, though he couldn't quite remember how they'd gotten there. What had he been doing last night? He'd been out clubbing, the usual weekend gig, but there'd been something different about this time, something that had made it more exciting. But…what?
Food. Food would help. He made for the kitchen, not bothering with clothes; it was his own apartment, and the blinds were shut. Whatever. Wresting a banana off its bunch, he looked around his flat for any reminder of the previous night's events. Things were strangely orderly for his apartment; usually he made much more of a mess when he brought someone home. Made for a good excuse to kick them out the next morning…
There. By the door. A pair of shoes, not his own. Sneakers. Black and grey. Stylish, new-looking, like they didn't get worn a lot.
He nearly dropped the banana as a smattering of facts came rushing back to him, filling some of the blanks in his own memory.
Fact #1: He'd convinced Kaldur to come clubbing with him. That, in itself, deserved a medal.
Fact #2: They had spent nearly five hours on the scene, hopping from joint to joint. And they'd demolished the bar wherever they'd gone.
Fact #3: At some point on the walk home, he'd pushed Kaldur up against a wall and kissed him, just to test the waters. So to speak. And Kaldur had kissed him back.
Kaldur had kissed him back. Under the streetlights, up against an old dirty brick wall, he'd kissed him back, and twisted his hands into his shirt, and pulled him so close he couldn't have pulled away even if he'd wanted to, which he hadn't.
And then Roy had told him all those things he'd decided it was better not to, all those things that were going to make everything unbearably awkward and weird between them. Except instead of everything becoming unbearably awkward and weird, Kaldur had just repeated them back at him, so he'd had to kiss him again, even better than the first because finally, all those damn words were out of the way, and now all they needed were each other's names.
And then…the further into the evening it got, the less Roy recalled, but they'd made it back to his place, and had had another round or two in honor of something or other in the kitchen, and somebody had kissed somebody else again, and somehow they'd wound up in his bedroom, and there were clothes on the floor and mouths on necks and hands everywhere, and all Roy could remember was the taste of Kaldur's tattoos, sweet and salty as he'd…
Right. Face flushed, Roy jerked himself out of that very, very pleasant recollection, and instead jumped forward to the question at hand: why had he woken up alone?
(And why had Kaldur left his shoes behind?)
It didn't make sense. Even if Kaldur had suddenly remembered something he'd had to do, surely he would have woken him up to say so, or at least left a note, yet there was nothing to say he'd even been there but his shoes and Roy's foggy memories.
Suddenly nervous, Roy dug through the jacket he'd tossed over a kitchen chair the night before and located his communicator, which he activated.
"Red Arrow to Cave," he spoke, as soon as the line cleared.
"Hey Roy, what's up?"
"Uh…I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use civilian IDs on the comm line."
"Whatever, I secured it myself," Robin replied, and Roy could practically hear the eyeroll through the crackle of his communicator speakers. "But if you care so much…what's up, Red Arrow?"
"I'm just wondering if uh, if Aqualad has reported to base yet today," Roy said, trying to sound casual.
"Uh…I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to use the comm line for personal inquiries," imitated Robin.
"It's not a…it's not a personal inquiry!" he objected. "I have reason to believe Aqualad may…may be in some kind of danger. Just answer the damn question."
"What kind of danger are we talking?"
"The…argh. Robin!" Roy snapped. "Just tell me. Has he come or not?"
"Oh man, Wally, please come over here and appreciate the joke I'm not making right now."
"Robin, I swear, if you don't – "
"Yeah, he showed up about an hour ago," Robin interrupted. And before Roy could say another word, there was a click, and the line went dead.
He let out a deep breath. Well, not abducted was a good start. But why…why, then, had Kaldur just up and left? It didn't make any sense, not if Roy was remembering their night correctly. After a night like that, you were supposed to wake up together and lie in bed for hours and talk and laugh and touch each other and maybe consider having another go. You definitely weren't supposed to wake up and ditch without a word.
Unless…unless he wasn't remembering their night correctly. Clearly he'd gotten some of it right, if Kaldur's shoes had ended up in his apartment, but…it was possible that the alcohol was blurring the line between memory and fantasy, between reality and dream. It was possible that he was somehow confusing what had happened with what he wished had happened. It was possible that the whole thing had been in his head.
If so, he was going the hell back to sleep.
"Dammit," Roy muttered, picking his banana up off the table, where he'd abandoned it for the communicator. He bit off the top as he concentrated, trying to think of a better explanation, because if he was being honest with himself, he really didn't want it to be a dream. But what options did that leave? Did Kaldur just not understand how this kind of thing worked? Worse, had he had a change of heart? Or – and the thought sank right through Roy's head to his stomach – had Kaldur just been too drunk to deny him in the first place?
Roy tossed the banana. Suddenly, he didn't have an appetite.
He showered quickly, pulling on a clean shirt and locating his own shoes, which had somehow ended up in the bathroom cupboard above the secret compartment in which he kept his costume. Running a comb through his hair even as he slipped out the door, he made his way for the nearest zeta-transporter, hangover (and confidence) forgotten.
The Cave was quiet when he showed up, though there was, oddly, a couch in front of the tube. Stepping around it, Roy glanced around the empty training hall, Kaldur's shoes dangling from his hand, before calling out,
There was a noise and a blur, then Wally skidded to a halt in front of him, sneakers squeaking and giving off the smell of singed rubber.
"Hey there," he greeted, straightening up. "Digging the leather jacket. I take it this isn't a business visit. What's up?"
"Oh," Wally interrupted, spotting the shoes in his hand. "Right. That."
"Sorry, Mario, but your princess is in another castle."
"Um, I mean, I'll take those," Wally coughed, holding out his hands. Meanwhile, Robin appeared on the upper landing, leaning over the railing to watch their conversation, which didn't make Roy any less uncomfortable. He handed the shoes over, stuffing his hands into his jacket pocket as he glanced between his two old friends, who seemed to be studying him with unusual intensity.
"Am I missing something?" he asked after a moment.
"What? No," said Wally, blinking. "I mean, probably not?"
"Right," Roy frowned. "Is Kaldur here?"
"Nope," said Wally, suddenly looking very interested in the shoes he was holding. "Dropped by earlier. Went straight home. Uh, I mean…by home, I mean Atlantis."
Roy nodded mutely, processing that.
"Was he…did he seem…you know, okay?"
Robin's face was unreadable, between the distance the sunglasses, but he seemed to be paying closer attention than ever.
Wally rocked back and forth on his heels, casting a glance up at Robin before he looked back to Roy.
"Since you mentioned it, he did seem a bit…off."
"Distressed," Wally shrugged, twisting one of Kaldur's shoelaces around a finger. "In a hurry."
"Did he say anything about it?" Roy asked, his stomach twisting uncomfortably. He didn't like how this was progressing. Once again, Wally looked up to Robin, and though neither of them said anything, Roy got the feeling they had somehow communicated something.
"No," Wally said slowly. "He uh, he didn't. Is everything okay with you two?"
"I don't know," Roy admitted, shoulders hunched defensively. Dammit. He really didn't want to talk about this with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but truth be told, they were the only ones who would get it – they'd known him and Kaldur the longest, and besides – they were his only real friends, beside Kaldur himself.
"You wanna talk about it?"
Wally, for once in his life, looked both earnest and serious. Roy glanced at him, then at Robin, who had started down the rest of the stairs, and nodded.
"Guys, this, um, might be a little over the top."
Robin looked legitimately confused as he and Wally sat squished into the one armchair, while Roy had the whole couch to himself.
"Computer, secure the room," Robin instructed.
The computer acquiesced: something clicked in the doors, and a heavy silence fell around them.
"So," Wally began, crossing his legs and leaning back in the chair, which gave Robin even less space; the Boy Wonder made a face and scooted forward, trying to make it work. "Tell us, when exactly did this disturbance in the force occur?"
"Just last night," Roy muttered, trying to ignore how absurd this was.
"Ooooh, last night," Wally repeated, waggling his eyebrows until Robin elbowed him sharply in the ribs. "Ow."
"When last night?" Robin asked. "Before or after you got to the club?"
"Which club? And how do you know about that?"
"Because you…really? Neither of you remember?" Wally asked incredulously. "And here I was, thinking it had meant someth – "
"Neither of us?" Roy interrupted, frowning.
"You and Kaldur," Robin clarified. "We – Wally and I – ran into you last night, at a club. It was pretty loud, and you both seemed pretty far gone. You might not remember."
"How the hell did you get into a club? You're fourteen, and you look like you're twelve."
"Bat," Robin replied, waving a hand dismissively. "Don't worry about it. Anyway. Things seemed fine when we saw you two. What happened?"
"I don't know," Roy confessed. "That's the problem. I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"I don't remember…well I think I don't remember what happened," said Roy. "I woke up this morning and…he…he was just gone. I don't remember him leaving, but he wasn't there."
"What do you think you remember?" Robin asked, sharing a quick glance with KF.
Roy gave them a long-suffering look.
"Do you really need me to spell it out?"
"Nope," Wally said quickly.
"No need for that."
"Good," Roy sighed, looking back up at the ceiling. "So there you have it. Any magical words of wisdom from my two remarkably underqualified impromptu psychotherapists?"
"Yeah," said Wally. "Don't get drunk and sex people. Especially not your best friend. It gets really complicated."
"Oh, thank you so much. That's exactly what I needed to hear."
"No problem," Wally grinned.
"Seriously though," Robin said, frowning and clasping his hands intently. "What exactly is the problem in all this, besides the fact that you don't remember what happened?"
"Look, if you thought you'd gone to bed with someone on great terms, and woke up the next morning to find them gone without a trace, wouldn't you be just a little bit concerned?" said Roy, frustrated.
"No," said Wally with a confused glance at Robin, who at the same moment muttered "So that's what that call was about."
"Jesus," Roy groaned. "I don't even want to know. Okay, let's try this again, if you thought you'd gone to bed with Kaldur on great terms and woke up the next morning to find him gone without a trace, would you wonder what the hell had happened?"
"I mean, think you're missing the bigger problem that I would have just slept with Kaldur, which is just - " Wally began, before Roy cut him off with a noise of thorough exasperation.
"I'm trying to be serious here. Please, humor me."
"Yeah, okay, I'd be a little worried," Robin conceded.
Wally sighed, and Robin tapped a finger against his arm thoughtfully.
"So the way I see it, you have a few options here," he said, after a moment. "Door number one, you wait for Kaldur to turn back up and talk about this, whatever 'this' is. Door number two, you track him down and initiate the conversation yourself."
Roy shifted on the couch, frowning.
"Is there a door number three?"
"There's always a door number three," Robin replied, the corners of his mouth twitching upwards.
"I'm afraid to ask, but I'm asking."
"You let us talk to him for you."
"Why do I get the feeling this is a terrible idea?"
"Why do I get the feeling you're going to pick it anyway?"
"Why are you always right?"
"Of course. How could I forget?"
"Same method you employed last night. One tequila, two tequila, three teq – "
"Shut up, Wally."
"Anyway," Robin cut back in. "Yes. We accept – we'll gladly play detective in your little mystery. But I need to know one thing from you before we proceed."
Roy narrowed his eyes suspiciously.
"Do you loooooove him?" Wally grinned, clapping his hands to his cheeks and fake-swooning into Robin's lap.
"…I hate you both. So, so much."
"It's okay," Robin shrugged, setting his arm down on Wally's chest and wiggling onto the more-comfortable back portion of the chair. "We love us more than you hate us. Net gain. Anyway, that was my question, but if you'd like it in words you can actually respond to with some semblance of dignity, what outcome are you looking for? Just so we know how to play this."
"Well…first priority, damage control," Roy sighed. "I just…if I overstepped my bounds last night which I don't think I did, but…"
"Got it," Robin interrupted, nodding. "Objective alpha: preserve the bromance."
"…I still hate you."
"I know. What's second priority?"
"I didn't say there was a second priority."
"Wouldn't be a first priority if there wasn't a second priority," Robin countered.
"Okay. Fine. Yes. If there were a chance at…at repeating what I think last night was, only a bit more sober, I would take it. But only if he wanted it too."
"Gotcha," Robin nodded, nudging Wally off his lap so he could stand up; the speedster hurried to his feet to follow suit. "That's all I need. Leave it to us."
Roy looked between them, frowning in confusion. Were they going to talk to Kaldur now?
"I thought you said he was in Atlantis."
"You were probably drunk," Wally shrugged. And in seconds, the two of them had disappeared out the door, leaving Roy awkwardly alone on the Cave's rec room couch.
"Right," he muttered, closing his eyes. God, now that he thought about it, he was tired. Whatever else the previous night had contained, sleep didn't seem to have been a priority. No harm done in just…taking a nap, right there…right?
Roy awakened at someone else's startled shout, but just as his eyes snapped open, two things happened: the door slammed shut, and the lights went out, plunging the whole windowless room into pitch black. He sat up quickly, heart racing, and called out,
Fuck. That was Kaldur's voice.
"You're kidding me."
"I…I am sorry."
"Why the hell are you sorry?"
"I should have known better than to trust Robin and Kid Flash."
"Me too, apparently," Roy frowned, trying to figure out just where Kaldur was; he sounded distraught. "You okay?"
"Yes," Kaldur replied, and Roy relaxed a little.
"What'd they do?"
"I was…speaking with Wally about a personal matter," Kaldur said, "when Robin abruptly summoned us both to the Cave. He said there had been a disturbance, but in retrospect, I do not believe he was being entirely honest."
"What clued you in? The fact that they threw you in here with me, or the fact that they're lying little bastards, and always have been?"
Kaldur laughed uneasily.
"Perhaps both," he said. "Or perhaps the blindfold. And the ropes."
"Whatever else he may be, Kid Flash is very fast."
"Jesus Christ. Where are you?" Roy asked, moving off the couch and beginning to creep through the darkened room. "Keep talking."
"It is fine, I will have them off in a moment," Kaldur replied. "I have found myself in trickier situations before. There is no need to – "
"Found you," said Roy, his voice suddenly much, much closer.
He reached out tentatively, just barely able to make out Kaldur's outline; the Atlantean was lying on his side by the door, hands behind his back. Carefully, gently, Roy reached around him to feel for the knot, and undid it piece by piece, as Ollie had taught him. When the bonds fell away, Kaldur reached up to remove the blindfold, only to find that Roy's hands were already there, peeling it away.
"Better?" asked Roy as he cast the cloth aside.
"Yes," Kaldur murmured. "Thank you."
Roy sat back, leaning against the nearest piece of furniture, which happened to be the armchair Wally and Robin had been sitting in earlier. He didn't bother to check the door. He had absolutely no doubt it was locked.
"So," he muttered, watching the dark blur that was Kaldur shift into a sitting position and lean up against the wall opposite him. "Um. This is…awkward."
"As ever, your powers of observation astound, my friend."
"I hate that you finally figured out sarcasm."
"I have had good teachers."
Roy tried to laugh at that, but the silence swallowed the sound quickly, and the two of them found stewed in it for a long while, neither saying anything. Finally, Roy spoke again.
"Listen, I…" he began, hesitatingly. "I realize these aren't the ideal circumstances in which to bring this up, but I doubt those two are going to let us out until we get this sorted, so…"
Kaldur kept silent. Roy wished he could see his face. If the previous night had been an unpleasant experience for him, he really didn't want to make his friend relive it, but at the same time, the Terrible Two had locked them in here for a reason.
"Do you remember last night at all?"
Kaldur shifted, bringing his knees to his chest.
"Like, not at all not at all?"
"I remember leaving the clubs," said Kaldur. "After that, I remember nothing."
"That's awfully convenient," Roy muttered. "Are you sure?"
"Quite sure. Why is that convenient?"
"Because that's right about when…never mind."
Shit. So he'd already blacked out when he'd said all those impossibly wonderful things.
They were both silent a moment.
"How…how much do you remember?" Kaldur asked, sounding cautious.
Roy rubbed the back of his neck, trying very hard not to think too hard about his answer – it was a little too pleasant to recall, and if he had, in fact, imagined the whole thing, he wasn't sure Kaldur needed to know exactly what kinds of dreams he was having about him.
"I don't know," he said finally. "I…I think I remember some stuff, but it's kind of fuzzy, and…I'm not sure I trust my own memory. I was just as plastered as you, you know."
"I doubt that, my friend," said Kaldur. "I was a drunken fool last night. I am sorry you had to suffer me in such a state."
Roy didn't exactly recall "suffering,", but he kept his mouth shut.
"What is it you think you remember?" asked Kaldur after a moment.
Suddenly, Roy found himself very grateful to the dark, which was hiding the redness of his face.
"It's uh, it's totally possible that I just dreamed the whole thing," he deflected. "You know how it is, you're really drunk, and you wake up the next day and your mind kind of fills in the blanks however you feel like filling them in. I'm not sure there's a point in – "
"I know we had sex."
"Shit," Roy cursed instantly. Well, there went that. "God, Kal, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to pr– "
"How was it?"
"You said you thought you were fabricating memories based on how you wanted to fill in the blanks. How did you fill that one in?"
"Kaldur, what the hell are you asking me?"
"Was I any good?"
Roy blinked incredulously. He knew a fair number of people liable to ask that question, it had never occurred to him that Kaldur could be one of them.
"Um…yeah, actually," he mumbled uncomfortably. "You…you were."
"Then at least the night was not a total loss for both of us."
"It shouldn't have been a total loss for either of us," Roy protested. "Look, it was wrong of me to make a move when you'd already had that much to drink. It's my fault. I should have – "
"You made a move?"
"Well, yeah," Roy frowned, confused. "Is that a surprise or something? Fuck. Of course it is. You don't remember."
Through the dark, he could see Kaldur's pale eyes glinting slightly as the Atlantean watched him.
"Why…why would you have done such a thing?"
"It took me five hours of drinking to warm up to this last night," he said. "Are you really going to make me say it sober?"
"I will not make you say anything, my friend," Kaldur replied. "But if you told me how to fill in last night's blanks properly, I would be grateful."
Hesitating a moment, Roy finally sighed and ran a hand through his hair anxiously.
"I better be getting shitloads of brownie points for saying this twice," he muttered. "All right. Fine. Look. This is about to get massively awkward, so I'm praying that there's another route out of here, and a well-stocked bar on the way out, because God knows we're both going to need it. Now listen up, 'cause I'm sure as hell not saying this again."
"I will not ask you to."
Roy took a deep breath, let it out, then began.
"Look, I…I like you, Kal. I've liked you for – "
Before he could even properly embark on sentence #2, much less register the fact that Kaldur had moved, strong hands twisted into his shirt and a warm mouth crushed his own, effectively cutting off whatever else he might have had to say. His initial noise of surprise was lost somewhere between their lips as Kaldur pushed him up against the back of the armchair in some incredibly welcome reversal of the previous night, the kissed now the kisser, the kisser now the kissed. But just as Roy came to his stunned senses enough to reciprocate, the lights snapped on and the door bust open and a goddamn confetti bomb exploded over their heads.
"What the hell?"
Kaldur had not moved, still half-sitting, half-kneeling on the floor before Roy with a fistful of the archer's shirt in each hand; he looked up confusedly as the little shreds of paper rained down around them. Meanwhile, Robin and Wally appeared in the door with bright smiles, cake, and four glasses of what appeared to be champagne.
"Man, you guys are really awkward," said Wally brightly, stepping inside to hand them each a glass.
"Don't worry, it's sparkling cider," said Robin. "We figure you guys have the whole budding alcoholic thing down without our help."
As he let go of Roy's shirt to accept the drink, Kaldur seemed to notice that he was practically sitting in his friend's lap and hurriedly moved backwards. Robin ignored this and pulled a knife from his jacket pocket, kneeling down with the tray he'd been carrying.
"Cake?" he offered.
"Have you two been listening in the whole time?" Roy demanded.
"I'm insulted," Robin scoffed. "Just listening?"
"There was nothing to see! It was fucking dark in here!"
Robin just grinned.
"Oh, for the love of – "
"Caaaake~," sang Robin, cutting into it.
"And awesome night-vision cameras," Wally added. "By the way, you guys check each other out a lot when you think no one can see you."
Roy glanced over at Kaldur, who looked ready to die of embarrassment.
"Is this really necessary?"
"Yes," said Wally, taking two-cake loaded plates from Robin and handing them to Roy. "Take one and pass it on to your blushing bride over there."
"Don't call him that!"
"It's okay, Kaldur's got man points to spare. Right, Kal?" Robin said breezily, pulling his own cake into his lap and digging in. "I saw those bruises on Roy's arms. Very impressive."
"I…I do not recall…"
"I'm wearing long sleeves!" Roy objected. "How the hell do you…never mind, I don't even need to ask, do I?"
"Nope," Robin agreed cheerfully. He lifted his glass. "Anyway, here's to the two of you being drunk idiots and awkward with feelings and stuff. Way to go. Good thing you have us."
Roy muttered something that might have been "go die," though he raised his glass and polished it off anyway. Definitely cider. Damn.
The four of them ate in silence that was two parts companionable, one part uncomfortable and one part downright murderous. Finally, Robin collected plates, handed the rest of the cider bottle to Wally to polish off, and stood up.
"This concludes our 'Congratulations, You Didn't Sabotage Your Entire Relationship, Platonic and Otherwise, Despite Your Best Efforts' party," he said. "You two should probably go make out somewhere."
"Somewhere else," Wally clarified. "We watch movies in here and stuff. Don't make it creepy."
"Don't worry, I'm planning on getting as far away from here as possible," Roy assured them, standing up and holding his hand out. "Kal?"
"A little privacy would not go amiss," Kaldur admitted, taking Roy's hand and letting him help him to his feet.
They left together, still hand in hand, and as they approached the main hall, Roy heard Wally's voice one last time, more distant with each step.
"This is why you shouldn't let grownups have sex. They make everything so complicated."
"Too true," Robin's voice replied. "Wanna go play Mario Kart?"
"Is that a euphemism?"
"Do you want it to be?"
"Eh. Either way."
Slowly, groggily, Roy opened his eyes and blinked into the late-morning sunshine. His head didn't hurt, but his body definitely did, a delicious ache from head to toe that served as a reminder of the previous night, which he could recall in embarrassingly vivid detail. His arms were bruised and his lips were swollen, and he was happy.
With a satisfied sigh, he let his head fall to one side, where his eyes were met by another pair, hooded and pale grey and blinking drowsily at him.
"Morning," Roy murmured, unable to keep the smile from taking over his face.
"Morning," Kaldur replied, yawning and shifting to rest his head against Roy's shoulder. He shut his eyes again. "Is this more what you had in mind?"
"I will remember that for the future."
Roy punched Kaldur's chest gently, leaving his hand there when he was done.