Pairings/Characters: Dick/Roy, Clark/Bruce, Steve/Diana
Genres: Challenge, Fluff, Humor, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Summary: Dick and Roy join Clark, Bruce, Steve, and Diana at the beach cottage for some relaxation.
Date Of Completion: June 13, 2010
Date Of Posting: July 16, 2010
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1968
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2010 DCU Fic/Art Summer Vacation Challenge.
The By-The-Sea series is an umbrella title for various DC couples enjoying time by-the-sea. The entire series can be found here.
Just you and me.
Just you and me.
Clams and lobster,
Corn and butter,
The taste of summer,
Just you and me.
Dick’s joyful shout echoed across the road as he nearly leaped onto the deck, hugging his mentor. Bruce hugged back, no one surprised anymore when Bruce indulged. After a lifetime of raising Dick and now loving Clark, it was part of his repertoire.
A grinning Roy trailed after Dick, accepting a hug from Clark.
“You’re here early! Did you wrap up the mission successfully?” Clark asked.
“We did. Dick charmed the Elysian queen and we were home free.”
“No doubt,” Bruce said dryly as his smiling boy sparkled with excitement.
“We can’t wait to hit the beach. We’ve got all our stuff in Roy’s jalopy.”
“Jalopy? What is this, Archie at the beach?” Clark teased.
“Red’s got the hair for it, and if we invited Linda and Barbara, we’d have Betty and Veronica.” Dick could barely stand still as he gazed out over the ocean and watched a red-and-white striped sailboat bob on the white-capped waters.
“Bring your stuff in. You’ll be bunking on the screened-in porch,” said Bruce.
“Excellent.” Dick’s eyes shone.
Dick and Roy walked back to the car, and when they appeared again, this time with luggage, Diana and Steve came out onto the porch with glasses of lemonade.
“Dick! Roy! A pleasure to see you,” said Diana.
“Thanks, Diana,” Dick smiled.
“I’ll show you to your room,” Steve offered.
The ‘room’ was the screened-in area of the deck, a cool breeze wafting through the screens.
“Mmm, smell that ocean breeze,” Dick said, taking in a lungful of sea air.
Roy was amused. Growing up in the desert, he hadn’t even seen the ocean until Ollie had taken him in.
“Does this couch fold out into a bed?” he asked.
“Yes. You can put your clothes in either of our closets. Sorry about no rooms being available.”
“This is fine.” Roy waved his hand. “It’ll be like camping out, only without the mosquitoes.”
Steve laughed. “Always a plus.”
“We’ll be out as soon as we unpack.” Dick’s blue eyes sparkled with mischief. “We’ll use Bruce and Clark’s closet.”
Steve grinned. “See you outside.”
He went out onto the deck as the boys headed upstairs with their suitcases. The bedrooms and bathroom were on the second floor, and the kitchen and living room were spacious areas here on the ground floor. The blondwood paneling and comfortable furniture was casual and was perfect décor for a cottage by the beach.
Out here, the round redwood picnic table and deck chairs were weathered but sturdy. Each chair had a different cloth color: red, green, yellow, and blue.
“The boys settled in?” Clark asked.
“They’re unpacking now.” Steve pulled a deck chair next to Diana, grabbing a glass of lemonade off the picnic table.
“Is the cooler packed?” Bruce asked.
Diana nodded. “We’re ready for the beach.” She was wearing her yellow bikini, draped with a matching beach robe. All the men were in their swim trunks, Clark and Bruce wearing T-shirts and Steve an unbuttoned lightweight cotton shirt.
Laughter drifted down from the open second-story window.
“Let me guess,” Bruce said wryly. “They’re unpacking in my and Clark’s room.”
Steve nodded, Clark chuckling. “Dick would never disturb Steve and Diana.”
“No, but he’d happily disturb us.” Bruce’s tone was fond exasperation.
The boys clambered down the stairs ten minutes later, and joined everyone on the deck.
Roy wore a dark-red bathing suit and crisp white T-shirt, his red hair neatly combed and sandals on his feet. Dick wore green swim trunks that weren’t Speedos but seemed to cling to his body. He wore no shirt or shoes, his blue-black hair shaggy as he practically danced across the deck.
Roy seemed content to stay in his lover’s shadow. He was quiet while Dick was exuberant. Diana had told Steve that since his heroin addiction years ago, Roy was more subdued, but it seemed to work just fine with the more gregarious Dick.
Steve could understand that. He was content to stand in Diana’s shadow most of the time.
“We’ve got a cooler all packed for lunch,” Diana said. “All ready for the beach.”
“Let’s go!” Dick nearly performed a backflip in his excitement.
“What are you, two?” Bruce asked as everyone laughed.
“C’mon, Bruce, let’s go!” Dick tugged at his mentor’s arm.
“We have to go, I guess. So says the Crown Prince.”
Dick’s grin was blinding. Steve could see why Roy was so besotted.
“Let’s go!” Clark said as he stood, catching Dick’s enthusiasm while Bruce rolled his eyes.
All six heroes cavorted in the sea, laughing and playing like children out from school for the summer. Dick and Roy reveled in every minute, savoring their freedom from responsibility.
Dick was glad to see Roy enjoying himself. They’d had some pretty rough Teen Titan missions lately, and it was always chaotic in Gotham and Star City.
Dick reached out and grabbed Roy, dunking him as the redhead yelped. Roy came up spluttering, grabbing his laughing lover and returning the favor.
Dick was elusive, like a playful dolphin, but Roy had some moves of his own. Bats got the credit for acrobatics, but Arrows went through the same training. Dick was the best acrobat in the world but Roy had some tricks up his archer’s sleeve.
Dick laughed as Roy caught him, twisting him around and planting a passionate kiss on lush lips.
“Wow, Red, you sure know how to treat a guy,” Dick gasped as they broke the kiss.
Bobbing on the water, Dick put his arms around Roy’s neck. The redhead smiled and nuzzled Dick’s neck.
“Mmm, a bit salty.”
Giggling, Dick swam around Roy in circles, his lover’s green eyes sparkling like whitecaps on the water.
“Just be happy, Roy,” Dick said softly, touching his forehead to Roy’s.
“I always am with you.”
Dick hugged his lover hard.
The sound of the sea soothed Roy as he sat in the lawn chair next to Dick on the beach. The smell of lobster and corn tantalizingly wafted up from the pit dug into the sand. Clark and Bruce were tending the pit, the steam rising from the seaweed used to cover the rocks.
Diana and Steve tended the large pot suspended over the campfire. Steve lifted the lid.
“Mmm, nothing like the smell of steamed clams,” he said.
“So, who thought up this little clambake?” Dick asked.
“Ha, ha,” said Bruce.
“Always the punster,” Clark smiled. He added a little judicious flash of heat vision to the rocks, steam rising as the food cooked.
“And what are you two in charge of?” Diana asked.
“Beer,” aid Roy, pointing to the cooler as Dick laughed at Diana’s eyeroll.
Moonlight shimmered on the water, Roy enjoying the spectacle. His fingers entwined with Dick’s. A beautiful as the scene was, it still wasn’t as beautiful as his lover. He squeezed Dick’s hand, and Dick squeezed back.
“Ready,” Clark said, and freshly-steamed lobsters and ears of corn were laid out on the picnic table as Diana brought the pot over.
Laughter echoed around the table as the corn was unwrapped and lobsters distributed. Dick set out little cups of butter and clam juice. Heaps of clams were piled on plates, each clam’s shell opened and the meat of the bivalve was washed in the juice, then dipped in the butter.
Dick smiled at Clark and pointed to his lobster. Clark grinned and easily cracked the large claw with his bare hand.
“How about you, Roy?” Clark asked.
“Crack away, Clark.”
Diana took care of her lobster and Steve’s, and Bruce slid his plate over to Clark.
“Mmm, this lobster’s delicious,” said Dick as he ate a sweet bite of claw meat.
“Can’t get any fresher than the lobstermen’s co-op in town.” Bruce ate a clam. "Right off the boat."
“This is better than any five-star restaurant.”
“Can’t beat the view,” Steve agreed.
“This corn is so sweet!” Roy took another bite of the butter-drenched corn. “Hey, is this…?”
“…Kansas corn.” Clark’s smile was blinding. “I flew home this morning and picked a batch.”
“Looks like everything’s really fresh all around.”
Roy couldn’t be happier as he enjoyed the clambake, Dick’s thigh brushing against his as good food and good company relaxed him. The sound of the surf was soothing as a cool sea breeze ruffled his hair, the heat of the day dissipating into the sand that began to cool under his bare feet.
He turned his head and Dick smiled. “”You’re sweeter than Kansas corn,” Dick winked.
Roy rolled his eyes but felt warmed inside.
The evening was perfect, Roy thought. The food, the company…all of it amazing.
After cleaning up the remains of the clambake, they’d enjoyed after-dinner coffee as they sat in lawn chairs or on the sand, watching the moonlight shimmer on the sea.
Diana had presided like the Queen Bee, serene and adored, more accustomed to female companionship but adapting well to her male friends.
“So, Princess, does this remind you of home?” asked Bruce.
“Quite so. The sea is in Amazon blood.” She entwined her fingers with Steve’s, who sat next to her in a lawn chair. Bruce and Clark used the chairs, too, while Dick and Roy sat on the sand. “The sea may look gray or green or blue wherever in the world you may be, but it always is the same: the rhythm of life.”
“That’s beautiful,” Diana,” said Clark softly.
She smiled. “Perhaps I have a bit of Sappho in me.”
“Yes, you’re waxing poetic.” Bruce sounded amused.
“You could do with some poetry in your soul, Bruce,” Dick teased.
“Shall I quote Byron or Whitman?”
“Whitman may be more appropriate.”
Dick’s legs were drawn up, and Roy rested his arm on his lover’s knee. Dick slipped his arm around Roy’s and rested his head on his shoulder.
“I told you he’d be a pain,” Bruce grumbled.
He and Clark were lying in bed, ready for some sleep (or not), while Dick was looking through the closet.
“Hey, rent a bigger cottage next time and Roy and I can have our own closet.” His voice was muffled but Clark could clearly hear the mischief in it. He chuckled.
“What are you looking for?”
“Since when did you get so modest?”
“Since there’s a lady in the house,” Dick answered primly.
“Try again, kid. Diana and her sisters spend half their time in the nude.”
“Now there’s an image,” Roy smirked from the doorway. “C’mon, Shortpants, I’m bushed.”
“Coming.” Dick smirked. “I hope.”
Bruce sighed. “Incorrigible.”
“Thanks.” Dick pulled his yellow robe out of the closet and followed Roy to the bathroom.
Roy sighed contentedly as he curled up with Dick under the sheet and a light blanket. The night air off the ocean was cool, just the way Dick liked it. Roy would have preferred warmer breezes, but cuddling with Dick gave him warmth enough.
Roy could feel himself drifting as the sound of the sea washed over him, Dick’s breathing as soothing as the eternal sea. He really was tired otherwise he and Dick would be having no end of fun.
Maybe tomorrow night.
He sighed happily as Dick kissed his forehead.
In a cottage-by-the-sea filled with friends and family, stuffed with lobster, corn, and clams, entwined with the man he loved as the ocean breezes caressed them…there was no place he’d rather be.