submission dated 8-01-10
(Italic copy bordered by_underscore_)
Archive? You'd better.
Pairings: Barry Allen (Flash II) / Hal Jordan (GL)
Hal never considered himself to be the overly introspective type. So much had happened since he returned to life. The assault on Oa, the black lantern war with Nekron. The discovery of the white lantern on earth. Barry...
In fact, his mood couldn't have been any better. He and Carol spent a pleasant afternoon again in their off and on relationship. Hot water cascaded down his body as he worked off some soreness in the shower. That lady could be downright demanding at times.
_Better not let Cowgirl find out. She'll kill me._
For the life of him he couldn't figure out why he was cheating. It was stupid, reckless, crazy...
A quiet smile. _I can't ever seem to shake Carol. We'd better stop this now, before everyone is hurt._
"Yo, Flyboy. Stop posing in the water there."
Hal turned slightly at the intrusion. "Hey, lady. Just thinking about you."
Carol blotted her damp hair with a towel. "Good things, I hope."
Hal paused, taking her hands. "Carol, we need to get a few things straight-"
Violet eyes rolled in annoyance. "Is this the same _Carol we can't do this_ speech I've heard a million times?"
"Maybe. You know me too well."
"Don't expect me to feel guilty. If Cowgirl had any real hold on you you wouldn't be here."
Hal stood off abruptly. "How can you say that? You don't even know her!"
Carol huffed, wrapping a larger towel around her body. "What do you want me to say, Hal? I never lied about loving you. And I know you love me."
"That isn't the point."
"Then what? I don't pressure you about marriage. You have a life, I have a life. Do you even love Cowgirl?"
Hal turned off the hot water. "I care about her a lot. We're getting closer all the time."
Carol laughed out loud, nearly losing her towel.
Hal shook her. "What's so damn funny?"
"Hello?" she pointed to herself and his near nudity. "I swear, either you're an idiot or the most confused man alive. If Cowgirl were here she'd give you a concussion."
Hal rubbed his hair. "Maybe I'd deserve it. I owe you an apology, Carol."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"This. We shouldn't have spent the night together-"
Carol turned to the door. "My, aren't we moral suddenly. You loved me and still ran around."
Hal felt defensive suddenly. "We both knew what we were doing. I never told you to sit on the sidelines and pine like some little lost girl!"
He never saw her hand when it connected. A flash of white went across his vision.
"How dare you? Arrogant bastard!"
Hal held his aching jaw and blinked. "You...got your free shot."
"You deserved it. Of course, maybe you're doing some pining of your own!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Carol snorted. "Seems to be a lot of conflicting reports about your skirt chasing dna, flyboy."
Hal pressed into her. "Spill it, Carol. I'm not in the mood for games."
She flicked a wet strand of hair from her eyes. "Let's just say some reliable sources in the JLA have talked. I have no reason to think they're lying."
"I didn't know you believed idle gossip and stories."
Carol pranced a bit. "I'm not naive, Hal. And given what I've heard...it seems plausible."
He stood in surprise. "What have people been saying?"
Her eyes were hard now. "That you've got a serious thing for the Flash."
Hal laughed, too loud and abrupt. _"Come on!"_
"It isn't funny-"
"It's ridiculous. Barry is one of my best friends. A straight one, I might add."
Carol cocked an arched eyebrow. "Stranger things have happened. And the two of you are very close."
"So what?" Hal rubbed moisture from his face vigorously. "That's not proof of anything."
"You know what they say about the quiet ones."
"Who says Barry is quiet? Ever hear him on one of his rants about justice? He's worse than Don Quixote chasing windmills."
Carol gave a sly smile. "He's a hell of a lot hotter than Don Quixote, though."
"I have no idea where you're going with this."
"I'm open minded, Hal. You forget I know you better than almost anyone."
"Not well enough, apparently. Sounds like you're interested yourself."
Carol stifled a grin. "I didn't say that. He's married, and Iris seems extremely happy."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Shayera saw Barry come from the infirmary at JLA headquarters with his shoulder wrapped last week."
"So? It was minor, from what I heard. His healing factor alone minimizes down time."
"He dropped something from his uniform. Hawkgirl said it looked like a green ring or gem of some sort with a glow. He picked it up so quickly she wasn't sure of what she saw."
"Carol, he is the fastest man alive!"
"So they _say."_ she smirked. "Shayera couldn't figure out where he could have kept the thing. His uniform doesn't leave much to the imagination, if you get my drift."
"That's because he doesn't wear underwear-" Hal blurted before catching himself.
Carol stared at him, eyes widening.
Handsome features flushed. "What I mean to say is, that's what he told me once. No wind resistance."
Carol headed for the door suddenly. "I'm getting dressed, Hal. Errands to run and all."
Hal lurched for her. "No, wait. What are you thinking?"
She paused at the door, observing. "You're sweating, Hal. And it isn't because of me."
"You can't believe that!"
She walked out. "We'll talk about this later. Maybe."
Hal leaned against the shower stall, covering his eyes with a forearm.
_Barry, why in God's name did you carry that trinket around? I have no idea who's talking or who's said what._
He spared himself a small smile. _I really miss you, though. If only you'd stop running, I would... Maybe we should meet and have dinner, bud to bud. No harm in that, right?_
Drying himself off again, Hal exited the bathroom to make a phone call.
note: the Flash does not wear underwear. It is canon, O.