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Title: But To Love More
Author: D.L.SchizoAuthoress
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Teen Titans v2 #14-15 and #19, Titans v1 #25
Prompt: from Saphire-Dance -- "Roy just flirts with everyone though, boy, girl, non binary cuties
it's just his default state of oh my gosh i love everyone
And I think a lot of people brush him off as not being serious, but no really he totally means to flirt and is super serious I will date you right now it will be so awesome" (We were just chatting, but the plotbunny bit hard.)
Warnings: so much kissing, some talk of sex (nothing explicit), guns because Jason shows up, strong language because Jason shows up
Word Count: 4035
Summary: Roy loves everyone, as much as they'll let him.
Note: Somehow I ended up anti-shipping Donna/Roy and shipping Lilith/Roy super hard over the course of writing this. Oops. The sections aren't quite chronological, with the "bad idea" at the start because I didn't want to end this on a down note.
Note II: Thanks to Daggerpen for randomly listing off other Titans for Roy to kiss when I couldn't think of enough. And many thanks for being a great beta-reader!

Word of the Day: billet-doux, noun: a love letter

But To Love More
One Teen Titan Roy Harper Has Kissed But Dating Is a Bad Idea
And Five Teen Titans He's Kissed and Would Totally Date


Roy has no illusions about love conquering all. He already knows very well that love gets chewed up and spit out by life like everything else. But he doesn't let that stop him from looking. Even if love doesn't last, he's going to enjoy it while he can, for however long he has it... and with whoever will let him love them.

Most people think he isn't serious. They telegraph pretty clearly that they consider the kissing, the dating, the sex all in fun -- a welcome bit of intimacy and enjoyment, but nothing serious. Roy doesn't see the need to correct them, doesn't feel like putting his heart out there on the line when they make it clear that they won't be. But he cherishes all of them.

****

Donna Troy

Donna Troy, Roy had come to realize, had really lousy timing.

Or, since she was probably doing her best to avoid an argument, really deviously good timing. She'd even avoided sending up any 'can we talk' red flags by asking 'you got a minute' all casually instead.

So he just had to stand here -- thank God that Rose had made herself scarce -- and listen as Donna stepped on his heart.

"Listen, I just... I just need to say this. I know we had a... thing... going for a while, and I'm afraid I'm being unfair to you." Donna ducked her head, avoiding his eyes. "I was confused. I wasn't really sure who I was... and I was using you to test my own boundaries... to sully this image of perfection I had in my head."

He knew she wasn't doing this out of malice -- he'd never believe that of Donna anyway. And Roy would rather that she be honest, with herself and with him, about their chances of working out. But the words she chose, and the way she said some of them -- 'thing', as if months of dating her hadn't meant much at all; 'sully', as if he dirtied her with a touch, as if he weren't worthy... Roy shook his head. Now was not the time to let his insecurities have free rein.

"I know Lian got thrown by the whole thing, and honestly, Roy, the last thing I would ever do is hurt Lian." Donna said sincerely, and Roy felt warmed by the care for his daughter that she was showing. He focused on that feeling instead. Donna finally looked back up at him. "I just wanted to say I'm sorry."

Maybe all this calling her 'perfect', making all these jokes about calling her 'pure' and 'too good' and 'too nice', had been the wrong thing to do, Roy realized. Not just from him, but from all of them. Poor Donna had become convinced that she had to be perfect, when no human being logically could be.

Donna was a good person. Maybe a better person that Roy 'deserved', but love wasn't exactly about deserving or not. Sure, he was hurting because she was calling the whole thing off, but she was being so unreasonably hard on herself... Roy knew what he had to do. He looked up and smiled softly at her. "Sorry? Donna, you've got to ease up on yourself. It takes two to tango, you know?"

She looked a little startled at his response. (And there was a small part of him that was amused by that, the part that always took delight in subverting people's expectations, whatever they were.) Roy reached out and took both of her hands in his.

"I didn't do anything I didn't want to do. I've loved you since we were kids... long before we got together. And I'll continue to love you now that we aren't together." Roy figured, of all the people he'd loved over the years, maybe Donna had the best chance of understanding the way he approached things if he explained. (Lilith didn't count for that; Lilith had a piece of him in her head and knew him. He could feel her watching them now, but he kept his eyes on Donna.) Roy leaned in close, and Donna's eyes fluttered closed as he whispered to her, "If you had to pick someone to 'test your boundaries', believe me. I'm flattered it was me."

Donna's hands tightened on his, as strong and reassuring as ever. Roy felt the weight on his heart ease a little. Even if she wasn't in love him, not in that forever way he'd been hoping, he had her love still. As a friend, as a confidante, as a member of this mixed-up, sprawling family of Teen Titans. And that could be enough for him.

He chuckled softly and admitted, "...And between you and me, I can't think of anyone I'd rather my daughter get attached to."

"Thank you, Roy," Donna whispered back, voice trembling just a little. He held on until she dropped his hands. Until she didn't need his support anymore.

But he'd meant what he said. He'd always love her.

****

Lilith Clay

Roy really liked kissing Lilith.

Unlike with Donna, he never worried that she'd chop off his hand if he put it in the wrong spot... or that one of the other guys would catch them making out and chop other parts off him. (He understood it; it was very easy to get stupidly protective of Donna, who was so good, and forget that she could take care of herself just fine.) Lilith wasn't scary like that, and while she was no less good and kind and sweet than Donna could be, she had something approachable about her that Donna didn’t.

Roy really, really liked kissing Lilith.

Sometimes they would sneak upstairs to her bedroom and lock the door behind them, and Lilith would put on psychedelic rock records. She danced then -- not for him, though he enjoyed the view. She danced for herself and he always knew that he was privileged to see her do so. Roy wasn't much for dancing himself, but if she asked him, he would. Until they were laughing and a little breathless and the arm of the record player tick-tick tick-ticked against the end of the last song.

After that, they would usually tumble onto the bed and really kiss -- seeking lips and wandering hands and teeth and tongue -- the way they couldn't when they were on a couch and some dopey teammate could walk in any time. Or worse, Mr. Jupiter.

Kissing Lilith was never boring, but it was soothing. She made him feel like he was really wanted, in a way that nobody else had before, when she snuggled against him -- skin to skin -- and pressed her lips to his neck. He kept -- still keeps -- the memory of her close to his heart, like a well-worn photograph in a wallet. She was always smiling when he thought of her, blue eyes crinkled with warmth and sunlight making her hair strawberry blonde as it shone through.

So years later, when the mystery Titan called Omen unmasked and the others were exclaiming different names, Roy tasted Lilith's kisses on his tongue and knew that, of all of them, he was seeing the real person behind the mask. The way her eyes shone when he breathed her name was just confirmation of the truth.

****

Zachary Zatara

"So I heard you were back in town," Roy said, leaning against the doorframe of Zachary Zatara's dressing room. It was after hours for the club, and technically he wasn't supposed to be here, but Bunny had been in a good mood tonight. He'd only caught the last half of the show -- the H.I.V.E. was inconsiderate about the plans of its enemies like that -- but the whole evening must have gone well.

"Was it the posters that clued you in? Or my voicemail message?" Zach asked, in a cool tone of voice. He didn't turn from the mirror of his vanity, telegraphing his displeasure in the tight line of his shoulders, the stiff carriage of his neck.

Roy snorted "Your 'message'? You mean the seven voicemails you've left me in the past twelve hours?"

Zach was ridiculously guarded at times, but he could also be remarkably clingy if the mood struck him. Roy had pulled out his phone after the battle and known he was in for trouble when he saw the number of missed calls listed in the log.

"Well, you never returned my calls," Zach said with a pronounced pout, finally glancing over his shoulder at Roy. "How was I supposed to know whether I should wait around for you or not?"

"I'm here now, aren't I?" Roy asked calmly, not rising to the bait. (Zach had a habit of baiting people whenever he talked; Roy was almost certain that the young man wasn't even consciously aware of doing it.) "Why don't you assume in the future that if you have a show on the California coast, for now, I'll know about it. And if I'm back here right after your show, then we're good. If I'm delayed at all, you can have a night out on the town without any guilt."

"I wouldn't feel guilty anyway," Zach said breezily, as he pulled off his white gloves. "It's not like we're married or anything."

"Definitely not."

Roy hadn't missed how Zach's voice caught on the word 'married'. It did that a lot -- and on other words, like 'promised', 'engagement', and 'baby' sometimes... Roy learned quickly that 'baby' was an unwelcome endearment between them. Zach was never really in the mood to talk, anyway.

So it was with that in mind that Roy strolled the rest of the way into Zach's dressing room, nudging the door closed as he walked by. Zach started unbuttoning his waistcoat, pretending not to notice the approach, but as Roy leaned over his shoulder to kiss his cheek, Zach moved his head in a way that made Roy's mouth land on his ear instead. Not one to let such things fluster him, Roy just nipped at Zach's earlobe as if he'd totally meant to do it. Zach let out a little sigh and leaned back against him.

Roy figured there was about a sixty percent chance that Zach would drag him over to the couch in the corner for a quick and dirty ride, then kick him out of the dressing room -- and Roy was fine with that. Otherwise, the magician would insist that they go to his hotel suite and make a night of it. Zach was... mercurial like that. Roy was pretty sure he'd never seen the guy actually happy, but there were times that he looked... well, less miserable, at least. If that was all that Roy could do for him, that would have to be enough.

He started kissing a trail down the side of Zach's neck, and Zach made an inarticulate little noise low in his throat. Roy amended the likelihood of couch sex to seventy percent.

****

Toni Monetti

"It's exhaustion," the doctor reported to Roy and Ray. "She'll be fine after some rest."

"That's good to hear," Ray said, "Thanks, doc." As the doctor walked away, Ray mused, "I had no idea that Argent could wear herself out by using her powers too much."

Behind them, Cody snorted derisively, "Like you'd care? As Toni would say, duh. Of course she can wear herself out. Where do you think that energy she uses for blasts and transport comes from? Her own body."

"Suddenly you're an expert?" CM3 sniped.

Cody shook his head, "Nah, I just listened when Mr. Jupiter was explaining test results and stuff." He glanced at the other young superhero from the corner of his eye. "That was before your time on the team."

"All right, cool it now," Roy said with a sigh. He hated having to be the diplomatic one -- he knew it wasn't exactly his strong suit, but everyone else on the team seemed so sensitive that it fell to him. He turned to Risk and Captain Marvel Junior. "You two got checked out already, right?"

"Oh yeah," Cody replied with a grin. "All systems go."

CM3 nodded, "Fit as a fiddle."

"All right, then get out of here. Unwind." Roy dismissed them with a little wave of his hand.

Ray called out, "And no combat training until tomorrow, Risk!"

"Pssh!" Cody, who was already halfway out the door, glanced back and gave them all another devil-may-care grin, "What if that's how I unwind?" He laughed, and before anyone could complain at him, he continued, "It's cool. I got some Party of Five to catch up on anyway."

Party of Five. Roy shook his head as he watched Captain Marvel Junior hover out after the other young Titan. That boy had no taste.

"I'm going to see how Prysm and Fringe are doing," Ray said.

Roy nodded in acknowledgement. "Good idea. I'm gonna pop in on Argent, make sure she's resting okay."

Ray waved as he walked out of the waiting room, and Roy headed for the multi-bed hospital room where Toni was being kept, for observation. Electrolyte levels and that sort of thing. He walked past the other beds in the room -- nearest to the door was an old woman dozing; in the next one, a middle-aged man in a sour mood was complaining about his surgery to his visitor (who was probably his husband, judging by their matching rings); and the third bed was unoccupied. Toni was lying in the bed nearest to the window.

"Hey, Toni," Roy greeted her, "How are you feeling?"

Toni sighed. "Hi, Roy. Feeling useless. I guess everybody was right about me."

"....what, really?" Roy grabbed a nearby chair and scooted it close to the head of Toni's bed, then sat down. He reached for one of her hands, the one without the IV line. She let him take it, but didn't hold his back. "You're not useless, Toni. You did a lot of good against those Millennium Giants. You helped Superman keep Sekhmet from crushing Cairo..."

"...and then I passed out when we got to Markovia," Toni pointed out.

She looked so sad. And Roy knew that he hadn't been very charitable in his thoughts about her, assuming her to be a vapid teenage girl who thought being a superhero was nothing more than fun and games. He'd thought she'd be the sort to flee at the first sign of trouble, and she'd proved him wrong again and again.

How many times, with how many other people, had she had to do the same? How many other people had thought that Toni Monetti wasn't worth their time, for whatever reason?

Roy felt like a heel. He gave her hand a little squeeze. "You gave it your all. That's nothing to be ashamed of, Toni. So you don't know your limits so well right now. You'll figure it out."

"Thanks, Roy, but you don't have to spare my feelings." Toni was regarding him with half-lidded eyes, a little frown on her lips -- the overall effect was that of a haughty woman looking at something that didn't quite impress her, but his earlier glimpse of vulnerability let him know that this was just a mask over Toni's insecurities.

"It's not--" Roy huffed. "I don't just say things like that, okay, Toni? I really mean it. Us older Titans haven't been too supportive of you guys, and that's our mistake. Do you really want to be a superhero?"

Toni was quiet for a long moment. "I think... at the start, it was just... this thing I had to do, because I had these powers and I looked like a freak, so why not? But... since... since Isaiah..." she trailed off and looked away. Roy let her. The loss of a teammate was always so difficult, first time especially. "I want to do this. I think maybe I need to."

Roy leaned in close and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips. The move startled her, so much that she was still blinking at him when he pulled away. He smiled softly. "I think you will, Toni."

She blushed a soft pink under the silver of her skin and returned his smile shyly. "Thank you." Then the moment passed, and she pulled her hand free to wag a finger at him, with a comically exaggerated stern expression. "But don't think you can just up and kiss me like that again, mister!"

Roy laughed. "Next time," he said, "I'll ask your permission, I promise."

Toni blushed even pinker.

****

Eddie Bloomberg

Roy always thought that Eddie was hot -- he just didn't think he could handle things when Eddie was literally hot. The guy had set fire to furniture more than once in the Tower, after all. Roy could handle a certain level of kink, but fire was one thing he liked to keep out of the bedroom, thank you.

So finding out that Eddie had lost the sulfur and brimstone devil look was a nice surprise. And that was how Roy had gotten here, flirting with a cute guy who blushed really pretty even as he dismissed all of Roy's pick-up lines with gentle sarcasm.

Good God, but it just made Roy want to kiss him even more.

"Trust me," Eddie said with a smirk, "You don't want to know what I'm working on. I've seen enough eyes glaze over when I really get going."

"Try me," Roy challenged.

Eddie picked up a small whiteboard -- the kind that Roy usually saw enumerating grocery items on a refrigerator door. Eddie wiped away the complex calculations on it, picked up a blue marker, and started to draw. "Teleportation via portals uses tessellation. I got a glimpse of it while I still had my powers, and I'm trying to reconstruct the process using technology now."

"That's... actually really cool." Roy hadn't realized how smart Eddie was, or how good he was at drawing, apparently. The diagram he was drawing practically bloomed on the board -- the center looked like some kind of flower with sixteen petals, and each of the lines radiated out in near-perfect arcs to make a squarish shape. "How does it work?"

Eddie teased, "I warned you," in a low voice, and Roy bit his lower lip. Eddie had to be doing this alluring thing on purpose, and it wasn't fair. Eddie picked up a red marker and traced over a few of the lines in the diagram. "It uses hypercubes, which only 'exist' in a three-dimensional space as a thought experiment."

Roy vaguely recalled hearing something about hypercubes. Or was that hypertime? In any case, he nodded and said, "Uh-huh."

"So you have to construct it from the cantitruncated tesseract by radially displacing the truncated cuboctahedral cells so that octagonal prisms can be inserted between their octagonal faces..."

"Uh-huh..."

"This means that the triangular prisms can expand into hexagonal prisms, and the truncated tetrahedra expand into truncated octahedra. So that means you can..." Eddie glanced at Roy and trailed off. He shook his head, looking amused, and tucked a lock of his long red hair behind his ear. He leaned closer and asked quietly, "You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?"

"Nope!" Roy admitted cheerfully. He put his hand to the back of Eddie's head, holding him in place, and leaned in to plant a kiss right on Eddie's lips. It was a brief one, and Roy pulled back to grin at the younger man. "You're welcome to try explaining it aft--"

Click.

Oh, he knew that sound. That was the hammer going back on a handgun -- Ruger SR1911, maybe. Roy froze.

A low voice, definitely not Eddie's, rumbled in his ear, "You better let him go, and run, Harper."

Roy raised both hands over his head, and Eddie stepped back. He was blushing deeply, almost as red as he used to be with the powers. "Jason, for God's sake..."

"Jason?" Roy repeated. He half turned, "Jason Todd?"

Annnd now the gun was pointed at his face, and its wielder was scowling mightily at him. "Eddie," the gang lord said, in a very calm voice, "did you forget to mention that you had a boyfriend again?"

"I'd like to state for the record that if he had, I wouldn't have kissed him," Roy said. He thought that over for a second and mused aloud, "Then again, he might have said it in a way that went flying over my head..."

Jason glared for a little longer, and then he tilted the gun up and away from Roy's face. Roy relaxed slightly now that the barrel was pointed at the ceiling. Jason said gruffly, "He does that."

"It's not my fault that I'm too fabulously intelligent to be understood," Eddie pointed out, with playful little flip of his hair.

"Sorry," Roy said, to both of them, "If I'd known..."

"Well, now you do," Jason interrupted. "So get the fuck out of here."

Roy did so. He heard the two of them speaking in low tones behind him, and chanced a look back when he heard a loud, suspicious 'thump'.

He sighed. Eddie was practically wrapped around Jason, who'd pressed him up against the workbench as they kissed each other fiercely. If Jason wasn't so grumpy, Roy would have suggested a threesome. It was just totally unfair that they be that hot and also unwilling to share.

****

Dick Grayson

Dick was, Roy had come to realize, kind of like his romantic equivalent to an old sweater. Easy and comfortable in the right conditions, and stifling as hell in the wrong ones. They'd come together and be really good, until he annoyed Dick or Dick wounded his pride, and then someone would storm away with hurt feelings for a while.

He was working on the last one.

"Harper!" Damian Wayne shrilled downstairs. Roy jumped at the sound, and Dick chuckled at the reaction, tightening his arms around Roy's waist.

"I don't think he means you," Dick murmured, amused.

Dick was proven right when they both heard Lian yell back, "Wa-ayne!" in a mocking voice. Roy sighed. He really ought to get out of bed and head off any arguments between their kids before it happened.

He would, if Dick would let him get up. Roy glanced at his lover and arched an eyebrow. "Shouldn't we stop them?"

"I'm not getting out of this bed unless I hear something breaking downstairs," Dick declared. He gave Roy another squeeze around the middle for emphasis. "And you're not either. You're warm."

"Really makes a man feel appreciated," Roy teased, "knowing that you keep him around for the qualities he shares with a hot water bottle."

"That is just one of the many qualities I appreciate in you, Mr. Harper." Dick murmured, scooting even closer.

Slam! Bang! Thump thump thump thump!

"Da-addy!" Lian screamed, "Damian fell down the stairs!"

"You pushed me, you lying harridan!"

"I did not! You're the liar!"

Roy couldn't help it. He laughed at the irony of the timing, even as he pushed Dick away from him. "I guess that's our cue." He yelled at the closed bedroom door, "Is anybody bleeding out there?"

There was a brief pause, and then Damian shouted back, "Not at the moment, Harper!"

"No hacking or slashing at my little girl, ninja boy!"

"How in the world," Dick groaned, "have you survived this long as a single father? I am not cut out for this."

"I'm not going to give you all my secrets, shortpants," Roy scoffed, as he pulled on one of Dick's many Gotham Knights baseball t-shirts (Roy's own shirt from last night was a bit of a mess). "I gotta earn that Number One Dad mug this Christmas, you know. Now that there's competition."

For that, Dick chucked a pillow at his face. Roy caught it easily and laughed again. He could get used to a bigger family like this. Even if their kids made a slow wake-up in the morning a rarity.

*-*-*-*-*
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