“Damn it, Dean, please relax. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“How could you stop a gun shot?”
Kirby stepped in front of him, facing him. “You said yourself the CVA doesn’t kill, or at least I suspect not outright. No one is going to take potshots at you.” He took a quick look around, saw they were in the shadows between the streetlights, and put his hands on Dean’s shoulders, not releasing his grip when Dean tried to move back. “I like you, as a friend and possibly more, if we give it a chance. I’m not going to force it. If it happens, it happens. In the meantime, stop acting as if I’m trying to attack you any time I happen to touch you, or get too close to you.”
Dean stared at him. “But what if he sees us? You know what will happen.”
“No I don’t know, and neither do you when it comes right down to it.” Kirby dropped his hands. “For all you know, you’ll get a nasty letter from your father disowning you, maybe including a threat if you dare reveal to anyone you’re his son.” He started walking. “I gather no one you know is aware of that fact.”
“No,” Dean told him, keeping pace. “And believe me, I have just as much of an interest in keeping it a secret as he will, once he finds out.”
“Which he probably will if it’s the reason Jones is here, but you have to stop worrying. You’re just going to drive yourself crazy.” They crossed the street and headed back the way they’d come before Kirby said, with a slight chuckle, “We’re not going to start walking down the street holding hands, or kissing under a streetlight. That’s definitely not my thing.”
Dean smiled. “Mine neither.”
“No shit. And in the cause of being open and honest with one another, there’s a reason I don’t flaunt my sexuality in public. Just because I’m out does not mean I want to become the ‘Gay Cop’ poster boy, which could happen. It might not be fair, but it’s the way I am.”
“With your looks you’d make a great poster boy. I can see them now, stuck on every lamppost in the city, slathered across the fronts of vacant buildings. Hmm. Maybe even a calendar.” Dean grinned.
“You’re a nut, you know that?” Kirby told him, grinning back.
“No,” Dean replied. “In all seriousness I’m beginning to relax, just the way you wanted.”
“If it takes making fun of me to get you to do it, I’ll accept it.”
“It takes…being with you.”
“Then we’ll have to make certain it happens more often, won’t we?”
“I can live with that.” The corner of Dean’s lip quirked up in a half smile. “But for now, right turn then half a block down and we’ll be at my car.”
When they got to it, Dean opened the door before looking across the roof at Kirby. “I had fun tonight. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Would you consider trying it again, or maybe a movie, or… something?”
Without a beat of hesitation Dean said, “When?”
“Tomorrow night? There’s a good movie at the Paramount.”
“Six-thirty. It starts at seven.”
“Deal. I’ll meet you there.”
Kirby almost suggested he could pick Dean up, before realizing he wouldn’t let it happen. “That works. See you then.”
“You will.” Dean got into the car, turned the key in the ignition, and pulled out into the late night traffic. As he looked back at Kirby in the rear view mirror, he saw him give a small wave. He waved back. Then he continued on his way home, a happy smile on his face.