“Your boyfriend isn’t here,” Nicky says, almost facetious. Neil assumes he’s referring to the fact that Neil is rarely in their room until the late evening; after classes he and Andrew tend to spend the most time alone. But that’s not the issue Neil takes with Nicky’s statement.
“He’s not my boyfriend,” he says, and walks to his desk to start assembling his books.
“Oh man, I’m sick of this,” Nicky says, dramatically rolling his eyes. “I’ve heard Andrew say he hates you, or say you’re ‘nothing’ or whatever, and we all know it’s bullshit.”
Neil almost smiles. “It’s not a lie.”
“Okay, sure, whatever. What would you call it, then? Partners in crime?”
Neil shrugs. He’s never had to find a word or phrase for what Andrew is to him. It doesn’t matter.
“Oh, come on, even you have to admit that’s ridiculous. He’s your boyfriend. It’s simple.”
“He’s not my anything,” Neil replies. Andrew doesn’t belong to him.
“Tell me,” Nicky pushes. “If he’s not your boyfriend, what is he?”
Nicky is going to continue pushing it, Neil knows. The best way to get him to stop is to give him an answer, though Neil also knows that giving an answer Nicky doesn’t like is just as likely to keep the conversation going. So Neil thinks.
There’s no title Neil can give Andrew that would be right. Boyfriend is juvenile, partner is almost too serious, significant other is a mouthful and altogether too formal; and all come with the issue that it would make Andrew into some type of belonging.
And besides, how could all Andrew is be confined to a single word? He’s home, he’s safety, he’s stability. He’s everything Neil never knew he needed and the comfort Neil never thought he’d get to feel. He’s warmth and fire and sparks. There is no word for the multitudes that make Andrew: the intelligence, the strength, the humour; his jagged edges and sharp eyes.
Well, there is one word. “He’s Andrew,” Neil says simply, because that is, and always will be, enough.
i was listening to this song and a idea came to mind. ‘’you’re getting higher than the ceiling lights, and falling hard, hard enough to lose the fight. not in it for the money, just in it for the thrill.’’ -dazzle, oh wonder. 2.7K+ words.
Damian’s fascinated, utterly hypnotized.
And it’s all the fault of one special Kryptonian.
He doesn’t do love, what’s the point? It makes you weak. Gives people a way to get right through your armor and shatter you in a way that nothing else does. His mother explained that to him many a time. He had listened to her stories as a child.
There was someone once, someone that she had truly loved. Ra had found out. He killed them right in front of her. She vowed never to love again. It was foolishness.
Damian learned from her mistake just like she wanted him to.
‘‘You will never let yourself sink as low as petty humans. You, my son, deserve a god for you will be one someday with this mighty empire of ours.’’ She spoke, it was a miracle she was giving him the slightest of affection, running her nimble fingers through his hair. For a moment, he believed that he saw love in her eyes. Then she steeled, abruptly standing up from her seat beside him. ‘’We need to cut your hair at once.’’
And that was that.
He never loved, scoffed at admirers, pretended to retch at the romantic scenes in the movies Dick was so fond of watching. Poked fun at the silly novels he occasionally caught Jon reading.
Then puberty happened.
Hormones, hormones, hormones.
He was laying back on his bed. Titans Tower was completely deserted. Everyone hadn’t yet come back from the holiday break. Not that he blamed them. The ones who didn’t have family simply stayed with another of the teens.
Damian had come back as soon as the clock struck midnight, announcing the presence of the new year.
He stared at the ceiling, trying to count exactly how many bumps were on the roof of his room. The Titans had repainted his room, which had been a chipped, bloody mess. He was grateful, but none of them had any futures in designing rooms or anything of the sort. Some paint was layered, to cover the dark crimson stains, and you could tell the difference right away.
He said nothing.
He was restless. He couldn’t get to sleep, no matter which way he turned, or punched his pillow. He tried sleeping on his stomach, but that was just uncomfortable in so many ways. Plus, he didn’t feel like getting accidentally turned on which was happening quite frequently nowadays.
‘‘It’s perfectly normal-’‘ Dick crooned. ‘‘Another word and I will smother you in your sleep.’‘ Damian interrupted.
Robin sighed. It was so quiet without any members of his team. Usually there was at least one insomniac hanging out in the living room, watching some sort of program on the TV, which Damian could hear from his bedroom.
A ear-piercing sound rang in the air.
He shot up in bed, blindly going for his suit, pulling it on in record breaking time.
Adjusting the mask as he went, he ran out to the living room.
‘INTRUDER ALERT’ flashed across the screen and the wail continued.
What, the Tower was impossible to break into. He had been making sure of it. Great, now he had to say that the Tower was nearly impossible to break into.
He started pressing buttons to at least stop the sound so he could figure out where the hell this intruder was, so he could beat the living hell out of them. He was a bit antsy.
Then, the alarm stopped.
He glanced down at the electronic keyboard and found that he hadn’t pressed enter yet.
‘‘Sorry ‘bout that, I slipped up on the last number in the code.’‘ A voice came from behind him. A laugh as well, a low one that managed to make his heart beat the slightest bit faster. Not that he would ever acknowledge it.
Damian tucked away the batarang that had been taken out in the blink of an eye.
He turned around, seeing Superboy vault over the couch.
Jon placed his feet over the top of the couch as his head hung off the couch, strands of hair coming loose with gravity and framing his oh so perfect blue eyes and delicate, dull pink lips. Ones that were forming a word.
–you’ve got diamonds in your eyes tonight–
‘‘-me.’‘ Jon was smiling at him, it sent an unfamiliar warmth through him and he had to fight back a shiver.
‘‘Huh?’‘ Had he really been so distracted by the boy hanging upside down?
‘‘Nothing,’‘ Jon laughed. ‘‘What’s up?’‘
The question snapped the youngest Wayne out of his daze and back to his senses.
‘‘What’s up?’’ Damian mocked. ‘’How the heck did you manage to get into my secure building? Why are you here? What is the meaning of this?’’
‘‘Pretty sure that it doesn’t belong to you and one question at a time, please.’‘ A lopsided grin.
He hid his reaction to it, waving his hand so the keyboard disappeared, leaving the coffee table just that. A plain table.
‘‘Okay, then answer them.’‘
‘‘Someone’s grouchy. Ooh, an apple.’‘ Jon sat up, grabbing the fruit from the bowl placed there. He made a face after biting into it. ‘‘Ours are better.’‘ He gingerly set it down on the table.
Damian rolled his eyes. ‘’I’m waiting, Kent.’’
Nope. He noped everything. This was karma, had to be.
He watched in silence as Jon lent forward, placing his somehow soft fingers on the side of his face, it was unusual and it took him off guard. His own hands were rough from years of handling his equipment. Little cuts littered them. Permanent.
Breath hitched in his throat.
Why was he reacting like this?
Then, Jon’s fingers brushed higher up and they pulled at his mask, successfully removing it. He pulled back, casually dropping the thing in his lap.
‘‘There, so much better.’‘ The shaggy haired teen smoothed out the creases in the mask.
Damian let out a breath he didn’t know he had been holding.
‘‘So, now to answer your many questions.’‘ Jon waved his hands around in a flourish and Damian found himself staring at their every twitch.
Huh, he has really pretty hands.
He found himself wanting to get into contact with them once again.
‘‘Kon gave me the code by the way, so don’t worry. Your security is still perfectly intact.’‘
‘‘Of course it is, I built it.’‘ The vigilante responded with a huff.
Jon tilted his head back in a laugh, and Damian should have found that offensive but he was trapped.
Enthralled by the way Jon’s eyes shut when he did so, a sense of disappointment stirring in Damian when he could no longer view the wonderful shade of blue, lips curling upwards, collarbones just about showing from the top of his hoodie that wasn’t zipped all the way to the top, and it being yanked up a bit when he brought up a hand to muffle a laugh, exposing some of the beautiful pale skin right underneath his navel.
–dazzle me, dazzle me–
Whatever deity existed, they were torturing him.
The one across from him took a moment to calm, taking a deep breath in and then out.
‘‘I’m-,’‘ Superman’s son snickered again, ‘‘fine.’‘ He waved his hand in dismissal of the laugh that had just occurred. ‘‘Listen, I was in the area, and Kon told me you were hanging around here alone. Thought I would keep you company.’‘ There was a pause.
Damian didn’t know why but his heart pounded with fear, drowning out any other noise.
‘‘…And maybe we could talk about what happened at my party?’‘
And there it was.
‘‘Damian, c’mon,’‘ Jon whined, bringing a smile to Damian’s lips. ‘‘It’s my fifteenth, we’re here to have fun. Not lurk in a corner and be depressing.’‘
‘‘It’s what I do best.’‘ He replied, and full lips formed into a adorable pout.
He didn’t like parties, and Clark and Bruce, God knows how those two conspired to do this, had thrown the biggest one ever. They had left once it started, trusting the boys to not let anything get too out of hand.
‘‘Well, we’re dancing.’‘ Jon spoke, a certainty in his voice.
–give me neon lights–
‘‘No way.’‘ He scoffed, settling in on the couch.
‘‘It’s my birthday, I get exactly what I want.’‘
Damian didn’t understand why that sentence affected him so much.
He let Jon pull him up, dragging him into the fray.
Swarms of warm, teen bodies. They didn’t know half these people but it didn’t matter right now. The smell of sweat, and excitement buzzing in the air like electricity, his veins absorbing it.
–see the plastic life through my bloodshot eyes–
They fumbled, awkwardly stepping, not really knowing what to do but that made it better.
–you’re getting higher than the ceiling lights–
Jon kept getting closer and closer.
He didn’t notice.
–and falling hard, hard enough to lose the fight–
They stepped on each other’s toes a couple of times.
Jon was swaying, and was humming along to the beat with his eyes shut.
‘‘Having fun there?’‘
Red colored the boy’s cheeks, as if he’d been caught.
A blush (?)
He stuck out his tongue at Damian, childish.
They broke out laughing.
‘‘You’re looking at me like that again.’‘ Blue eyes, narrowed. Calculating.
‘‘Like what?’‘ The Arabian male said, confused.
‘‘I dunno, It’s just-’‘ Jon shook his head. ‘‘I should shut up.’‘
‘‘No, really. Like what?’‘
Raven hair fell into his eyes as Jon stared down at his worn out sneakers.
He mumbled something, but Damian didn’t catch it with how loud the conversations around them were.
A fist gripped his shirt, balling it up. Damian thought that Jon was going to punch him for a second and he went to remove the hand.
Jon was faster.
A rough tug to the front of his shirt, and lukewarm lips crashed against his slightly chapped ones.
–not in it for the money, just in it for the thrill–
A weird sounding noise escaped his mouth, and the grip on his shirt loosened but the hand remained there, pressing against his chest.
The other was brought up, skimming the back of his neck.
–living in the moment, paying for the kill–
His eyes fluttered closed, body relaxing in way he didn’t know was possible.
Damian had no idea how to respond so he just did. No thinking.
Hands on Jon’s waist, fingers curling into the belt loops on his jeans, tugging.
More, more, more.
Him, him, him.
Invading his thoughts, poisoning his mind until there was nothing else.
–i am wild alive, i am wild alive–
His head started to feel dizzy, and with irony he remembered, ‘I need air,’ and pulled back, although Jon was hesitant to let him go, and gave a whimper.
They stared at each other, eyes going wide as if only now realizing what they had just done.
‘‘Oh my God, I’m-’‘ Jon began but Damian’s mouth was already back on his, muting any further words.
–golden grill of sadness, mid-life wasted youth–
The rest of the night was a blur.
They broke apart, snuck away from the crowd.
They made their way onto the roof, and talked. Nothing about what had just happened. Just…life.
–there’s a human in your heart of hearts–
There was a new feeling in the air between them, however.
Damian liked it.
–hiding true colors made you fall apart–
The party ended, and Jon went home while Damian helped clean up the mess left behind by everyone.
‘‘What about it?’‘ Damian’s voice sounded choked, even to him. Scared, even. He talked fast. ‘‘There’s nothing to talk about. Absolutely nothing.’‘
‘‘It’s been three months, we ought to talk about it sometime.’‘ Jon’s voice was soft, as if trying to lure a frightened animal from their hiding place.
–throwing fire, trying to make it right–
‘‘No, we don’t.’’ Damian continued stubbornly, crossing his arms over his chest, purposely avoiding his friend’s eyes which were probably giving him the signature Jon Kent look.
If you thought puppy dog eyes were bad, Jon’s version of them were the absolute worst and could get anyone to do anything.
Hence, why Damian refused to look Jon in the eye. He’d give in.
Jon threw up his hands in frustration, giving a long, annoyed exhale.
–always ends up like this, always gonna lose–
‘‘Fine! How about I talk, and you listen?’‘
Damian didn’t respond.
‘‘What, was I that bad a kisser or something? Is that why you’ve refused to partner up with me on anything unless told to, huh? Do you just not like me? A fluke, a mistake. You could have just told me instead of being a, a, thing about it! If I remember correctly, you kissed me back! That’s gotta mean something. Doesn’t it?” His voice got progressively quieter, more shaky as he went on, as if he were scared to have a answer to his many questions.
It almost hurt to hear him ramble.
Jon stopped, anger still visible in his eyes, and the way his hands were clenched at his sides.
Damian groaned, leaning forward and dropping his head into his hands.
‘‘Explain it to me then.’‘ A unspoken plead was in his eyes and that did it for Damian.
‘‘I-I got scared, alright? It’s not just everyday that your best friend for five years kisses you! I didn’t want to, didn’t want to ruin it, okay? I’ve freaking done things but what if me, me being me is the thing that makes that disappear? That’s a heck of a lot worse. So,I distanced, maybe you’d forget all about it.’‘ Damian’s voice rose and lowered throughout his rant, shouting and then dropping into a barely audible whisper that would have gone unheard if not for Jon’s super hearing.
Jon looked at him and gave a bitter laugh. Nothing like the one that made warmth flush to his cheeks and his heart thump that much faster.
‘‘I was the one who kissed you, don’t you think that means anything? I know you. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing.’‘
‘‘Don’t you mean, was?’’ Damian said.
Jon looked at him, a determined expression on his face.
And then he kissed him, again.
This time was much different. It wasn’t sped up, this was drawn out.
The other was pent up feelings being let out, this one was expression.
Damian found himself returning it, before he even realized what he was doing.
A hand cupped his cheek and Damian gave a content sigh against Jon’s mouth. He tangled his hands in the shaggy mess that was Jon’s hair, gently pulling on the strands.
Hands were on his chest now, moving.
Blunt nails dug into his back, not enough to hurt, but he definitely felt the pressure.
Jon pulled away this time, red plastered on his cheeks, lips slightly swollen.
Their foreheads resting together as they caught their breaths, panting.
‘‘That was something.’‘ Jon deadpanned.
‘‘Agreed.’‘ Damian nodded.
They laughed in unison, clutching each other’s shirts while they howled with laughter.
They calmed, but didn’t move from where they were.
Jon wrapped his finger around a small silver chain that had a tiny cat pendant, he had gifted him it the Christmas before, saying that it had reminded him of Alfred, Damian’s cat that is.
‘‘You kept it.’‘
‘’Why wouldn’t I?’‘
‘‘It seemed that you didn’t like it.’‘
‘‘Oh, well I do. I like it, since it came from you, and I like you.’‘ The words were just slipping out of his mouth by now, and holy- Jon looked so pretty like this, all flushed and out of breath and wow. He really needed to make him look like this more often. ‘’You’re even more pretty up close.’’
Jon couldn’t possibly have gotten more red, but he did, ducking his head.
‘‘Yeah, same goes for me.’‘ He murmured.
‘‘What was that?’‘ Damian teased.
‘‘I like you too. There, happy.’‘ He looked up, meeting Damian’s lovesick gaze.