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Damian had never been in Dick’s apartment by himself. He’d rarely been in it at all, because it was small and usually dirty and Damian didn’t really care for Bludhaven. Did anyone? But he’d come over last night after patrol, because Dick had promised him that today they could hang out--Dick said that a lot, “let’s hang out, hey, we never hang out, do you wanna hang out” like it was something Damian should know about--so he’d thought, why not?

‘Why not’ presented itself bright and early in the form of Dick shaking him awake on his terrible couch bed and apologizing.

“Dick--Dick what?” Damian was awake, physically, his body and his reflexes came awake before his mind, sometimes. “I can’t understand you.”

Dick was pulling on his uniform pants, his shirt hanging open as he leaned over the couch, presenting Damian with a line of muscle and skin from neck to hip. Damian looked away, pretending to rub his eyes.

“I have to go to work,” Dick said in a rush. “I forgot--I have the day shift. I read my schedule wrong. I have to go to work, but I’ll be back around 6, okay? 6. So just--” Dick stopped for a moment while he hopped into his pant leg. “Just stay, okay? Stay here. We can have dinner. We can go out tonight.”

Damian watched in silence while Dick tugged at the buttons of his shirt, still untucked.

Dick finished with his shirt and stuck his feet in his boots. “I want to hang out, I do. I’m really, really, really sorry. I’ll be back. Just--” Dick stuck his head back in the open door, shouting now as though Damian couldn’t hear across the five hundred square foot living space. “Don’t leave!”

And then he was gone.


Damian sighed and fell backward on the couch. The arm of the couch smacked him in the head in a reminder of how horrible it was. “Dammit!”

He kicked the blankets off him in a brief fit of frustration. This was so stupid. He should have followed his instincts and gone home after patrol. Home, where he had a bed and more space and a change of clothes. And Alfred’s cooking.


So he’d gotten up and watched the news for a while, coffee in hand. Coffee, a few beers, and an old thing of yogurt seemed to be the only food Dick had. The yogurt was probably the biggest surprise. Damian sighed and picked at the bottoms of the sweatpants Dick had loaned him. It thirty. Great.

He’d gotten up to see if Dick had another towel he could use. It wasn’t his fault that he had to go through Dick’s bedroom to get there. And he wasn’t snooping. He was looking for a towel. Which could be anywhere, given Dick’s organizational system, aka, ‘just throw it anywhere.’

There were clothes on the floor, in piles and single items. The bed was unmade. The closet door stood open. There was a dirty coffee mug on the bedside table, filled with something that definitely smelled stronger than coffee. Without thinking, Damian sat on the edge of Dick’s bed, examining the objects on the table. His fingers brushed the phone charger, the clock, a few of Dick’s wrist darts--good, leave them lying around for people to stab themselves with, nice work--the edge of the coffee mug, where Dick’s mouth was, at one point. His mouth wrapped around it, soft, warm--


Damian snatched his hand back and stood. None of this was any of his business. Dick’s space, Dick’s things, where or where not his mouth had been--


There were towels in the small closet in the bathroom. Damian cranked up the water to hot--way too hot, scalding--and stood under it until his skin was red and the temperature had started dropping. After another second, he gripped the handle and turned it all the way the other direction, to freezing. His briefly relaxed muscles tightened, screaming at him to stop, but he didn’t. He stood until he was shaking, until his arms and legs ached. Then, slowly, he turned the water off and closed his eyes.

Okay. Better. He was fine. Everything was fine.

The towel felt strange on his partially numb skin. He wrapped it around his waist and walked into the living room, refusing to look around the bedroom again. The living room was chilly, causing the hairs on his arms to stand up. Damian walked around the room for a moment, knowing that if he sat it would just make his arms and legs stiffer. He opened the fridge and the cabinets once, then again. On the third try he forced himself to acknowledge that there was no food, and he wasn’t even hungry. He straightened and decided to get dressed.

Not that he really had any clothes.

He’d gone through a growth spurt recently--a few of them--and was only a few inches shorter than Dick now. It was basically the most frustrating process he’d ever gone through, seeing as his reach was all off and everything felt a little heavy and slow, but it did mean Dick’s clothes would be a close enough fit. At least until Dick came home and Damian could properly lecture him about the etiquette of hosting a guest.

It took him a long moment to cross back into Dick’s bedroom. All he needed was a shirt, and Dick seemed to have plenty of those lying around. He would find a shirt, put his sweats back on, and call someone to bring him food so he didn’t starve to death in Dick’s barren wasteland of an apartment. That was entirely within his abilities. He was a ninja.

There was a pile of shirts on the far side of Dick’s bed that looked as though they might have been folded at one time. Somewhat recently. Like perhaps they had...fallen over into the pile they currently lived it. Damian picked one up with his forefinger and thumb, looking for any obvious stains. It seemed clean enough. He lifted the shirt to his face to smell if it was clean or not.

It was--

Damian’s fingers tightened in the fabric.

It was--

It smelled like Dick, like Dick was right there, closer than he’d been since Damian was small and could get away with accepting the hugs Dick insisted on giving him. Before he’d started noticing the hard lines of Dick’s muscles beneath his costume. Noticing the way Dick smiled like, all the time, but how sometimes he’d stop and smile just at Damian. How blue his eyes were and the way his hair was a little too long all the time.

How he smelled.

Damian opened his eyes without realizing he had closed them and put the shirt down.

He put the shirt down.

He did.

He absolutely did not sink down and sit on the edge of Dick’s bed, shirt pressed firmly to his face. He didn’t close his eyes again, and rub his cheek in the fabric, wondering what it would feel like with the warmth of Dick’s chest pressing against it.

What it would feel like when Dick stripped it off, and there was only soft skin punctuated with scars, scars that he knew by heart, that he kept the pattern of mapped in his mind just like the maps of Gotham’s sewer system and the stars. What it might taste like. He guess it would taste like Dick’s shirt smelled, like his sheets smelled, now that Damian was flat on his back, sideways across Dick’s bed. Damian turned his face into the mattress, wondering.

Wondering if Dick’s hands would feel like his hands, or if the callouses would be different. If Dick would grip him like this--Damian let the towel fall away, spreading his thighs slightly--if he’d know to grip him hard, if he’d know that Damian liked it hard, needed it hard. That every time he’d had sex it wasn’t enough, because it was too soft, too caring, because it wasn’t Dick. That no one could make him feel this way, feel this good.

The part of his mind that obsessively takes in all information and stores it notes that he’s making soft sounds, that his heels are messing up the sheets even further when he moves, when he thrusts up into his hands. That Dick’s t-shirt is wrinkling in his grip, and that the way his shirt smells--laundry and shampoo and a little bit of sweat--is different from the way his sheets smell--like sleep and skin and musk. And that those two things together make up Dick, and Dick’s skin has been where Damian’s skin is, his mouth where Damian’s mouth was, maybe he’s even done this here, done this to himself, thought about Damian--

Oh, god.

That’s all he can think for the next few seconds, a steady string of oh god oh god ohgodohgodohgod and maybe Dick’s name, and maybe Nightwing, and he’s less aware that he’s saying most of these things out loud, but fuck he’s just so hard and he can’t--

“Fuck fuck fu--” Damian arched his back and came, hard, harder than he had in a while, caught up in the smell of Dick and the feel of his sheets and the thought of his skin--

Then it was gone, and all he had left was the buzzing feel under his skin, and the sticky feeling between his thighs and a sharp, burning guilt just beneath his collarbone. Damian opened his eyes, and tossed the shirt away.

He would have to find a washing machine.

And then take another shower.