“Superboy, I need your arm,” Robin says, and Jon looks away from the barricaded door to blink in absolute befuddlement.
“You need what?”
“Your arm,” his friend snaps again, not even waiting for an answer to grab Jon b y the wrist and yank him closer to where the older hero’s hunched over a computer flashing a long string of numbers that fill the screen. With one hand, he pins Jon’s forearm to the metal desk, forcing Jon to bend backwards uncomfortably, and with the other grabs a marker from a holder on the desk and uncaps it with his teeth. The holder tips over, spilling stationary all over the surface of the desk with a clatter, but Damian barely spares it a glance as he scribbles down digits onto Jon’s skin.
There’s a worryingly loud bang on the door and Jon’s head snaps around to face it. Damian never even flinches.
“Dami?” Jon settles into an awkward stance that allows him to face the door in order to blast whoever enters, careful not to jostle Damian as he starts on a new line of numbers.
“Right, Robin, might wanna hurry up with whatever you’re doing there—“ Jon’s interrupted by another bang, louder this time, and the metal of the door dents inwards. More shouting from outside. Damian’s fingers tighten on his forearm, number starting to come faster, and Jon adjusts his feet uncomfortably.
“I’m done.” Damian tosses the marker onto the table, blowing quickly onto Jon’s skin and sending goosebumps up his arm. He slings an arm over his partner’s shoulder and presses a finger to a button on his utility belt to summon the jet. “Let’s go.”
“Thank Rao,” Jon sighs, taking care to duck his head over Robin before he blasts them both messily out of a convenient window just as hostile agents break down the door.
Jon sets down lightly onto the ramp of the jet’s cargo bay, letting Damian down without preamble and bringing his hand up to block a stray bullet. It pings harmlessly off the back of his hand and falls harmlessly to the floor as the ramp hisses shut behind them. His partner immediately makes for the cockpit to get them back home, shooting Jon a warning look over his shoulder with a finger raised in warning.
“Superboy, if those codes get scratched, I will kill you. Do not doubt me.”
Jon rolls his eyes and plops himself down onto the passenger seat, swivelling it with his feet. “Relax, D. Have I ever let you down?”
“The time with the burger doesn’t count.”
“I distinctly remember asking for no sauce. What did you do?”
In the end, they get the codes back to the Cave without incident (although not without their fair share of friendly bickering, with Jon threatening to cut off his arm and chuck it out the window because that was one time, Dami, I swear— and Damian responding with a snarked do it, you coward), and Tim looks at the both of them like they’re the bane of his existence as he copies down the numbers as fast as he can. Once he’s done they both get thrown from the Cave to let him do my work in peace, please, for once, and Damian nods at him for a job well done before they part. The feeling of Damian’s gloves on his skin stays for days after, as well as the string of numbers wrapping themselves around his forearm. He’s not quite sure why he doesn’t wash them off.
“Goddammit,” Jon says with feeling, and Damian glances up from his tablet to frown at him.
“What is it?”
Jon makes a frustrated noise and waves his Superboy uniform in the air. “I grew another two inches and the hoodie’s too short for me now. And the sleeves are too small.”
Damian makes a noise of annoyance and lets his head fall backwards onto the couch. “Again?”
“Yeah,” Jon says, and looks down at his friend, one hand on his hip. “Hey I might become taller than you again. Sweet!”
“Don’t joke like that,” Damian says flatly as he shifts to the side. “Get down here, I need your measurements for the tailor. Grab the tape.”
With a grumble, Jon dropped the jacket over the back of the couch to rifle around in the papers on the coffee table. “Rao,” he says as he snatches up the tape and lands on the sofa with a bounce. “Please either make me stop growing or make it happen all at once. I beg you. I can’t go on.”
“Arm,” Damian says, utterly ignoring him and his plight.
“I don’t know why I’m friends with you,” Jon tells him as he leans to grab a marker from his open bag, on the floor propped up against a leg of the coffee table.
“I don’t know why you’re friends with me either,” Damian deadpans, uncapping the marker in a way that was weirdly attractive. “Who says we’re even friends?”
“Um, rude,” Jon eyes the way Damian wraps the measuring tape around his wrists a couple times, like a bizarre bracelet, before he brings the marker close and Jon jerks away. “Wait, what?”
Damian looks up at him, unimpressed. “You want these measurements done?”
“Not on my arm!”
“It’s for convenience’s sake.”
“You didn’t have a problem with it last Saturday,” his friend points out.
“That was a mission?”
“Do you want a new uniform or not, Kent?”
“Fine!” Jon raises up his free hand in surrender. “I concede. You can have the arm.”
There’s a hint of a smug expression around the corners of Damian’s lips, the kind he makes when he knows he’s won.
No thinking about his lips, Jon tells himself sternly. Dangerous path. Very, very dangerous path.
“Try to stay still for once,” Damian says before all pf his concentration immediately shifts to the arrows he’s drawn around Jon’s wrists, noting down numbers and units carefully. After the first wrist it’s his other arm, then his neck, and Jon’s hyperaware of Damian’s touch on his skin, calloused fingers from years of handling weapons, yet still so careful and slender. Artist’s fingers.
Why was he thinking about Damian’s fingers?
Jon squints disbelievingly at his friend. “Ask? Nicely?”
“Your arm, kindly.”
Jon crosses his arms and stares with a scrunched nose at Damian, who’s holding out a hand expectantly towards him. They’re on the roof of Wayne Manor, like they usually are at this time when Jon stays over, and Damian’s already comfortably situated himself on the edge of the chimney. It’s become a thing, the two of them up here on their part of the roof (Damian’s words, not his, Jon would like to clarify. If we don’t claim it, my brothers are sure to come and disturb us because it’s free land, he’d told Jon, who had been more than a little confused at the time. Grayson has his own area for performing his wholly dangerous and unrealistic feats for Drake to film. Sooner or later, Todd will figure it out and try to stake his claim on the rest of the roof just to rub it in Father’s face. Jon’s frankly a bit concerned for Damian’s family, and maybe a little jealous that it’s such a big one. Having so many siblings sounds fun.) And Jon shouldn’t be getting nervous over the fact that Damian had stated that it was ‘their’ part of the roof, he really shouldn’t, because he knows Damian only did it so that his brothers couldn’t take over.
“Fine,” Jon says eventually, settling himself down next to his friend. “Only because you’re bored.”
“Not bored,” Damian says under his breath, because how dare Jon insinuate the great Robin was anything as pedestrian as being bored. He pulls out a bunch of multicoloured sharpies from his bag, tied together with a rubber band. “Waiting. Sunset’s not for another fourteen minutes.”
“It’s strange you know that.”
“To you, perhaps,” Damian says idly as he examines the pens. He lets a finger rest on a dark red one in consideration.
“My mum says pen ink poisons your skin.” Jon comments. Damian picks a navy blue marker from the group and puts the rest back into the bag.
“You wont die,” Damian says as he uncaps the sharpie. “You’re invulnerable.”
“I don’t keep it up all the time, you know,” Jon says, but doesn’t move away when his friend shifts his arm to rest it comfortably across his knees, palm down.
“You probably won’t die,” Damian amends.
They sit quiet for the next few minutes, the marker sliding over Jon’s skin in swoops and curves and the sun slowly going down on the horizon. Jon can feel his eyelids struggling to stay open as he leans back against the chimney pot, the brush of the felt tip steady and hypnotic.
He’s not sure when his eyes close, but he must have dozed off because when there’s a soft nudge to rouse him he’s turned on his side against the ceramic chimney pots, blinking open bleary eyes.
Damian nods towards the sky, which has started to take on a soft pink hue. “We came up here for the sunset, idiot, not for you to sleep through it.”
His tone is strangely soft for the words he’s speaking, and the sharpie is nowhere to be seen but there’s still two fingers resting on his wrist. Jon offers him a lazy smile and slow blink, before turning his eyes to the view just as the sun dips below the horizon. Ribbons of orange and yellow make their way across the sky, the warm light colouring the clouds a soft shade of apricot, and Jon lets all the tension seep from his body as the blue of the sky gradually disappears.
Jon snaps out of the dreamy haze, blinking owlishly at Damian behind his glasses. “What?”
A tap on his arm. “You can have your arm back now.”
Jon pulls his hand back, finds that he misses the warmth of Damian’s skin against his.
“Thanks,” is what he says instead. “don’t know what I’d do without it.”
Damian rolls his eyes and near shoves him off the roof in retaliation.
Jon, still giggling, brings his arm up to his face and examines the dark blue lines that stem from the base of his thumb and swirl upwards over his forearms in intricate loops, like a tangle of ivy. The last curl stops somewhere near the crook of his elbow.
He can feel the wide smile on his face when he looks up at Damian and says: “It’s pretty.”
Damian turns his face—far too close to Jon’s already—to give him one of those small, rare smiles, and Jon can practically feel his heart skipping a beat.
“I’ve always really liked tattoos,” Jon announces one day as they take a break on one of Gotham’s many rooftops during patrol.
Wordlessly, Robin holds out a hand to Jon and with his other, reaches into a utility pocket to grab a maroon sharpie. Jon plops his wrist into his friend’s outstretched hand, and lets himself be tugged closer, until there’s no space between them and Jon can feel Damian’s warmth through his uniform.
It’s at times like this Jon’s grateful that Damian can’t hear his heartbeat.
For his 21st birthday, Jon gets Damian a set of markers.
They’re all different colours, all different sizes, from as many shops Jon could visit in the short amount of time he had. He was always something of a procrastinator. He’d stood by the colourful displays for the longest time, comparing one brand with another and testing them out on his skin until it was a mass of rainbow scribbles, some vaguely resembling words written in his messy reporter’s scrawl.
Once satisfied with his choices, he’d bought a clear pencil box and placed them all neatly inside, wrapping it up with wrapping paper and sticking a small slip of paper on it that he writes out his wishes on. He’d made extra-sure to buy a couple extra black pens and those fancy brush pens he had to save up for, for Damian’s own artworks. He also gets a couple new sketchbooks, because Damian burns through them so fast he has an entire portion of his shelf just for all his old ones. (Damian tries to reuse them, he does, even though his dad could probably buy the entire art store if he wanted to. At this point, most of his sketchbooks are a mess of multicoloured sketches, and you could barely make out a thing besides a couple of limbs and bright, blue eyes.)
They’re in the living room of Damian’s fancy apartment, just Maya and Kathy and him. It’s a tradition with the four of them, three of them getting together to surprise the one whose birthday would be coming up. Damian’s the hardest to plan for, maybe it’s because they’ve been doing this since they were kids, but Jon’s pleased to say they got the jump on him this time, springing a second surprise on him after the first one with his whole family. Or maybe Damian’s just letting them believe they got him this time. Either way, they’re all piled onto his absurdly soft sofa, covered in glittery confetti, one of Kathy’s legs swung carelessly over Maya’s and strategically positioned to leave practically no space for Jon to sit besides Damian’s lap.
They hadn’t gone that far, settled for squishing together with Damian’s arm slung over the back of the couch and his legs crossed over each other. Still, the intent was there, and Kathy doesn’t even have the shame to act guilty when Jon shoots her a betrayed glare.
Damian shakes the box of pens at him, mouth twisted with amusement. “You know that these are mostly going to be used on you, don’t you?”
“Don’t mind,” Jon shrugs with a grin, and ignores the look Kathy and Maya share. Later, when Damian’s back is turned, Maya makes a crude gesture with her hands and Kathy has to slap a hand over her mouth to stop from laughing out loud. Jon flips them off. He’s pretty sure Damian sees, but if he does he doesn’t say anything. Neither does he say anything about the little heart that comes after Jon’s message, which is good. Kinda. Probably better for Jon’s sanity, anyway.
They head out to a bar later, taking ten minutes to get suitably dressed because according to Maya “Damian dresses in nothing but tuxes (vehemently protested by the person in question) and Jon’s always wearing hoodies and/or flannels.” Jon tries valiantly to defend his choice in clothing but the girls gang up, so eventually he reluctantly retreats into the bathroom with the set of clothes Kathy had flung into his face.
Jon pokes his head around the door a minute later, face burning red and asking his adopted sister why she hated him. Kathy’s answer was a roll of her eyes and a “go put the goddamn fishnets on, Kent.” From the adjourning room, where Damian had disappeared to change, there’s a loud thud, not unlike the sound of a body falling, and a Arabic curse. Maya starts giggling.
When Jon finally emerges from the bathroom, he’s got the light-washed jeans on, rips up the thighs showing off pale skin and black fishnets. The jeans hang low on his hips, and when he reaches his arms up above his head the fishnets can be seen ending in a wide band around his waist. He’d drawn a line at the crop top, instead opting for a plain black tee and a grey flannel over it because I’d like to have some say in my clothing, Kathy, thanks. She’d conceded with a roll of her eyes.
“Fine,” she says, “only because you actually wore the nets.”
“You look like a whole snack,” Maya says lazily as she lounges on the sofa on her stomach, elbows propped up against the arm. “With two c’s. Everyone’s going to go wild.”
Damian comes out from his room a little after, dressed in a black turtleneck and dark skinny jeans. He does a double take at Jon, blinking owlishly in a way that makes Jon’s cheeks heat once again. Eventually, he clears his throat. “You look. Strange.”
“Thanks,” Jon says, and Kathy coughs loudly. At the interruption, Damian ducks his head, fingering at the hem of the denim jacket he has on.
“You look strange too,” Jon settles for, more confident than he feels, and Damian shoots him an easy grin.
“Shut up, Kent. I was blackmailed into this.”
“We going? Wallets?” Maya asks as she hooks her arm with Kathy’s, and that’s that. Before they leave, though, Damian picks a thin black marker from the marker from the box that Jon gave him and leans in close to his cheek. He tells Jon about the time Drake went undercover in a bar as he carefully draws a star at the corner of Jon’s eye, but Jon can’t hear him over the quick thud of his heartbeat in his ears.
“Dad and I went to India for a mission yesterday,” Jon says, grinning at his friend as he holds up the small bag of dye. “This lady showed us how to do henna and it was really cool!”
Damian rolls his eyes good-naturedly and holds out his hand for the bag. Jon ends up with elaborate, flowery designs halfway up his arm as well as a complex starburst on his thigh (his dad nearly had an aneurysm when he saw and jumped to immediate conclusions, even if Jon’s way past the legal age for a tattoo), and they stay for two weeks before they fade. Jon finds himself tracing over them even after they’re long gone.
“He is into you,” Kathy groans long-sufferingly as she thumps her head down onto her desk. When Clark had adopted her, they’d let her have the guest room. At first she was hesitant to fill it, unused to having her own possessions without there being some sort of catch, some sort of owed favour. A couple months in, she’d started to fill it with books, toys that Jon got her for her birthday and for Christmas, and stopped snapping to attention every time someone opened the door. Now, the space was occupied by a bed with lavender sheets, a dresser, and a desk that was right now practically covered with textbooks as she crammed for end-year tests. Jackets and coats of various colours were flung over every available surface.
“How do you know?” Jon wails from where he’s lying on her sheets, having barged into her room in the middle of her studying and collapsed face first on her bed. He’s holding his left arm up to the light, examining the intricate black lines closely. He’d mentioned to Damian about how he thought Bucky’s metal arm was cool as they were binge watching the Captain America movies, and his friend had taken it upon himself to ensure Jon had one just like it. If he was to crane his head to the side, he’d be able to catch the flash of bright red from the star on his bicep.
“Jesus Christ,” Kathy says into her computer keyboard. “Boys. Can’t you just bang him or something?”
“He’s not interested in me,” Jon says, curling his fingers and watching the ink on his knuckles shift with the movement, like actual robot joints. “Rao, how did you do this with Maya?”
“Because Maya and I don’t have our heads shoved up our asses!” His sister sounds completely done with him at this point, shoving off the wall to roll the chair until it stops next to the bed, turning to prop her socked feet up on Jon’s back.“Just… send him a card or something. I don’t know. What do boys like?”
“Not me,” Jon says bitterly, and a pen bounces off the back of his head.
They’re collapsed on Damian’s bed in his apartment, Jon crawling sluggishly onto the mattress as he pulls on one of Damian’s spare shirts. Definitely a size or two too small, but at this point all Jon wants to do is sleep for a week.
Jon’s honestly too tired to remind his friend about manners, so instead he just waves his arm vaguely in Damian’s direction, letting his take it and position it how he likes. There’s the familiar sound of that clear pencil box opening, After a moment, the familiar coolness of a marker starts over the inside of his wrist, and Jon makes a sleepy sound as it starts making long lines and dots down the inside of his forearm. He can feel as Damian adds long loops and leaves of flowers around it.
“Why do you draw on me so much?” Jon asks after a while, only half-listening to the answer.
He doesn’t see Damian’s shrug as much as feel it. “Art is enjoyable.”
Jon shifts around, trying to get his head on a pillow, and he hears a huff. “Stay still or the lines wobble.”
“Mmm,” Jon hums lazily, “‘m I special, then? Or do you do this for all your friends?”
There’s no answer, and the slow brush of the marker has stilled. When Jon tilts his head to peek up at Damian curiously, the older boy is chewing on his lip, looking as if he were fighting himself on what to say next. His eyes are trained on the black lines that cut across Jon’s pale skin.
“I wouldn’t want to do this for anyone else,” he says at last, and he sounds a little lost when he does. “Just… you.”
For a moment, Jon’s sure he’s misheard, and he props himself up on an elbow to furrow his eyebrows. Damian’s still not meeting his eyes, marker abandoned in his grip, but his hand is still resting on Jon’s wrist and rubbing slow circles into the skin.
“You’re breathtaking,” Damian whispers, and then he pulls back as if Jon’s skin burns. Jon’s frozen. “I’m—”
“You can’t,” Jon says in a purposefully calm tone, but his voice stills wavers dangerously as he draws his wrist to his chest. “You can’t say that if you don’t mean it, Dami. It’s just… not. You can’t do that.”
“I…” Damian’s fingers twist in the duvet, and it’s like he’s pouring pieces of his broken heart into his words. “I do mean it. I do. I swear.”
“Damian,” he says, voice cracking a little, and because he can’t think of anything else to say, he gets onto his knees and leans into Damian’s space.
“Please don’t punch me in the face,” he breathes, and has time to take in wide green eyes before he crashes their lips together, fingers curled in his shirt.
Damian freezes immediately, muscles tensing up beneath Jon’s fingers and he’s not kissing back and Jon panics for a moment, what if he’s wrong, what if he’s—
But then Damian’s uncoiling, going lax, kissing back slow and cautious like it’s the first time he’s doing it. And then they’re kissing, and it’s more than Jon ever imagined it’d be, Damian’s lips warm and soft and slow. Jon pulls back a little to breathe and Damian’s hand shoots out to card through his hair and then he’s tugging him back into his mouth, like his restraints are gone and this time the kiss is harsh, rough enough to bruise with sharp nips at Jon’s bottom lip that leave him gasping for air, head spinning wildly.
“We’re idiots,” Damian breathes between kisses, and Jon hums in agreement.
“I love you,” the older boy says suddenly, softly, like he’s terrified of the response, and Jon can feel giddy laughter building in his chest.
“I love you too,” he says, throws his arms around Damian and buries his nose in his neck. “Love you. Love love love you.”
“Idiot,” Damian laughs, but hugs Jon back like he’s afraid to let him go.
“Damian and I are dating,” Jon says, and Kathy blinks at him.
“Damian and I are dating.”
“It’s two in the morning.”
“So?” Jon asks, befuddled and grinning and probably high off his ass on endorphins as he holds his hand out towards his sister, who’s still staring blankly at him, swaddled in blankets. “He drew hearts on my hand.” Jon goes on, dizzy smile on his face as he brings his hand up to his face to admire the dark outlines of cartoon hearts on the back of his hand, comical against the neat, careful microchip lines. Juniper green, Damian had called the colour. Red hearts are overrated. If Jon was being completely frank, he didn’t give a damn what colour they were, because there were hearts on his hand and they were drawn by Damian Wayne.
Kathy groans and throws the covers over her head. “God, why.”
“I love him,” Jon sighs happily as he lets himself fall backwards onto the covers. Kathy makes a tired sound when she bounces lightly with the mattress.
“Honey, everyone already knew.”
Nobody has any idea why Superboy looks so absolutely giddy while fighting off alien creatures, just like how they have no idea why he’s suddenly taken to wearing a glove on one hand and not the other, rolling down that side’s sleeve until the entire arm is covered.
Some people think he’s got a tattoo that could possibly reveal his identity. Others say it’s because he actually has a robot arm.
“Wow,” Superboy says to a reporter who tells him this. “That’d be really cool. I wish that’s what it was.”
Nobody’s sure why Robin marches up to him and smacks the back of his head, but they forget about it once Superboy laughs cutely and pecks Robin on the cheek. The next day, the picture is splashed all over every self-respecting newspaper in the world, and when Jon sees Uncle Bruce next he does nothing more than give a long-suffering sigh and ruffle Jon’s hair, even though Jon’s about his height now.
“You’ll be good to him.”
Even simmering under the haze of post-orgasm lassitude, the sound of a marker uncapping is unmistakable. Jon opens a bleary eye to see Damian sitting up against the headboard, kryptonite green eyes observing him with dizzying intensity as he twirls a thin marker in between his fingers. Somewhere between the time he’d left the bed to get a washcloth and when he’d returned, he’d slipped on a pair of clean boxers. Jon groans a little and wriggles from where he’s lying on his stomach on the bed, arms tucked under the pillow his head is rested on, the only thing covering him being the burgundy duvet cover draped over his lower back.
“Whatever you’re thinking, I don’t have the energy to do it.”
“Aren’t you meant to have enhanced metabolism?” Damian snarks as he fits the cap onto the back of the marker and shifts so that he’s kneeling next to Jon.
Jon, deeming the situation safe to relax in, closes his eyes as he answers a little weakly into a pillow. “Yeah, well, six times coming in an hour is a bit much for even me, thanks. I think you outran my refractory period.”
“Five and a half,” He hears Damian say. “The last one you came dry. And you don’t look too tired to me.” There’s a shift in the mattress beneath him, and Damian swings a leg over him so that he’s straddling the back of his thighs. Jon immediately jerks and reaches behind him to swat at Damian’s thigh, face still half-buried in the pillow. “Nope, no more. Bad Damian. Down.”
“I wasn’t going to do anything,” Damian says, sounding a little petulant, and Jon rolls his eyes as he flops his head back down onto the pillow.
“Fine. Keep not doing anything. And wipe that smirk off your face.”
He can definitely hear the smile in Damian’s voice when he replies this time. “I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up.” Despite himself, Jon stretches languidly when Damian adjusts and settles himself comfortably on top of him, groin dangerously close to his ass, one hand splayed on his bare hip.
The first touch of the cold felt tip to his right shoulder blade makes Jon jump slightly, before he settles back into the sheets with a contented sigh as Damian waits until he’s calm before setting it back on his skin once again. Jon hums happily, half-asleep, as Damian starts on short, straight lines, always in different directions, in a seemingly random order. Shifting a little, his lover leans down until Jon shivers at the sensation of warm puffs of breath on his back. He starts writing something, small letters that seem to follow the curve of his ribs. Jon can picture perfectly the look of concentration that would be in Damian’s eyes, the furrow in his eyebrow and the slight part of his lips, and he shivers.
“What’re you doing?” Jon asks. The strokes pause for a moment before resuming.
“Mmmkay.” He mumbles drowsily. “Wha’ colour ’s ’t?”
There was a moment of silence before Damian answers. “1736A.”
Jon almost says something snarky in reply, but then the marker brushes across his skin again, slow and hypnotic, and he abandons the words in favour of a soft huff.
Jon isn’t sure how long he lies there, pleasure curling low in his gut with every stroke of the marker. Another longer pause, and the touch of the brush tip disappears as Damian sits up to survey his work. Jon moves to get up, but is quickly stopped by Damian’s hand on the nape of his neck. It gently pushes his head back down onto the pillow, thumb and forefinger squeezing his skin lightly.
Jon doesn’t move, hardly dares to breathe as Damian shifts to adjust his seat on Jon’s thighs, and the cool strokes start up again, more carefully now and with longer pauses in between each cluster of lines. Each small movement of the marker makes Jon’s fingers curl in the sheets, breaths near nonexistent so that he doesn’t spoil Damian’s work.
Finally, Damian leans down over his body, so close that Jon can feel the heat radiating off his skin and his shallow breaths at the top of his spines. He twitches slightly at the cool touch of the marker to the nape of his neck, barely avoiding the purple bruises that Damian had sucked into his skin earlier.
Eventually, the fine tip leaves his skin, and there’s the click of a marker capping. “It’s done.”
“You make it sound like you’re preparing me for a ritual sacrifice,” Jon sighs and makes no move to get up, mind still hazy with sleep.
“I could be,” Damian says, and Jon snorts. His boyfriend pats the side of his ribs. “Get up. Mirror.”
For a moment, Jon debates the pros and cons of getting out of bed to check out what artwork Damian’s made him into this time, or just staying where he was with his face buried in a very comfortable pillow and have Damian’s steady weight never leave his legs. But in the end the curiosity wins out, and he pushes himself up onto his elbows with a sound of mild protest. He turns and sits up on the bed with a wince, reaching down to the floor to snag his jeans. He stretches with a groan, extending his hands above his head and getting onto his toes. He sneaks a peek at Damian, blushes a little at the way Damian’s eyes linger on the arch of his back before they flick up to meet his and turn away. There’s a slight red tint to his cheeks.
“Mirror,” Damian tells him, not meeting his eyes, and Jon snickers.
“Enjoying the view?”
Jon rolls his eyes fondly and turns so that his back is to the mirror, craning his head to try and make out the drawings on his back.
Now that he can see them, he realises that the pen was actually a darkish gold colour, shimmering when he turns just the right way to let them catch the light, and it stands out starkly against his pale skin. There’s words, too, under each cluster of lines, too small to make out.
“Oh my god,” he says, and looks to where Damian is still seated on the edge of the bed. He colours and flicks his gaze away, suddenly taking up a deep interest in the wallpaper. “Did you join my freckles into stars?”
“Constellations,” Damian corrects immediately before ducking his head again, cheeks burning. “It’s not my fault you have freckles everywhere. I just made use of them.”
“Aww,” Jon coos, leaning down to peck Damian on the cheek and taking the opportunity to see him flush further.
“Shut up, Superbrat.” Damian scrubs the back of his hand of his hand over his hot face, embarrassed, getting up and making to head to the door. “I don’t know why I bothered.”
“No, no, wait,” Jon giggles, reaching out to snag Damian’s wrist before he can get far. The older boy keeps his face turned strategically away, for the sake of his dignity. “I didn’t say I didn’t like them,” Jon tells him, sobering up although he keeps a soft smile at the corners of his lips, only his index finger and thumb circling Damian’s wrist to keep his touch light. “They’re pretty. I love your art.”
“That’s what you say about all of them,” Damian says, but inclines his head slightly to let Jon catch a glimpse of dark eyelashes.
“Well, maybe I like all of them,” he tugs at Damian’s wrist, pulling a relenting Damian towards him until he’s close enough for Jon to bury his nose in his hair and hum happily. Damian’s put-upon sigh makes hot breath gust over his collarbone and shoulder.
“Do you want to know which constellations they are or not?” He asks after a moment of comfortable quiet. Jon makes a soft noise as Damian pulls away to turn him a little sideways, allowing him to crane his head to catch the shimmering lines in the mirror. He reaches out to run his fingers over his back, and Jon can feel him raising goosebumps.
“Cassiopeia,” Damian says, tracing along the angular lines that cut across his right shoulder blade, joining five of his freckles into what vaguely resembled a warped ‘w’, “Camelopardalis,” another five freckles, to the left of Cassiopeia in a box-shape, “Perseus,” a jagged line that split into two, curving downwards and to the right and pointing towards— “Triangulum.”
Jon squints in disbelief. “You made that up.”
Damian looks affronted. “Of course not.”
“That’s literally just a triangle.”
“It’s a constellation!”
“It’s a ridiculous constellation,” Jon snickers and hauls himself to his knees to lean in and kiss his boyfriend on his pouting mouth.
“Moment, you idiot,” Damian complains, but it’s muffled by Jon’s lips.
The clear pencil box makes its residence on Damian’s nightstand, and there’s always a different coloured marker clipped onto Robin’s belt when they fly over Gotham.