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So Much Sunshine to the Square Inch

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Blackbird leans over the edge of the building, eyes trained on the street below. He’ll be moving along soon enough, to his next perch, the next stop on his patrol. Gotham is surprisingly clear this evening, no steam or fog or dart-like cold rain… the breeze could even be pleasant if it didn’t still stink of Gotham’s persistent air pollution. He gives the street another quick scan, before tensing, ever-so-slightly, in a way that no normal human would ever notice.

“Hello, Mother,” Damian Wayne says, turning to face her. He hasn’t seen her in at least eight years.

Even with the Pits, even with the farce of immortality, age is catching up with Talia al Ghul. There are more lines on her face now, delicate crow’s feet, and streaks of grey in her rich brown hair. Damian considers mockingly asking whether it’s stress, but keeps his comments to himself. The air between them, for now, is neutral, and he’d rather keep it that way.

“To what do I owe the pleasure?” And to his credit, he manages to keep his sarcasm out of the word ‘pleasure’. Talia takes a few steps closer, her green cloak shifting as she folds her arms. Damian vaguely wonders how Ra’s is taking it in Hell, how Talia has taken control, correct genitalia or not.

“I understand there is a wedding afoot,” she says. “I have not been invited.”

Damian sighs. Of course. Anyone with half a brain and one eye on any news website would know that the Youngest Prince of Gotham, Damian Wayne, is happily engaged.

“I’m sorry, your invitation must have been lost,” he says, perhaps with a bit more of what Alfred would call ‘sauce’ than entirely necessary. “There isn’t exactly a delivery route to wherever you’re hiding this month.”

Talia’s eyes narrow. “Watch your tongue,” she says, stepping closer still. Damian notices, now, that he is taller than her – not by much, when she’s in heels, which she always is, but still… he looks down instead of up. Her gaze softens now she is beside him, and she raises her hand, presses it to his cheek. He lets her – it’s all she’s allowed, after all. “You look so much like him, you know.”

Damian fights to keep his lip from twisting. He knows it, every time he looks in the mirror, he can see it. He has none of his father’s breadth and mass, and the only one he’s gained height on is Drake. But it’s the worst in his face, when he looks into his own green eyes, sees the hook of his nose and the length of his face… He’s like a young Ra’s reborn. But the angles are softer, the cheekbones less sharp, his cheeks fuller, and he’s seen those features in portraits and photographs of someone who died long before he was born. He’s grateful for the softness Martha Wayne allowed him to have. And anyway, even with his general distaste at his own reflection, the person to whom it matters most has never even seen Ra’s al Ghul. He doesn’t care who Damian looks like, because to him, the scion of al Ghul, the youngest Bat and the Prince of Gotham has always only ever been Damian. Maybe Dami, occasionally, when he’s feeling obnoxious.

“I am aware,” he says evenly. “So, to be serious, why exactly are you here, Mother?”

Talia lets her hand fall with a sigh. “I came to assess the bride. I need to know how good her stock is before I allow her to give birth to my heir.”

At that, Damian has to snort, which turns quickly into actual laughter, and that seems to take his mother completely by surprise. Of course, she wouldn’t have ever actually seen him laugh, not when she’s been gone for so long. And, well, it’s hard not to laugh when you’re happy, even for Damian.

He shakes his head, wrapping up his chuckles. How could she have not noticed? It’s not like it was a secret, but then again, he doubted she read tawdry metro pieces herself. She would delegate that distasteful task to some underling.

“Mother, there is no bride. There’s a groom.”

Talia stares at him. “A what?”

Damian’s smirk indicates he might be enjoying her shock a bit too much. “Honestly, you should read the tabloids yourself.” He pulls up an article, a ridiculous one from a few months back, before the announcement. There they are, hand in hand, Damian looking aloof behind his Gucci sunglasses, but honestly, he’d been feeling quite agreeable that day. It’s hard to hold the hand of the person you love and not feel a little elated.

Talia studies it. Her eyes narrow again, her face pinching. “Who is he?”

“You could read the headline,” Damian says easily, scrolling up to show it: YOUNGEST PRINCE OF GOTHAM CAUGHT HOLDING HANDS WITH UP-AND-COMING METROPOLIS UNIVERSITY QUARTERBACK.

And there’s Jon, all tasteless flannel, thick-rimmed glasses and flight-swept curls, beaming at Damian, tall and broad and godlike and Damian really needs to learn to curb his thoughts about Jon, they are highly unprofessional. Honestly, anyone would think this was a new development, like they hadn’t been joined at the hip for ten years.

Talia takes a step back. “So you will end the line of al Ghul like this?” she demands, voice cold. Damian shrugs dismissively.

“With great relish,” he says, conveniently ignoring the fact the adoption is the favoured modus operandi of the Wayne family and combining two sets of male DNA into a child is absurdly simple. He folds his arms, and takes sadistic delight in the obvious discomfort his choice in significant other is giving her. The apple didn’t rot far with her, but Damian fights every day to make certain he’s a completely different orchard. “If we’re done here,” he adds, “I have a patrol to return to.”

He pulls out his grappling gun, but before he can do anything, there’s a rush of air that knocks his hood back, making Talia’s cloak billow.

“Hi, Blackbird!” says a disgustingly cheerful voice, and Damian hates how his heart skips the proverbial, cliché beat and he especially hates how Jon can hear it. Jon grins, floating easily, divine in the familiar red, blue, and yellow and strangely contemporary with his denim jacket emblazoned with the familiar S-shield.

“Superboy,” Damian says with a nod, voice betraying nothing. His mother, however, was always good at arithmetic.

“So this is him?” she says. Jon tilts his head like a curious golden retriever. Then his eyes widen.

“You’re Blackbird’s mom!” he exclaims. His fists tighten, his shoulders tensing, and he lands near Damian, protective, eyes never leaving Talia. Talia’s recoil would be invisible to anyone else, but the roof’s present company is anything but normal. Damian sighs.

“She apparently isn’t here to pick a fight. And I don’t believe you’ve ever been formally acquainted: Superboy, this is my mother. Mother, this is my fiancé.”

Talia’s gaze is calculatingly gelid. “One of the aliens? I see… How very like your father you are.” The disapproval and the touch of venom is palpable. Damian lets it flow off him like he would the petty insult of a common criminal.

“Yes, well, this was one of the reasons you weren’t invited,” he says crisply. “Now, I’m terribly sorry, Mother, but I do actually have a patrol to finish.” His tone lays on thick that he is not sorry at all as he replaces his hood. He turns to Jon. “A lift?”

Jon blinks, giving Talia one last look, before nodding. His arm goes around Damian’s waist, a familiar, welcome warmth and strength.

“Ma’am,” he says with a parting nod, ever polite even when it was blatantly not a pleasant meeting at all, and he takes off, holding Damian close. Soon Talia is out of sight, but obviously not out of mind. Damian permits himself a small groan, burying his face in Jon’s shoulder. Jon himself lets out a long breath.

“She’s scary,” Jon says. “I thought she was gonna pull a sword on me, or something.”

“I’m not afraid of her,” Damian replies, and it’s a simple statement of fact. “I just didn’t expect her to turn up. And it’s not like a sword would do anything to you.” He resists the urge to underline his words by touching Jon’s chest. Sometimes he finds he cannot keep his hands to himself.

“Still, I don’t exactly like swords,” Jon mumbles.

He alights on Damian’s next watchpost, and Todd is already there, leaning against the side of particularly grotesque… well, grotesque. Even with his helmet, Damian can read the mood in his body language. Todd reads his own just as easily.

“I came to warn you she was snooping around, but I guess I was late,” he mutters. Damian shrugs.

“It wasn’t a problem,” he says. “She met her future son-in-law.”

Todd snorts, moving over to clap Jon on the back, and Jon, ever gracious, rolls with the hit like it actually did something. “How did that go, huh?”

Jon shakes his head. “She wasn’t exactly enthusiastic.”

“She wants an heir,” Damian says matter-of-factly. “She wants the al Ghul bloodline to continue. It’s not going to happen.”

Jon deflates a little. “We’re not gonna have kids?”

Todd lets out an awkward whistle, and Damian has no idea how he does it with that ridiculous helmet. “I’m gonna… leave you two to sort this out on your own…”

“Not biological ones, no,” Damian replies easily, before Todd gets the chance to slip back into the shadows. Jon brightens again, catching the implication, and Todd breathes a sigh of relief before vanishing back into Gotham’s gloomy night. They wave as he does.

“That’s good!” Jon says. “I was worried.”

Damian huffs in amusement. “I have three adoptive brothers and an adoptive sister. And Stephanie.” Such a change of tune, he muses, from when he would hold his blood status above everyone else. It’s not as if splitting it will dilute the Wayne fortune in any considerable way, and Damian has come to realise that he’s no better than any one of his siblings. Except, maybe, Drake. He managed to be taller than him and he will never let Drake forget it, even when he himself only just reaches Grayson’s forehead.

Jon nods. “You’re right, as usual. And my dad. And Kon, too.” He sits on the edge of the roof, long legs stretched out and crossed at the ankle in front of him. And he’s smiling that slightly mischievous smile that tells Damian exactly what’s going on in his mind. Damian quirks an eyebrow at him, enjoying the slight flush that gets him.

“Can I kiss you?” he asks. He always asks, and it’s one of the things that makes Damian grateful.

“Of course,” he replies, and Jon beams, surging forward to press his lips to Damian’s. They’re soft, pliable, tasting of wind and wonder and a little hint of soda. Damian never likes his opponent to gain terrain on the battlefield, but Jon’s kisses are a rare, perhaps unique exception. He allows the kiss to deepen, draws Jon in further, tongues meeting and sending a frisson of exquisite heat up his spine. He supposes his hair-trigger reactions are due to early days, perhaps the giddiness of a new engagement, but he has a sneaking suspicion that it might just always be this way with Jon. He wouldn’t exactly be opposed to that.

They reluctantly part, lips still close, noses brushing, and Damian can feel the stretch of Jon’s smile. Damian can hold his breath for two minutes, but with Jon, he always needs to breath far too frequently.

A woman’s scream echoes from two streets away, and Damian is on his feet immediately. “Duty calls,” he announces, and Jon grins.

“I need to get back to Metropolis anyway, Dad’s gonna be mad I snuck away.” One last peck to Damian’s cheek and they part, Damian swinging through the towering heights of Gotham’s skyscrapers, and Jon heading south, wind in his hair and laughter on his lips as he allows himself some self-indulgent loop-the-loops.

Damian adjusts his tie and fights down a scowl. Interviews are always exceedingly tedious, and though his public persona is allowed to be brisker than his father’s, he still has to play nice with the media. PR is important, after all, and that foundation has to be laid before he actually inherits the company. Drake is a media darling and Damian refuses to be any less.

“Mr Wayne, so nice of you to be here!” Michelle Micheletti’s smile is toothy, sparkly and altogether shark-like. He knows perfectly well why Lois cannot do the interview, but he still wishes it were her instead. Lois would actually be happy to see him, but she’d also ask very mischievous and pointed questions that would leave Damian red to the roots of his hair. She remains one of the few who can make him blush sincerely, and he consoles himself over his weakness with the knowledge that she has that effect on literally everyone.

“It’s no problem, Ms Micheletti. Please, call me Damian.” He hates it when strangers call him Damian, but he still has to play up being the ever-gracious Bruce Wayne’s son. He waits for Micheletti to sit and then does so himself, adjusting his suit jacket fastidiously and crossing his legs at the knee. He’s never been much of a manspreader, even for appearances, and he doubts that will ever change.

“Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, ah, Damian,” she says, pulling out her phone and no doubt bringing up the recording app. “We all know you value your privacy. We were quite surprised.”

Damian smiles benignly. “Oh, well, I thought it best to lay rumours to rest and put some things… straight, as it were.”

She laughs airily, gets out her questions, placing them in her lap. “Shall we start?”

No-nonsense, Damian appreciates that. He wonders if she asked around for tips on how to interact with the most elusive of the Wayne heirs. “Of course,” he concedes.

Her first questions are fluff, to put him at ease – not that he needs it, but she’s professional, which is nice. It doesn’t take her long, however, to lean forward, almost conspiratorially, with a sharp smile.

“Of course, I have to ask the question on everyone’s lips… Jon Kent, new quarterback of the Fighting Bulldogs. An odd choice, according to some…”

Damian chuckles. “Not at all. Jon and I have known each other for many years now,” he says. She looks surprised. “We’ve been friends since early adolescence,” he elaborates.

She smiles. “Ah, childhood sweethearts, then?”

Damian fights the urge to laugh at her. He remembers, vividly, how they used to act as children together, the spats and the one-upmanship and the scrapping and the constant barrage of typical Kent affection laser-targeting the walls forcefully erected by years of League indoctrination. No, it had taken forever to get past those obstacles.

“You could say that,” he chooses to say instead.

“Very romantic, for sure… But does that create friction at home? After all, we know his father is Clark Kent…”

Of course, who doesn’t know about the most peculiar choice possible for Bruce Wayne, billionaire playboy, to finally settle down with? Damian can’t quite stop his eyes from narrowing, and he hides it by steepling his fingers.

“I knew Jon before our fathers started their relationship. We never saw each other as brothers.”

Micheletti clears her throat. “That settles that then. Your father’s reputation precedes you, though, Damian… how serious would you say this relationship is?”

She’s eyeing his left hand. He smirks. “Very serious, Ms Micheletti. We are engaged, after all.”

Her eyes light up, like a predator catching the scent of blood. An exclusive that will bring traffic to their website for at least a week, journalistic Christmas come early. She beams. “Congratulations, then!”

“It was a natural step,” Damian says, and this he means. To go from belligerent partners, to steadfast friends, to lovers… Husbands is the most obvious progression. And, if he allows himself a rare moment of inner clarity, there is nothing he would like more than to spend the rest of his life with Jon, both in costume and out. There are few things in Damian’s life that have ever felt completely and utterly right, and this is the most solid and certain of those.

“Do you think this will have an impact on Jon’s future career in the NFL?” Micheletti asks. “There have been plenty of scouts keeping their eyes on him, but out athletes are still quite rare…”

Damian doesn’t bother to hide how his eyes narrow. “We shall cross that bridge when we come to it,” he says icily, and it’s enough to make her sit back slightly, like his tone was a physical drop in temperature. She clears her throat.

“Of course,” she mutters, taking the hint that that part of the conversation is over.

There are a few more questions, about his role in the company, how he views his eventual ascendency, and a few more prying things about Jon, before the interview is over. Damian answers with easy grace, none of the questions containing anything akin to his true sentiments… except, perhaps, for those about Jon. He can’t quite resist being slightly sentimental.

Once Micheletti is gone, Damian sighs. He needs to overlook a merger in the sector Bruce handed him to control – not that he needs the practice – but he also needs… He takes out his phone, biting his lip.

That was tedious.

Jonathan Kent
Really that bad?

You have no idea.

Are you able to take a call?

Jonathan Kent
Yeah I don’t have class right now

Jon picks up after only one ring, and Damian wonders if he should be concerned about how the simple “hey” greeting seems to dismiss all tension from his spine. Is Jon making him weak? He doesn’t think so, not when they work together so seamlessly in the field. Self-analysis should come later though, especially when he has more pressing matters to attend to.

“So, our engagement should be public by tomorrow,” he says.

“Awesome!” He can hear the grin in Jon’s voice.

“Do you want to… hide out in the Manor, for a while? Until the furore dies down?”

“Nah, I’ve had enough paparazzi after me. Don’t forget when Dad and Bruce got together publicly, that was wild.”

Damian allows himself the slightest of winces. Jon had been petrified, back then: his exposure to reporting had mostly come in the form of the impeccable journalistic integrity of his parents, and he certainly wasn’t prepared to deal with the vultures that had begun circling his middle school, hounding him at any given moment whenever the watchful eye of either Lois or Clark couldn’t be on him, and Damian himself couldn’t intervene. Surprisingly, Todd had, with uncharacteristic benevolence, taken it upon him to act as a personal bodyguard, which meant a lot of reimbursements to broken cameras from Wayne Enterprises and a lot of photos of Todd’s infamous middle fingers. Jon had made it through to the other side unscathed and only somewhat unscarred (Todd’s colourful language notwithstanding).

“Besides, I have a game on Saturday,” he continues. He clears his throat. “Are… you gonna come watch?”

Damian flushes slightly. Jon asks for things like a puppy asks for ice cream, with his head cocked and his voice tentative and his eyes like saucers. Damian can feel it through the phone, he’s seen it enough.

“If I must,” he replies, in a tone that Jon must know means Damian wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Damian presses the button on his belt as soon as he lands, waiting for the window to slide open as guilt pours down his spine. He slips into the darkness, immediately tugging off his hood and running a hand through his hair. A small shaft of light pours from the bedroom, and Damian heads down the stairs from the loft to the main room, and finally opens the door.

Jon has a book open and is meticulously taking notes from it onto his laptop, or he was, at least – he likely stopped as soon as he sensed Damian’s heartbeat close to the building. He turns and smiles, and Damian feels three times as guilty.

“I’m sorry I missed your game,” Damian says quietly. He knows perfectly well that anyone else could have dealt with the bank heist – if there is one thing Gotham doesn’t lack, it is masked vigilantes – but he’d been right there… Jon shakes his head.

“Saw you on the news after,” he says, sitting up and stretching, revealing a tantalising amount of perfectly sculpted stomach as his shirt rides up. “I’m here studying, so I think it’s obvious we didn’t win.” He sighs. “I still need to figure out when to allow myself the edge and when not to. I guess not playing in high school is showing.”

Damian nods and begins shedding his suit. Jon scoots along to the edge of the bed, biting his lip.

“Let me?” he asks, voice soft, edged with longing. Damian hesitates, then turns to him.

“If you wish,” he says, and Jon’s face lights up, his pupils dilate, and his lips meets Damian’s.

His large hands are tender, almost worshipful, mindful of how much his touch ignites Damian’s senses. His lips grace every inch he uncovers, hungry yet still agonisingly slow, and it becomes more than Damian can resist. He pushes Jon to the bed, claims his lips yet again with force that would bruise any lesser mortal, and gives in to his desire.

There are few sights on this Earth as humbling as that of Jon in the throes of ecstasy, his back arched with every glorious muscle taut to delicious breaking point, his legs vice-like around Damian’s hips, Damian’s name falling from his mouth like a prayer as he spends himself. He wrings Damian’s own orgasm from him with glorious potency, his fingers just powerful enough to leave sweet bruises on Damian’s back, the tightness of him drawing a broken groan from Damian’s lips.

And when there is enough of Damian’s psyche returned to him that he can remember to breathe and blink at the same time, Jon’s lips are on his, lazy and sated and warm, and he wraps Damian in his embrace, as if afraid he might disappear if they aren’t touching. He knows, however, when it becomes too much for Damian’s frazzled senses, and he lets go, allowing Damian a moment to regain some sense of control. They wind up on their sides, facing each other, noses touching and breath mingling and the dizzying scent of lovemaking between them, fingers gently intertwined since any more makes Damian incredibly uncomfortable. Jon draws out the carnality in Damian, and Damian finds he doesn’t mind it at all, and Jon, for his part, never presses for more than Damian can give.

“I was, uh… wondering something…”

Damian arches an eyebrow. “Oh?”

Jon looks somewhat nervous, his post-coital flush deepening to something that appears to have nothing to do with sex. “How are we gonna go about this?”

“Are you thinking of the wedding already?” Damian asks. Jon nods.

“I was just… I dunno, I passed a wedding shop today.” He pauses, rubbing the back of his neck. “Sounds dumb, huh?”

Damian shakes his head. “No. Go on.”

Jon shrugs. “I guess I just… started thinking about it? About how we could do it? I don’t… I don’t want a big, flashy wedding.”

“Something small, then,” Damian muses. “Just family and friends?”

“Yeah, and… could we… I don’t think I want it in Gotham. Or… or Metropolis.”

Damian can’t resist a surprised arch of his eyebrows. “Smallville?”

Jon grins at that. “Yeah, we could have it on the farm!” he says, gaining momentum. “We could have it there and we could just be ourselves for once, Kory and Mar’i wouldn’t have to use the dumb disguise tech… it could be great. Just a real superhero wedding.”

While Damian would have been more than happy for a small, inconspicuous wedding, he isn’t entirely sure he wants it to be held on a farm in a backwater. Unlike his father, apart from the animals, the Kent family farm has never been one of his favourite getaways. It becomes intensely tedious, no excitement, no danger, nothing to really do.

But... the wedding would be different, wouldn’t it? There would be so much to do, little time to be anything but busy and then little time to be anything but ridiculously in love… And it would make Jon happy, and, though Damian would never admit this out loud to anyone, making Jon happy is an exceptionally fulfilling pastime.

“Very well,” he says and Jon beams at him, the sunshine he hoards inside shining from within. Damian almost fancies he can taste it when he draws Jon into a kiss. It tastes like home.

Damian thinks of how long Jon has been a part of his life, of how long, by extension, his family has known him. He thinks of how Grayson still ruffles his hair, of how Todd is protective, of how Drake was there to help him with homework. He thinks of how Cassandra taught him hand-to-hand, of how Stephanie teases good-naturedly, of how even Father seems to smile more when Jon is present. Jon fits in so easily, brings everyone some much-needed sunshine, and it isn’t simply because of Clark. Damian brought him into their lives, and while anyone else might be jealous, Damian cannot find it within himself. Loving a Super means sharing them with the rest of the world, and loving a Kent means sharing their light with the rest of the family.

That said, he still feels a frisson of possessiveness when he drags an incredibly embarrassed Jon in front of every member of the united Bat-clan, clustered around the couch and armchair in the main den.

“We have an announcement,” Damian says, incredibly formal, pleased at the incandescent blush spreading across Jon’s cheeks. It is always hard to tear his eyes from Jon, but he forces himself to turn to his family. There is a mixture of confusion (Stephanie and Thomas), anticipation (Grayson, of course), polite disinterest (Cassandra and Todd) and shrewd knowledge (Drake and Father). They wait, however, for whatever the announcement may be.

“Father, everyone else… Jon and I are officially engaged.”

Grayson whoops and vaults the couch, pulling both of them into a stifling hug. “We been knew!” Todd heckles, earning some scattered laughter. Damian submits himself to the farce of more hugs, congratulations, hearty claps on the back, Jon now decidedly less embarrassed and in his element. Damian catches a look at his father, and Bruce is smiling softly. He pulls Damian into a rare embrace.

“You already knew,” Damian says, arching an eyebrow.

“It was inevitable,” Bruce replies, which makes Damian let out a gentle huff of laughter. “Of course… it helped that Clark told me asked him for Jon’s hand in marriage.”

Todd bursts out laughing. Jon whips round, gaping ridiculously. “Damian!” he exclaims, burying his face in his hands. Damian scowls.

“What? I was doing things properly! And I still asked you first!”

“So old-fashioned!” Stephanie teases, poking him in the side.

“Clark did say it was more of a demand, though,” Bruce continues, his gravelly voice thick with amusement, and Damian suddenly feels incredibly embarrassed. “I believe the word ‘elope’ was used.”

Damian lets out a soft groan. Most of his siblings have looks on their faces that indicate Christmas has come early. He certainly won’t be living this down any time soon.

Later, they are on the roof, watching the sunset, Jon’s fingers threaded with Damian’s. Soon, Jon will soar into the sky and leave for Metropolis, and Damian will descend into the Batcave and get ready for his own patrol. Their elements, Damian muses, are so different, and yet… Jon’s hand in his feels like an extension of his own.

“Did you really tell my dad if he didn’t say yes we’d elope?” Jon asks teasingly. Damian blushes, pointedly looks away, making Jon laugh.

“I… might have said something along those lines,” he mumbles, and Jon laughs harder.

“That’s adorable,” he says. Damian turns back to him, frowning slightly. Jon takes both his hands, squeezes them, his smile wide and lovely. “You love me enough to just run away with me.”

Damian sighs. “Fool that I am, yes.”

Jon leans in, stops, waiting for permission. Damian gives it by pressing closer, closing his eyes as they kiss. The last rays of sun are still warm on his cheek, but they are nothing compared to the warmth of Jon’s arms around him, his lips, the light he emits. Damian is a moth, Jon is the flame, but he never burns, only warms, lights up. The darkness Damian has carried all his life is chased away when Jon is near.

Jon adjusts his bowtie in the mirror. He’s attempted to slick his hair back, but it doesn’t enjoy that style at all and keeps falling back over his forehead, just tamed enough to be different. Damian watches him, leaning against the doorway, sees the nervousness in his frame, catches Jon’s eye in their reflections. Jon grins sheepishly, and Damian takes that as an invitation. He saunters over, winds his arms around Jon’s waist, placing his chin on his soon-to-be husband’s shoulder.

“You look ravishing,” he says, and Jon practically giggles, his face heating.

“Stop that,” he mumbles, in a tone that says that Damian should not, in fact, stop anything at all.

It is, entirely, the truth. Jon’s suit is impeccably tailored, flaunting the broad shoulders and tapered waist, emphasising the length and strength of his legs. The blue of his bowtie and cummerbund bring out the summer-sky of his eyes, the same colour as the blue stretched out across the Kansas plains outside. Damian is torn between admiring the vision in front of him and wanting to simply get the layers out of the way, reveal that glowing skin and glorious body and have what he wants. He never wanted, before Jon, and he doubts he will ever want anyone else.

Jon places his hands on Damian’s, smiles.

“You look handsome too, you know,” he murmurs. Damian hums happily, brushing his nose against Jon’s neck, planting a soft kiss. He knows he does – Damian knows perfectly well he is attractive – but hearing Jon say it, knowing Jon appreciates him, wants him back… there’s nothing quite like it. Damian has never been the sort of person to become giddy, but he supposes this is close to the sensation.

A knock on the door tears him from his reverie, and they both turn to see Lois there. She is smiling, joy with a tinge of melancholy.

“Five minutes, boys,” she says. Jon nods, turns, and Damian reluctantly pulls away. His arms feel empty, but his heart is absurdly full when Jon embraces his mother. And though he feels a hint of envy, he doesn’t have time to process it: Lois is pulling him into an embrace as well. He freezes, then loosens, answering it.

“You better take care of him,” she whispers in Damian’s ear, and Damian would be stupid to not understand the threat for what it is. Like everyone, he has a healthy respect for Lois’s determination, and he most vehemently does not want to make an enemy of her.

“I will,” he replies, as ardently as possible, and she gives him one last squeeze before letting go.

Clark appears in the doorway, his expression similar to Lois’s as he looks upon his son.

“Give us a minute, son?” he says to Damian, and Damian nods, pretending that the word doesn’t make him flush slightly, slightly in awe of how easily the Kents have enfolded him within them, sharp edges and past distrust all forgotten. He closes the door, and instead finds his own people there, waiting for him in the hallway. Richard is grinning, ear to ear, hands in his pockets, and Bruce stands next to him, arms folded, his own smile more muted but still there, still present, rare and important.

Damian swallows, and Dick nods, pulling him into yet another hug. He allows the nerves to crash upon him, fierce waves on the rocks. This is the rest of his life, this is… this is huge. Impossibly huge, towering, and even though Jon is his certainty, he’s never felt so unsure. Everything is a whirlwind, a speeding carousel, and he only has Dick to ground him right now.

“It’s fucking scary,” Dick murmurs. “But it’s also the best.”

Bruce’s hand goes to the middle of his back, large, slightly cold, but comforting. Damian lets out a long breath, steadying himself, attempting to tug his roiling mind back to port.

“You’re going to be fine,” Bruce says, rare reassurance, because apparently a good word in the field is too much, but he’ll give all the necessary support at a wedding. Damian pulls back from Dick, nods, allows himself another breath, then another.

“I can do this,” he says, partly to convince himself. He can throw himself off a building, he can face an alien horde, everything Arkham can throw at him, even death… but never has he felt as nervous, as terrified, as right now. And yet, it isn’t all terror: there is elation, as well, anticipation, his heart swelling with the knowledge that there can only be a thousand more tomorrows with Jon beside him.

The door behind them opens, Clark surreptitiously wiping his eyes and replacing his glasses.

“It hasn’t even started yet,” Bruce says with a smirk, earning a half-hearted glare. Lois chuckles.

“He has to do my crying for me, this eyeliner is way too expensive,” she says.

“I have no doubt Richard will have you covered as well,” Damian says archly, getting himself elbowed for that. Jon heads to his side, taking his hand, his smile the beacon Damian needed in the storm of emotions.

They head downstairs. There is a last round of hugs, and, true to Damian’s prediction, he thinks he sees the beginning of misty eyes on Grayson before they all head out.

Then, it is just Jon and Damian.

It is quiet, soft. There is no tension, no need to fill the buttery silence with unnecessary words. There is only Jon’s hand, their fingers laced, their eyes meeting, and that is enough to make everything a certainty.

“You ready?” Jon asks, his voice gentle.

“Of course,” he replies, and opens the door.