Damian had been silent ever since Jason had picked him up from school. He wasn’t talking, but he was obviously mulling something over, drawing broad strokes on the diner’s thin paper and creating something with the shitty crayons that looked a lot like it should be in some kind of anatomy book. He didn’t even look up when Sandra, their waitress, brought the milkshakes.
Crossing his arms, Jason leaned back in his seat. “Okay, grunt. What’s this supposed to be?”
“The nervous system.”
He snorted. “You know what I mean. You’re being a little prick and you obviously need to talk about whatever’s making your head hurt.”
Damian finally looked up, more annoyed than angry. “My head does not hurt.”
“Yet.” That the kid didn’t deny it, spoke volumes. Jason pulled the paper from under Damian’s hands, turning it to have a look at the complex drawing. “Spill, little bean.”
“Only if you stop using those childish pet names.”
Smiling, Jason looked the kid over. It wasn’t like Damian hated those names, in fact, Jason knew for certain, they made him uncomfortable. Just like every other sign of affection. “Come on. Last time we stole the replacement’s skateboard, what do I have to do this time to cheer you up? Is it school again, homework?”
“Drake,” the kid growled, snatching the drawing back and slashing his crayon over the paper. There was nothing more to be said; they did get along in costume these days, even made a surprisingly good team, but if they had no mission uniting them, they were best kept as far away from each other as possible.
Leaning back and folding his hands over his stomach, Jason eyed the kid. There was really only so much he could do, letting him cuddle Pepper, doing dumb stunts until the wheels broke off Tim’s skateboard, or picking him up from school for fast food. He wasn’t Grayson. This was a job for the big bird, right? He was everyone’s big brother, the guy Damian loved and trusted and idolized. But he wasn’t here. Jason was.
Sighing, Jason took a sip from his milkshake. “What did he do?”
Damian’s anger subsided to a sullen pout. He kept his eyes on his drawing, turning the paper slightly to get a better angle. “What is a ‘weenie’?”
Frowning, Damian looked up. “You heard me, Todd. And don’t say ‘it’s an insult’. I know it is.”
Jason waved his hand at the milkshake Damian had yet to touch. “Drink your shake and give me some more context, I pay for that. – The shake, not the context, though it could be argued, that I’m gonna pay for that, too.”
Blushing a little - which was curious and got Jason’s attention - the kid pushed his picture to the side. “Apparently,” he started, avoiding Jason’s eyes. “It is similar to a peanut.”
“It’s small. And salty.”
“Are we talking about sex? Because I’m sure Dick should give you the Talk. What with his name and all.” The blush darkened visibly and Jason started to grin almost hysterically. “Oh my God,” he laughed. “What happened?”
His milkshake forgotten, Damian crossed his arms in front of his chest, his lips a thin line. “I can’t ask Grayson, he thinks I know.”
“And why would that be?”
“I couldn’t admit it in front of Drake, okay. Are you satisfied?”
“Not yet.” If he was ending up giving Damian the Talk, Dick would so pay for it. Also, Tim would have to pay, too. Not that he would tell either of them for what they were punished; Jason wouldn’t betray Damian like that. “In what kind of situation did you have to fake knowledge about sex?”
“It was a joke.”
“A dirty joke.”
“They tell each other dirty jokes in front of you?”
“Apparently,” the kid grumbled, finally taking a sip from his strawberry milkshake.
“Beautiful.” Alfred would be in on that little revenge thing, the moment Jason told him that juicy bit of information. Which meant Dick and Tim would suffer. A lot. “Beautiful,” Jason repeated with a big grin. “So, remember your mom and dad?”
Hiding his face behind his hands, Damian groaned. “Please don’t.”
“You asked,” Jason said with glee. “So, according to mommy-dearest, it was a dark and cold desert night.”