What. What is this. Was he looking at chicken scratch right now? Good God, he was only five and not quite ready to deal with the burden of idiots just yet. Damian squints at the scribble — he hopes it's a scribble, because he would dump his soulmate if they actually wrote like this — and looks to the heavens, asking any deity above why he was cursed with a soulmate who had chicken feet for hands.
At his side, Mother gives him a funny look. 'Damian, what are you doing?' The boy gives a blank look, shows Mother his arm, and sacks onto the floor.
'I've been cursed, Mother. That is what happened.'
Talia Al Ghul stares at her son, and wonders what possessed him to think that he was cursed. His soulmate's mark was nothing compared to her's — a string of non-connecting verbs written with a cursive so ugly she never bothered trying to figure it out. Well, at least she knows not to blame Bruce for having a son who doesn't try hard enough. 'Perhaps you should give it some time, you're still quite young, my child. When you have grown, and your skin has stretched, it might not look so. . . disappointing.'
Damian wishes to turn 10 sooner. Living with Mother meant listening to her list everything but Damian himself disappointing. Maybe Father would be better.
It turns out, at 10, his mark still looks like absolute garbage. Damian looks down at his horrid mark, still not having a single clue as to what it says. He has grown considerably taller, but the blotch of ink that was his mark had not "stretched" like Mother had said it would. When asked, Father gave him a confused look before saying, 'maybe you shouldn't try too hard. I know I did, and it took me 20 years. One day, when I wasn't paying as much attention to it, I finally realized what it said.'
Perhaps Father might be right.
From hence forth, Damian didn't put as much thought into his mark as he used to. Life was a lot easier, when he wasn't using up all his brain cells in trying to crack the Mystery of the Mark, and even though Damian thought it still looked like some sort of mistake, the mark was his to insult; and his only.
[Grayson tried to insult it once, but was forced to take it back when Damian refused to interact with him, prank him endlessly and gang up on him with his own soulmate, Wally West, in a game of Laser Tag.]
At 15, the mark became less of an eyesore and more of a fond tattoo. Endless number of people have tried to decipher them — women at WE balls or charity balls, papparazzi with a keen eye, Father himself — but not one of them could figure out what in hell was written on Damian's sun-kissed skin.
Said boy would smirk smugly, green eyes tinted with amusement, and shrug, stating: 'I personally don't know what it says, and I've given up on it, honestly. They'll come at the right time.'
[That was an instant hit online, and his careless words became a known meme on the internet when someone was being too nosy and pushy about soulmates. Todd finds it hilarious, and wouldn't miss a chance using that phrase against Damian in every social situation. If not for the fact that they grew up together, Damian would've killed him.]
When he turned 18, Roy Harper bought him a fake tattoo marker. They then pranked Todd by having them write over each other's mark — covered in concealer — and "accidentally" showing it to said victim. Damian was very sure the couple had some hate-sex later on, but it was always a surprise with those two.
His own mark still looked horrible, but the writing was getting more defined, less blocky and squished together, and more loopy and smooth. Well, someone's decided to get penmanship classes. The message was still unreadable though. Damian decides that his soulmate is an asshole
[But they were his asshole, thank you very much, Colin. No, Colin, Damian does not need to be set up on a date to find his One True Love. Please shut up, Colin.]
Damian is attending a WE function when Drake unceremoniously drops down next to him, utterly exhausted. 'Why didn't I think of merging them together sooner?' He blearily asks the space between them. 'You are well aware, Drake, that I am the true heir of Wayne Enterprise, and you the heir of Drake Industries,' Damian answers neatly. Drake stares at the ceiling, head lolling to a side, 'but are you interested?'
Damian pretends to consider the question. 'Perhaps,' he says with finality, standing up and walking off towards the exit. He has spent two hours here, like Father said he needed to. Two hours was enough of social interaction. Of talking about soulmates.
His mark is still a problem, and it's almost time he should've found his partner. Drake found his before he hit 20, Father found his when he was 20. Grayson found his before he was 12. Todd found his when he was 7. Damian should not have to wait for longer.
[Drake says that some don't find theirs until they are old and wrinkly, but Damian wants to love them now, and grow old with them.]
He meets Jonathan Kent at age 25, bitter and boiling. Father thinks they would work well together on a project. A journalist and a multi-billion, award winning, architect and veterinarian. A journalist.
Kent doesn't look half bad. Thick, black rimmed glasses, sky blue eyes, jet black hair that's wild and fluffy, tall and slightly more muscular than Damian. Coupled with a pair of form fitting jeans and a flannel, and Damian wouldn't mind taking him home for the night. He's never done that before, but the urge with Kent is strong, weird.
His mark has gotten visibly clearer — to him, anyway. He's figured out what it said, simply just by familiarizing himself with the handwriting.
'Decide amongst yourselves who'll be leader,' Father instructs, leaning against the old study table. The two of them share a competitive look, and both step forward at the same time.
'But I'm taller!'
What. What is this. Damian cannot believe what he's heard. He swivels sharply towards Kent, taking three menacing steps forward. 'You,' he growls lowly, 'you bastard.' Kent, for the most part, seemed shocked.
'I've spent 25 years of my life trying to figure out your incorrigible handwriting, and now I'm going to fucking make you pay for it.' Damian jumps Kent, making sure to pin him against the wall of the study, before grabbing the ridiculous flannel collar and roughly kissing the 22 year old senseless.
[Father leaves the room in a hurry, muttering how half of his sons were taken by Kents, and the other half by red-heads, but Damian pays no mind. He's waited for 25 fucking years, and he's so going to make sure Kent leaves the room limping.]