It galled him to be treated so, twisting his stomach into knots of bitterness. It was all well and good to joke about them all being five. It was all well and good to ruffle his hair and joke about him being a child compared to the others. But the truth of the matter was that he wasn't a child. Perhaps he wasn't thousands of years old, but he had nearly 150 years under his belt and despite hardships that had sometimes seemed overwhelming, he hadn't been overwhelmed. He was still here, and that said something in and of itself. He'd survived more than the Watcher. Far more than the actress or the mechanic. Perhaps not as much as the prince and princess, but really, what had Fergus gone through trial and tribulation wise besides having to take care of his Prince? The assassin...he could relate to, well, even if she had a century or two on him. They didn't treat her like a child, even when she sobbed about her baby being evil because of her father's blood or whatever.
With him, they fretted about balconies and they fretted about drugs and they acted like there was no way he was going to make it without careful watching. But where were they when he stood sobbing on the edge of a cliff screaming into the wind about what he'd done to Eileen? Where were they when Wilde had given him opium for the first time and he'd thought he saw her ghost mocking him for what he'd become? Where were they when he'd tried to cut the demon out and nearly found out whether he could heal before he bled to death? Well, all right, he'd been there then to sigh and patch him up and utter some seemingly profound nonsense about living and growing stronger and fighting another day. But they had not been. Not been born, not been twinkles in their grandparent's eyes, their great-grandparent's eyes even.
Just because they had categorized him as one of "them" and fine, they were probably right about that, did not mean that they got to treat him like an incompetent baby. Yell at him. Tell him he was being an idiot. Call him out on things. Be afraid for him. Of him. Any of those things, he could accept. But they'd reduced him to less than, or he'd allowed himself to be reduced to it, he wasn't sure which, but they both made him furious.
He didn't know when it had happened beyond the fact that it had always felt a bit like she was indulging him. A curiosity, and then perhaps a new pet. A new shiny. He'd let himself be that, because it was a convenient way to get what he needed, but it had gone beyond that now. He was not a glass doll destined to shatter without their tender mercies. He'd been doing quite fine, in point of fact, before they came along. He'd been happy, and if that happiness was a pale shadow of emotion compared to what he felt around Warren, no matter. He wasn't thinking of regret, or of wanting things back as they were. He wouldn't give up Warren even if it meant being free of their condescension. But, by the goddess, they needed to learn or remember what he was.
Devin sighed, kicking the chair hard enough to send it flying across the room. He was confused. He didn't understand how a real relationship would work. He was terrified Warren would leave, especially as he kept insisting he was straight. He was disappointed his fantasy, the one bloody thing he'd plotted and planned for and turned down a god for got cut short because of someone had to be sensible, and then they tried to orchestrate something else to ease him out of a sulk as if it were the act itself that mattered. All right. Perhaps disappointed was an understatement for pissed off. But it wasn't...gods. Running off and fucking in some other dressing room would not make the disappointment of Warren choosing to cut the first time short go away. He knew that, why didn't they? You lived with it, you accepted that things rarely turn out the way you think they will in fantasies, which is the danger of acting them out, and you can never get the first time back. If you were disappointed for a little while about that fact, sad even, perhaps, it was not the end of the world. You did not just try and re-do it, you didn't force it. You let it ease and you moved on. But sometimes it took time and that you needed that time did not make you a child. It made you, and he shuddered mentally at the thought, at least partly human.
He hated that his issue, and he knew it was his issue and it was his to get over, was transmitting to Warren, because it wasn't Warren's fault that he couldn't come out and say what was bothering him. And it wasn't Warren treating him like a child, not really. It wasn't even Warren's fault that he was disappointed. He hadn't told him how much it meant, to have something be a first time for both of them when so few things were for him after so long. He hadn't told him that he'd wanted it to be something more...mutual. Something more than Devin getting Warren off. It wasn't about the reciprocity, as Warren had reciprocated within, hell, a half hour. It had been about that...there...the two of them flushed and clinging in the space where they shouldn't have been, glowing when they came out, and...he didn't even know exactly. Just that yes. He'd never blown anyone in a dressing room before, and Warren had never been blown in one, so there. Fine. They'd had a first together. It just wasn't what he'd...had in mind, he supposed. But it was HIS to work out because he hadn't bothered to tell Warren what he'd had in mind. If he'd told him, he had no doubt Warren would have found a way to make it so, because Warren was not selfish and Warren wanted to make him as happy as he wanted to make Warren. So it was all his fault that he felt this way and HE had to get over it, not them, not Warren. And he didn't need to be babied about it. He needed to learn the lesson to speak up about what he wanted instead of just focusing on his partner. He needed to learn the lesson to ask if something was important to him instead of just assuming that Warren would pick up on the non-verbals.
And besides, Warren had his own issues to deal with about responsibility and being the good boy versus bad boy and not seeing that the world didn't really work that way outside of his upbringing in a world divided into hero, villain or sidekick. There was no middle ground in hero-land. Warren had been regarded as a freak because Alma fell in love with Baron Battle and had a son with him. How could a hero love a villain? Because outside the realm of the black and white thinking of the denizens of Sky High, the world didn't work that way. Baron Battle likely had good qualities in there. He loved his wife, his son. And Stronghold was a fucking idiot, so, there's your proof "good" isn't all good. But that was something he hoped to show Warren. That there were shades out there. That he could cut loose, be a little wicked without worrying that he was suddenly going to want to take over the world. That an admonishment from a store clerk or a police officer for public indecency was something to giggle over later and not the end of the world. That it didn't mean you were wicked and irredeemable. But how do you convey all that with a pout and a desperate kiss? That he wasn't used to asking for things wasn't Warren's fault. That it went against his very nature to ask for something when his partner seemed reluctant about wasn't Warren's fault. He...that reluctance would shut him up every time because it went against all he was to try and do something when someone was uncomfortable with it. Their discomfort translated to him, and made him uncomfortable and it was all a wash anyway.
But the being treated like a child after... The being forced...he hated that just as much. It was his fault that it wasn't spontaneous, and now he'd upset Warren by being reluctant. And maybe it was childish to not want to just find the nearest dressing room and try again when the disappointment was so sharp, but the memory of the ache of the disappointment could taint this one, too. Already had, and if he did explain it to Warren, Warren would blame himself, and it wasn't his fault, so that meant Devin needed to stay quiet about it. Because really, what could he say? "I don't want to have sex in the next dressing room we see because in my head it was all built up with the leather one and the smell of leather surrounding us and in the room and pressing into our skin and we had to buy a pair because we might have stained them, but they'd always be there as the memory of the pants we'd just pulled down recklessly because we couldn't wait to have each other until we were somewhere private, and I need some time to come down from that disappointment or the next dressing room with bathrobes in a department store with the smell of perfumes and makeup and the discussion of a father and his two year old in the next room is just going to seem off after the fantasy I'd built up for this morning." How could he say that to Warren? Make him think he'd done something wrong and that Devin hadn't enjoyed what they had done? Make him feel like he'd been selfish? No. He wouldn't. But he didn't know how to get around the second disappointment that such an encounter would bring, forever sealing and ruining the damn fantasy in his head. But simple reluctance had caused a near fight and now no one knew what was going on and Warren thought he'd done something wrong and he hadn't.
He'd slipped off tangent of the rant in his head. Children. Treating him like a child. That he felt all of this didn't make him a child to be coddled and fixed. There was nothing broken to be fixed, not here, not in this. And what was broken in him, what they could fix...didn't make him a child. It made him broken because of things done and said when he was a child. Because of things he'd gone through that left him battered and bruised. Because of walls he'd built that Warren was tearing down and leaving shattered around him and he wasn't sure how to be without the walls. That meant he was learning, that he was doing something new, that he wasn't as confident as he was in other areas, but it didn't mean he was a child. It didn't mean he couldn't take care of himself or that he couldn't take care of Warren.
He didn't know what, yet, or how, but something had to change. His eyes were far icier than they normally were when he glided out of the room.