5 times Superboy knew Superman didn't think he was annoying
1) The first day he met The Real Deal, he and Superman (and Supergirl and Steel and later in the game, the Eradicator) flew to Coast City to fight all of Henshaw's creep-o-matic machines. It was too awesome to be for real fighting back to back with him, feeling like a part of something huge instead of just an under-ripe copy.
At the end of it all, when the bad guy got defeated and Superman was there back in his Superman gear, he turned back and said "Thanks, I really appreciate your help." Yeah, sure, he was probably talking to all of them but at that moment, with that smile, the Kid became a total giddy fanboy.
Superman appreciated his help!
2) They didn't really talk much for a few years. Superboy totally got it; he really did. Superman was a really wanted kind of guy who had to take care of the whole world and besides, he had his own place in Hawaii and later in Cali. Superboy didn't really resent it, really.
But he couldn't deny loving the few times where it was just him and Superman. That day in the Fortress of Solitude was totally awesome, despite how many jokes he cracked. (He really needed to totally stop doing that; it was a majorly bad habit and probably didn't help endear him to Superman any but he was nervous okay? Effin' Superman was showing him around the freakin Fortress of flippin' Solitude and totally talking about his heritage and the Noble House of Whatsis! It was just so... whoa!) As depressing as it was, he even liked going through the Virtual Reality Krypton because he felt like he could trace his origin, one that wasn't tied to Cadmus Labs. (There were still test tubes and birthing matrices but they were Kryptonian birthing matrices which was kind of cool in the same way that Cali made hot dogs but New York hot dogs were real hot dogs with scope and depth and all).
"The reason I had you meet Jor-el by the way?"
"Was 'cause you wanted to prove you had cool toys like the Bats?" Superboy winked. "Don't worry, dude. There is no doubt in my mind that you have a larger arsenal."
Superman's lips twitched. "Actually, it's because Kon-el was real. He was the descendant of the man who saved Van-L and because of that after the Citadel Battle destroyed his clan, he and the remaining members of his family were adopted into the House of El."
"Cool, so you're kinda carrying of the family tradition by, like, letting me and Supergirl wear the El crest and stuff, huh?"
His hand hadn't left Superboy's shoulder. He was seriously wigged out by the personal space thing coming from Superman. It wasn't a creepy thing it was just... he'd never seen Superman look so... if Superboy didn't know better, he'd've thought Superman was kind of embarrassed.
"Well, that's a sign that you can do the job but being family-- that's different. And I know I haven't been... the best mentor to... I mean, I could help you more often butů"
Superman was stuttering.
The big guy straightened his shoulders. "What I mean is it's time that I did something about this. Kon-el would've been my cousin and you've always reminded me of that strong-willed son of Krypton so I'd like to give you a Kryptonian name, Superboy. I'd be honoured if you'd accept the name Kon-el."
He couldn't speak. This was one for the record books.
Superman visibly swallowed. "Only if you'd like, of course. It's awfully presumptuous of me; you're young but you're your own man and for all I know, you've already picked a name for yourself but I just... wanted to offer you my... well, my family."
Nope, still couldn't spe-- "Yes!"
And just like that, he had a name. He was Kon-el of the Most Noble House of El. He was a real boy.
3) No one could ever say that Kon was subtle. When Clark/ Kal/ Superman always acted oblivious to the wide open clues Kon dropped about knowing his true identity, Kon was positive it meant Superman didn't like him. He didn't know why it was such a major deal unless all his shit about being from the frickin' Noble House of El was all lies.
He was beginning to think it was up to the time when he dropped into the Kent Farm. It was an obnoxious move but, dude, Clark was being obnoxious himself. Couldn't he tell that Kon was giving him opportunities to open up? He wanted Clark to tell him about his secret identity instead of forcing the issue 'cause telling meant that Clark trusted him whereas forcing it meant that... well, that he didn't.
That said, after Mr. Kent gave Clark a total sitcom-dad lecture and Clark took him to go milking, Kon totally went into fanboy mode again. Milking was gross and he was sure the cow totally didn't appreciate his manhandling (He just swung towards human females; nothing against lonely Midwestern farmers who didn't have cable). He felt let into Clark's private world, sitting there on that stool, groping cow tits, inhaling dust, and getting his boots cracked with mud (oh God, please let that only be mud!).
Try it again," said Clark. "Gently."
Kon gently pulled on cow nipple. Milk shot into his eye. This was like totally twisted, digital cable bukakke. "That's it. I'm done. This is way too much excitement for me."
He could hear Clark grinning. "You're not much with patience, are you?"
"No, it's just that when I should be able to know something, I just should."
"Tell that to the cow."
"Dude, the cow's about to press charges and considering we're in Kansas, I think it'll stick."
Clark put a hand on his shoulder. "Give it time. Even though it's something that you want, sometimes it takes the other person-- or cow-- to get comfortable with it."
Kon never swallowed a library like Bart but he knew that Clark meant something else. What was that called again? A metaphor?
"You want to give it another try?"
"You got any more towels?"
4) Clark loved Krypto. Kon knew that from Aunt Martha and Uncle Jon's frillion and two stories about the dog. He saw it himself the few times Clark visited Smallville when he was there as Conner Kent. He'd stomp up the porch and call out to his parents then Krypto would go barrelling out like Clark had a rack of ribs tied to his neck and Clark would let the dumb dog bowl him over and slobber and bark and they'd roll around the grass while Aunt Martha pretended to care about Clark's dirty suit and Uncle Jon just grinned. From what Kon had been able to piece together, Krypto had been Clark's only friend for a long time.
When Kon lost his powers, Clark told him to take care of Krypto. He knew he wouldn't trust the dog to just anyone.
5) It was surreal coming back. Bart was totally an adult, of course, but also everyone else was in college while he was still Kon-el/Conner Kent, world record holder for the most years spent as a junior. At least this time because of Kents' age and the weirdness of going back to Smallville High three years younger than his old classmates, he was in Metropolis with Clark, Lois and Chris.
That was the other weird thing. Kon didn't want to feel it because it wasn't the kid's fault, but he totally resented Chris for weeks. Months even. Clark took the kid in instead of passing him on to a publicist or the Titans or the Kents. Yeah, Chris had only been six at the time and Kon had been fourteen but Clark could have at least frickin' asked but nooo, he never even--
Three weeks after coming back, he was still sixteen, Chris was nine and the kid wouldn't stop staring!
"What?" Kon snapped.
The kid flinched and Kon kind of felt bad. "I just... It's just so schway!"
"Having you around. Dad and Mom told me all about you all the time."
Sure they did. Kon snorted. "All lies except for the movie deal which was totally true but they wanted Orlando Bloom to play me and I was totally holding out for someone cooler. Like maybe Robert Downey, Jr."
The kid's legs swung wildly, they always did when he was excited. "Well, Dad told me about that and also about when he first came back and you helped save him in Engine City--"
"Uh, actually, I was just there to help him."
"-- and the time when you lived by yourself and was a hero even though you were only fourteen--"
"I was young and stupid; don't ever do that."
"--and how you got tacky telekisses--"
"--and then when you were the original Young Justice then the Teen Titans and you saved people everywhere--"
"That was more Robin's gig."
"--and I want to do that, too!" Chris gushed. "Mom got me a jacket like you. Wanna see?" Without waiting for an answer, the kid zipped into his room and zipped back out wearing a leather motorcycle jacket that reached to mid-thigh and a blue t-shirt with a red House of El crest, the kind that millions of kids everywhere wore. No one deserved it more. "Dad says when I turn fourteen, I can start heroing too but that's forever and..."
The kid stopped abruptly, fidgeting. Kon turned away from his laptop. "And?"
"And, I... I don't know what my name will be. If Dad's Superman and you're Superboy, what's my name going to be? I can't be Superboy, too. Dad says no one will ever take your place." His lower lip wibbled. Kon's heart strings might have also.
Following his gut, Kon scooped the little guy up into a hug. "You are Lor-el of the Most Noble House of El, Son of Kal-el, brother of Kon-el."
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Clark leaning against the door jamb. The big guy had tears in his eyes, the oversized mushball. Kon told himself that he looked up to the ceiling to prevent Clark from getting even more embarrassed, not because he was tearing up, too. Not that it mattered. Within seconds, Clark's big arms crushed them both in an embrace and Kon felt lips touch his forehead.
"You are my son with whom I am most pleased."