So I just want to say right now that I don't know how often my updates for this story will be. I'm thinking the likelihood is I'll be updating maybe one or twice a month. It has nothing to do with my interest in my story. In fact, over the past month since I first uploaded this story I've mapped out quite a lot of the plotline and characters I want featured. It mainly comes down to my life. Being a full time student who is approaching graduation and also working part-time/looking to start my career eats up a lot of writing time. I'm also working on a script for class. So I must carefully choose what to devote my time to. So I hope you all will stick with me. This is going to be a long story. But it's also going to be a fun, wild ride!
Thank you for those who reviewed my first chapter! For those wanting Jinx to interact with other known characters you will either be happy with this chapter or not. I dunno. I'm not going to say anything more on that matter in fear of spoiling this chapter. But don't fear! As this story progresses you will see Jinx interact with multiple canon characters.
I hope you guys enjoy this second chapter! I'm not sure if I'm completely satisfied with it, but I've kept you waiting long enough. If you wish to see more please show the fic some love and leave some reviews!
Warning: small drug use.
One Thing in Common
"Nothing is so common as the wish to be remarkable." – William Shakespeare
The one bedroom, ground floor apartment was sparse to say the least. The walls were bare, revealing various scratches and smudges left behind over time. The thin, pale colored carpet lacked any comfort from its years of holding household life upon its back. There was a small kitchen with empty counters and presumably empty cabinets attached to a living space that had one tan colored couch. A rectangular, wooden kitchen table sat exactly in the middle of the space between the kitchen and the living space. Four men were gathered around this table, two of them in chairs while the others stood.
All four of the men turned their attention towards the door where Jinx stood alongside a young man in his early twenties with short auburn colored hair and hazel colored eyes. He was dressed in standard street clothes: a brown jacket with a black tee-shirt underneath, dark blue denim jeans and brown boots. Jinx was dressed in typical street clothes as well: a black coat overtop a dark purple blouse, blue denim jeans and a grey pair of sneakers. Her pink hair hung down towards her shoulders.
The young man placed his hand upon Jinx's shoulder. "Gentleman, allow me to present to you our newest member and the beginning of our chapter!"
Jinx blinked and looked over towards the young man. "Whoa. Hold on a sec. I never said anything about joining. All I said was that I was interested." She moved a little bit to the left, freeing her shoulder from the young man's hand.
The young man smiled, a small chuckle escaping past his lips. "Forgive me, Jinx. Perhaps I got a little ahead of myself. You see, when I woke up this morning I had this…this feeling. I knew something was going to happen today. Something that I've been waiting for, for a long time."
"Otto, listen," Jinx began. "I'm honored that you want me to join your…" she glanced over at the other four men, "…group. But I just got into Gotham three days ago. I…I need time to sort things out. I left Jump City on a bad note and-"
"Which is why you belong right here," Otto cut in. He quickly moved towards the four men gathered around the table while Jinx remained standing near the door. Otto gestured to the four other men. "Everybody in this apartment shares one crucial fact in common. We've all left something behind. Each one of us has a past that we are longing to put behind us and start anew. Together we can face the future as something Gotham has never seen before. But we can't do it alone. We need one more member to make this group complete."
"That member isn't me," Jinx replied. "Look, Otto, I'm…flattered that you think I'd be the perfect fit for your group after only knowing me for less than a day but…I can't. I didn't leave Jump City so I could join another team of villains in Gotham. I came to start over on my own terms."
A blond haired man dressed in a grey business suit let out a laugh from the chair he was partially slumped in. His blue eyes fixed upon Jinx, his lanky build made his partial slump seem out of place. Awkward. Too many thin limbs falling out of the cheap fake wooden chair. "Don't get ahead of yourself. We're not villains. Not even close. You got to be known for something to get that title."
Jinx shook her head. "Whatever. Look, it was nice meeting you guys but I'm heading out. I wish you the best of luck though." As the words slipped out of her mouth Jinx almost wanted to laugh. Luck. That was something she never had. And if she did possess any at this moment in time, she wasn't foolish enough to just hand it over to five guys she hardly knew. They were just empty words to fill the space.
She turned her back on the Otto and the other four men. She was already berating herself for even thinking that coming over here was a good idea. She had met Otto at the market, started talking and somehow believed, in that ridiculous moment, that the man could give her exactly what she was looking for.
She was wrong. There was no surprise. No shock. Hell, as Jinx reached the door she could feel her body numbing. Being wrong was so common. It was etched into her life. Her lifestyle. Her choice of romance. And now…this.
"You're Meta right?"
An unfamiliar voice. Deep. A voice tinted with experience. Jinx looked over her shoulder towards the five men. Her gaze landed on the other man who was seated at the table. He was the tallest of the group with a large build made up mostly of fat. Despite the lack of muscle the dark haired man seemed like a giant in the chair. He looked to be in his early thirties, his brown eyes focused solely upon the pink haired witch. Unlike the blond, he was dressed in normal street clothes.
"Meta," the man repeated. "You got powers right? That's why your hair and eyes are pink and your skin is grey."
"Yeah," she paused for a moment. "But I'm not changing my mind."
The large man nodded and looked over at Otto. "Makes sense but I don't think your grand speech won her over."
Otto walked away from the table, approaching Jinx. "I believe that you were meant for us, Jinx. I really do think that you came to Gotham for a reason. I understand why you are hesitant about joining us. That's alright. But why not give us a chance? Give us a chance for us to prove to you that you belong here. That, as a whole, we will achieve the glory we each deserved a long time ago. Give us that chance, Jinx. And then maybe you'll see how bright your future can be."
Her eyes cracked open, the scent of weed hanging in the air. The once perfectly made bed was now a mess of tangled sheets surrounding the pink haired witch. A single pillow had dropped to the floor during the night and rested beside her sneakers. Her pink eyes stared up at the ceiling, her body feeling just as tired as the night before.
With a turn of her head her gaze rested upon the small black alarm clock, the red numbers reading two in the afternoon. How late had she stayed up? Sitting up, Jinx ran thin gray fingers through her tangled pink hair before crawling across the bed. She reached down and lifted up her bag, setting it down in front of her. Unzipping the bag Jinx ruffled through her things before pulling out six small bags of weed. She counted the bags and then recounted.
And then counted a third time.
She had taken a grand total of ten small bags of weed when she had departed Gotham. And now she was left with six. Jinx tossed the bags back in to her bag with a sigh before crawling back across the bed and reached towards the nightstand where her cell phone rested. A small flare of hope ignited within her as her fingers wrapped around the phone. And just as quickly as the flare ignited, it was snuffed out by the blank cell phone screen.
No missed calls.
Jinx flipped her cell phone opened and dialed Gizmo's number. She listened to the rings before the robotic female voice from yesterday picked up. Her eyes closed as she listened to the robotic voice repeat what she had told her before. Her eyes reopened at the sound of the beep.
"Hey Gizmo," Jinx began. "It's me again. Jinx. I know you're probably really busy and everything, but I would really like to meet up with you sometime. I mean, it's been five years."
Every moment of which has been my fault.
"Well, uh, call me back when you get the chance," Jinx continued with a small shake of her head. "You have my number. Bye."
She flipped her phone shut and sat in the silence of the motel room for a minute before flipping her phone open again and dialing Mammoth's number. No rings. Just another robotic voice informing her that the number was still no longer in service. Her free hand balled into a fist as she snapped her cell phone shut.
"Fuck," the word shot out of her mouth reeking of pathetic anger.
She laid back down upon the bed, her gaze returning to the ceiling. Jinx had hoped to have heard from her friends by now, but all she possessed at this moment was silence. What had Gizmo so busy and where the hell was Mammoth? She allowed those questions to sit within her mind, trying to fruitlessly dig for answers. It was when the anger returned after failing to figure out why she couldn't get in contact with her friends that Jinx sat back up, ruffled through her bag, and pulled back out a single bag of weed.
She rolled the joint.
Lit it up.
Once again Jump City faded away into the abyss and Jinx felt the silence that was beginning to suffocate her, slip away. Her mind, fuzzy with questions she couldn't answer, cleared and the answer to her current problem took shape. A smile eventually appeared upon her face. It appeared so genuine that one would have to look quite closely to see what really rested beneath.
It took quite a bit of make-up to turn her grey skin into an almost normal shade. Colored contacts turned her pink eyes a dull brown. She decided to leave her hair alone for the most part. She ran a comb through it to untangle the knots, but that was the full extent of it. She selected a dark blue blouse that had a v-neck cut low to show off a good bit of cleavage, black leather pants that hugged her legs and a pair of black high heeled boots.
When she was done she felt nothing like herself.
Jinx could hear the music coming from The Neon Lounge from a block away. The nightclub was one that Jinx had never attended before. She had heard of it in passing from other villains who were older than her, but that was about it. The nightclub had never been anything but a nightclub. It was not a secret place for villains to meet up and plan their next attacks. It had always just been a nightclub.
The Neon Lounge was a large two story brick building with lots of windows reflecting constant changing colors. A large multicolored neon sign hung over the entrance of the club. There was no line to get into the club though that didn't mean the place was empty. In fact, upon entering, Jinx found the place packed with people. It was impossible to move around without bumping into someone or brushing against them.
The nightclub was set up with a large dance floor on the first floor. Parts of the dance floor lit up while multi colored lights hanging from high above constantly rotated. Against the opposite wall was a large DJ booth flanked by two gigantic silver speakers in which the thundering music poured from. A young man stood behind the DJ booth, headphones over his ears, as he danced and swayed to the music. The dance floor itself was jammed, every inch consumed by sweaty, scantily clothed bodies.
The bars were located upon the second floor of the club. The upper floor encircled the dance floor so that those who were sipping away at their drinks could lean against the metal railing and look down at the dancing crowd. There were a multitude of bars located upon the second floor and at one of them sat a familiar sight, hunched over a tall glass of beer.
His red hair was much shorter than she remembered, however his small goatee seemed to remain untouched by time. But that also seemed to be the only feature left untouched. The past five years were written on his aging face. The last time Jinx had seen him he had been wearing his costume. This time he was dressed in a light blue tee-shirt, black jeans, and simple grey boots smudged with dirt.
Jinx didn't expect that he would be the first person she would come across since returning home. In fact, she had never wasted a single thought on him until just now.
"I didn't know that you were the bar type," Jinx approached the bar, standing to his right as her eyes landed upon a bartender busy with one order after another being tossed his way a few chairs down.
His head turned at the sound of her voice, his light green eyes rising upwards. Their gazes met for a split second before Jinx returned her focus to the bartender. She hadn't known that his eyes were green. The time they had spent together in the past, before Kid Flash, had often been spent in costume. He had always had those glasses over his face that concealed his eyes. And now here they were, older, and in much different costumes.
His eyes settled upon her pink hair and the confusion that had appeared before vanished immediately. It didn't matter that the skin color was off, the eyes were wrong and the clothes weren't right. It was her voice and that pink hair. Through the drunken haze that was starting to settle he could see her clearly.
And he remembered.
"And I thought you left a long time ago…Jinx," her name shout from his mouth wrapped in bubbling anger and, ever so carefully, dipped in hurt. His voice had deepened over the years. The teen Jinx had betrayed while with the Titans was gone. The man she knew very little about was what had taken his place.
"I did," she waved her arm, catching the bartender's attention. "And now I'm back."
"You could've taken your time coming back," he retorted.
Jinx took a seat after ordering her drink. She finally looked back over at the man. She watched as he looked away and took a long sip of his beer. "I'm looking for my friends."
He slammed his glass down upon the counter. It was a sound that usually would have caught the attention of everyone nearby. Instead the noise faded almost instantly into the thundering music. "And why the fuck do you think I know anything about where your Titan buddies are?"
His response curled the corners of her lips into a brief smile. Time was having its way with him but his mind remained sealed away. He still believed that after all this time-
The bartender set down her drink and quickly moved to help another customer. Her gaze traveled to her drink as her fingers curled around the cold glass. "That's not what I meant, Kold. I'm looking for my real friends. Gizmo. Mammoth. I haven't been able to reach them."
There was a short pause as Kold stared at the pink haired witch. The last time they had crossed paths she had been with that speedster. She had betrayed his trust and sided with that Titan over him. That little fight had landed him and his sister in jail. That was the last he had seen of her. Since then she had vanished off the face of the earth. He never heard her name mentioned again. Never saw her again on the news fighting with the Titans. It was only after he had been released last year that he learned from Gizmo that she had left town.
"I can't help you," Kold finally replied. "I haven't seen Mammoth in years. The last time I saw Gizmo was last year. We haven't kept in touch."
Jinx took a long sip from her drink. Dead end. This one miracle chance was nothing more than realizing how much things had changed. The two sat in silence for a good while, each of them sipping away at their drinks, submerged in their own thoughts. It wasn't until Jinx had finished her second drink when she looked back over at Kold.
"We had something once," she pushed her empty glass away.
"Yeah?" he shook his head. "Well you fucked it up. You fell in love with that Titan."
"I really loved him, Kold," Jinx continued. "He…he gave me something I never had before."
"And what was that?" he finished off the last of his beer. He gave a short chuckle. "Did he make you feel good, Jinx? I made you feel good a few times too. Or have you forgotten?"
A smirk played upon her face. She leaned over towards Kold, her elbow pressed into the counter while her chin rested within her palm. "No. I haven't. You're wrong about him, but I'm a bit done reliving old memories. I've been alone for…a long time. I'm trying to fix that. I know I betrayed you, Kold. I fucked it all up. But I left all that behind. This is the start of something new. Would you like to be part of it?"
Kold's eyes traveled up a down for a brief moment before a small smile appeared upon his face. "Alright."