Authors Note: My first AU fic. YAY!!! All characters, as always, and as stated in my profile, belong to DC and Cartoon Network and all of those wonderful people. The beginning lyrics belong to Jet, from the song Cold Hard Bitch.

Gotta leave town

Got another appointment.

Spent all my rent

Girl you know I enjoyed it

Same old song playing on the radio. Same teenagers blasting it for the world to hear, driving too fast down the highway in the cherry colored Mustang convertible. They were testing their limits yet again, living like gods of the nightlife. No fear, no worry, no regret, just music and stolen beer. They were kings in their own right, and the world was their castle.

Tim settled father back into the leather seat of the hi-jacked vehicle, trusting the wheel to Cy. His friend had had his eye of the ride for weeks on end, and neither of them had the serious cash to go through the honest way. What was so wrong with taking the easy way out?

He ran a few long, thin fingers through his thick black hair as they stopped at a red light next to a car with a couple of cute girls. Cy glanced over at him and laughed.

"Give it up, man. You must be really smashed to think any chick would fall for your looks."

"Shut up, Victor," Time shot back as his best friend started to grin.

"Only if you stop primping Timo.."

"Shut-it!" Tim punched the African-American lightly, who started laugh even harder.

"Dude, that was so weak! You're holding back on me, aren't ya, tough guy? No way could that girly cheap shot be yours…"

Tim glared nonchalantly at his best friend and popped the cap off of another bottle of beer. It was late, probably past midnight, and their parents were probably up waiting for them. Or at least Cy's parents would be up waiting for him. It would be a miracle if Tim's father was even home, as it was always a miracle if they got the time of day from that man. He was the do-gooder in the family…do good for the world but leave your family behind. So Tim had reconciled, thinking maybe it would be better if you just didn't give a damn, then you wouldn't end up hurting people by trying to help others.

It took both of them several seconds to realize the location of the screaming sirens, to see the flashing blue lights in the rear-view mirror. Tim shot Cy a look of horror, which the other returned readily. Time began stuffing the beer under the seat and crammed nearly a whole pack of gum into his mouth. Cy shook his head sadly at his accomplices attempts to cover up at least half of their crimes.

"Dude, we are so screwed. So, so, so screwed."

"Don't you think I realize that?!" The black-haired boy exclaimed in a panic. "Why'd you wanna steal that damned car anyways?"

"The same reason I wanted to screw up the governments computers or hack into out permanent records or feed a loop through the security cameras near that ATM or.."

"Okay, okay, I got it already! Jesus, Cy, dig our graves a little deeper, why don'cha?"

The tall, husky boy rolled his black eyes as he started to drive faster. "Yeah, you're completely innocent, Tim. That stunt you pulled at the CD store was certainly well played. And then ripping off all those kids on 'study aids', and all those explosives made with stolen synothium…"

"Will you please shut the hell up and drive a little fast?"

"Well if you're so talented you take the wheel!"

It was the same high-speed chase on an endless road to nowhere, adrenaline racing and curves taken at a mounting pace. The scene wasn't unfamiliar, both boys already on probation and still traveling in the wrong direction. It was a need to fill the empty hours that drove them to use their talents on villainy, though neither would admit how much it hurt when their mothers would cry over them. Maybe it wasn't a need to fill the empty hours…maybe it was a need to fill the emptiness itself, to stop whatever was left of their conscious. Maybe it was a need to spurn their fathers…maybe it was a need to be unstoppable.

A police car shot in front of the convertible, causing Cy to jerk the wheel, almost rolling, but instead finding himself barricaded by a horde of cops. He slammed his dark skinned fist into the steering wheel in aggravation. "Damn!"

Tim sank lower in his seat with a sigh as the chief of police began calling them out of the car, an officer already reading them their rights.

Tim lay awake that night, straining to block his parents' discussion from him. Parts of it floated up the stairs, fragments that made his anger grow stronger.

"…broke his probation…police said reformatory school…for the best…"

He rolled out of his bed and slammed his door forcefully, diving back into his pillow and clenching his fist. When did his parents start caring so damn much? They were never there, and suddenly they were in the kitchen discussing his future like they had been there every step of the way.

Well, there was only one thing for it. He'd have to leave before they could haul him off to some God-forsaken place. Tim got up again and pulled open a drawer, dumping the contents of his book-bag out and studding it with clothes and whatever funds he could find. He was just struggling with the window latch when a timid knock sounded on the door. His mother opened the door slowly, tucking her dark hair behind her ear in a nervous habit. Her grey eyes, identical to Tim's, scanned the mess on the bed on the pack slung over Tim's shoulder for several long seconds before she spoke in her normal quiet voice.

"Pack properly. We're taking you to Gotham at daybreak."

Tim glanced at his bedside clock that read 5:30 a.m. He only had an hour, maybe tow, before his parents would ship him off. He snapped his gaze back to his mother. Tim's voice was cold and harsh.

"I'm not going to Gotham."

"The hell you aren't." Came his father's voice, who had just appeared in the doorway. "You heard your probation officer. You don't have a choice, so you better start packing."

His mother began to speak, her eyes pleading. "It won't be so bad, Tim. Victor will be there."

Tim issued a slight growl and started pulling the clothes back out of his bookbag, pulling out a suitcase and stuffing the clothes haphazardly inside. He could feel his father's angry eyes on him, wanting to say more, just as Tim was biting back a thousand sardonic comments. Finally the heavy silence was broken.

"Don't you realize you're throwing away your future?'

Whatever restraint that held Tim back snapped instantly, and he turned to glar forcefully at his father as he spoke.

"Do you mean I'm throwing away the future you made for me, Dad? Inherit the company, get rich, marry some stuck-up chick and make your name stand out? Screw that, I'm outta here. I'm your son, not your investment." He made his way to the door, but his father stopped him, his ice blue eyes glaring in a manner mirroring Tim's.

"You're right. You are. The police said you are going to have to stay at a Juvenile Hall near the reform school."

Time's dark eyebrows shot up. "For how long?"

"Six weeks." Came the answer. Tim stared at the man in front of him for several long minutes. Life was going to turn into a living hell.

Not that it was ever that good anyways.

She had mixed it so carefully, admiring how the aroma and color of the herb dissolved in the fathomless black of the tea, the herb almost making the liquid darker. A black drink for a black deed.

The Law of Three would hold her guilty, but her life had condemned her years before. The bruises marring her porcelain skin told of the curse, her frail frame seeming smaller by the dark clothes bent into a shy and beaten figure, instead of proud and tall. And it was his fault, wasn't it? Vengeance was deserved, right? Her mother couldn't deliver the redemption. He had her mother fooled, tricked into love, so Raven would have to change her fate. She would have to seal his father, before her own spiraled farther under the spell of the curse.

Many nights had gone into preserving and preparing the belladonna nightshade. It had to be perfect, almost undetectable, just as the bruises on her pale arms were almost undetectable; the dark shadows under her eyes were almost hidden perfectly by the heavy eyeliner. She was almost ashamed at herself by the pleasure she took in delivering the drink, watching him gulp it down drunkenly, waiting as the poison took effect. Maybe in some other way than their blood they were related. He loved to see her struggle against her pain. She loved to see him struggle against his death.

It was almost gratifying to hear her mother's scream as she discovered the body, the source of his death. It was almost justification to hear the piercing tones as he mother dialed for the police, explaining what Raven had done. It was almost anger that took her as she tried to understand why her mother was upset when she bore the same bruises.

The entire situation was sickening, twisted, wrong, malevolent, a thousand dark whispers rolled into one.

And that's why she let them take her away.