A/N: ((sings)) Guess who's back... back again...Arty's back...tell a friend... :) So, anyway, I have returned! Yes, I the mighty and powerful authoress Artemis have returned from my writing sabbatical and have many new things for you to read! Check out my profile for full details!
Many thanks to Vinnie the Geek, who has beena faithful beta to me through it all! Kudos to you! Also, many thanks to all my devout readers, who have been reviewing and emailing me, asking me to start writing again. You guys are the best!
And now, without further ado, may I present...
The Titans were exhausted, having just beaten the HIVE academy's top three students once more. Gizmo, Jinx, and Mammoth had been intent on robbing the jewelry store of its vault of priceless sapphires, and the Titans had been dispatched to stop their thievery.
Now, having successfully foiled the rogue teens' plans, the Titans were helping the authorities to finish up.
Starfire was fixing the damage the battle had done to the surrounding area. Beast Boy was soothing scared bystanders that had witnessed the fight. Cyborg was helping to fit Mammoth into the police transport unit, while Robin was booking the criminals. And Raven was cleaning up the broken glass that covered the street.
At least, she would have been, if she weren't busy arguing with Jinx.
"You insolent little nitwit!" Raven said angrily, her cape billowing out behind her with her rage, as she glowered at the pink-haired sorceress, who was tied up tightly with special ropes, designed to prevent the use of her magic. "Do you have any idea what you might have done?"
"Not really," Jinx said coolly, boredly picking at her nails. "Why?"
"You could have seriously done some damage!" Raven spat. I hate this girl, Raven thought angrily. I absolutely hate her. Aloud, she said, "You're just a petty criminal! Why'd you use such a powerful spell?"
"I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about," Jinx said coldly.
Raven glared at Jinx, and moved down so her face was inches away from her own.
"Don't think you can pull that crap on me," Raven breathed, her eyes fiery with rage. "You tried to put a malediction curse on Robin so he would get leprosy!"
"What's the big deal?" Jinx asked, getting annoyed with Raven's insistent questioning. "Leprosy can be cured nowadays, anyway."
"That's an evil sadistic thing to do!" Raven said furiously. "That's the big deal!"
"Oh, you're overreacting," Jinx said dismissively. "I'm a criminal. I'm supposed to be evil, aren't I? Besides, Robin deserves some of the misery he makes us endure in prison."
"Leave Robin alone!" Raven said, enraged, her eyes flashing.
"Ooh, why so sensitive about Robin?" Jinx asked, grinning at Raven's reaction. "A bit overly fond of your mysterious masked leader, are you?"
"No!" Raven denied forcefully.
"Oh, come now," Jinx said, her tone mocking. "Tell the truth. You fancy Bird Boy!"
"I do not!" Raven said angrily, her eyes alight with malice.
"Then why do you care about him so much?" Jinx challenged.
"He's my friend, imbecile!" Raven said curtly. "Of course I care about him!"
"You didn't react nearly as strongly when I tried to curse Beast Boy with chronic warts," Jinx shot back. "He's your friend too."
"That's different!" Raven argued, frustrated that she was actually bothering to argue the matter with the villainess.
"Yeah: You don't have a crush on Beast Boy," Jinx said, smirking.
"No! It's just Robin's our leader!" Raven reasoned, scowling. "We can't get along without him!"
"You've gotten along fine without him before," Jinx pointed out, smiling sardonically. "Plus, he wouldn't have died. Leprosy's curable with modern medicine now, remember? It's not necessarily deadly anymore."
Raven gently massaged her temples, feeling the beginnings of a migraine coming on from all her pent-up frustration at the witch.
"I-do-not-like-Robin," she spat, annunciating each syllable clearly as if she were speaking to a slow child. "Deal with it."
"Sure…" Jinx said sarcastically.
Fed up and fully frustrated, Raven marched over to the police that were documenting the arrest alongside Robin.
"What are you charging them all with?" Raven demanded.
"Why?" Robin asked, surprised. He usually dealt with this part of their duty alone.
"I need to know," she said sourly.
"Robbery, assault and battery, and conspiracy," the chief policeman told her, flicking through the papers on his clipboard.
"I want Jinx charged with reckless endangerment and attempted murder," Raven instructed curtly. "I'll testify on the behalf of both charges."
"Attempted murder?" Robin asked incredulously, an eyebrow raised. "The HIVE usually just mess around, not really trying to hurt anyone. Are you sure?"
Raven looked at her leader, and her expression softened. She had been horror struck when she recognized the curse Jinx had shot at him, unable to move. Everything had seemed to slow down, as Raven watched the hex shoot at Robin, slowly, rolling through the air. Raven had experienced the abstract terror of a world without Robin, and had realized that it was not a place she could bear to live. Luckily, her body had reacted, and pushed Robin out of the way just in time.
Raven regarded his concerned expression for a moment, just taking it in for a bit. A small smile played about her lips at the concern creasing the Boy Wonder's face.
"I'm sure," Raven said gently, her eyes soft. "Trust me on this one, Robin. Jinx wasn't just messing around this time."
"Okay," Robin said simply. "I trust your judgement."
Raven smiled, the simple statement reassuring her and warming her. "Thanks," she said, smiling up at him softly.
Robin smiled back. "You're welcome," he said softly. Pausing, he opened his mouth to speak again. "Raven, I-"
"What's going on, goth girl?" Jinx jeered loudly, cutting Robin off. "Too afraid of me that you have to go running to your lover-boy for protection?"
Robin shot Raven a look.
"Lover-boy?" he questioned, a carefully measured emotionless look on his face.
Raven ducked her head, a slight blush gracing her cheeks.
"I'll handle this," Raven assured him. She smiled at him one last time, before turning and stalking back over to Jinx, her cloak billowing behind her. Robin watched after her, curious.
"You're going to be in jail for the rest of your life," Raven informed Jinx, a thin triumphant smile on her face. "Leprosy is often fatal, and you knew this before you used the curse. That's attempted murder, a class A felony."
"You've got to be kidding me!" Jinx exclaimed. "Attempted murder? Me? Are you joking?"
"Oh, no, sorry, I'm not. Did it seem like I was?" Raven asked, putting on an air of false sympathy. A thin evil smirk was directed at Jinx with this. "Such a shame that you'll have to spend the rest of your life in prison," Raven went on, her cutting sarcasm making Jinx grit her teeth angrily. "You had your whole life ahead of you, but now it'll be tragically wasted away in jail."
"You bitch!" Jinx yelled, furious. The Titans all turned to watch incredulously. Passerby turned to see what the commotion was about. "You're going to lock me up in jail forever because I nearly hurt your crush? You're insane!"
Raven smiled viciously.
"Insane or not, you're going to prison for the rest of your life,
she smirked. "We'll see who's insane then." Raven turned and started walking away. "Oh, and Jinx?" she called back over her shoulder. "He's not my crush."
"Yes he is!" Jinx shrieked after her, hysterical, her shrill yells making everyone in the vicinity stare. "Admit it! You're madly passionately in love with him! You're just terrified of rejection, so you try not to show it! But you know you like him!"
Raven whirled around, livid.
"I am not scared of rejection!" Raven yelled back, nearby windows shattering as Jinx touched a nerve. "And I don't like him!"
"Yes you do!" Jinx screamed, clawing at her ropes, trying to break free so she could strangle Raven to death.
"No I don't!" Raven yelled, her eyes flashing as a hunk of the road exploded, showering them all with gravel and dirt.
"Yes you do!" Jinx screamed again, her pink eyes glowing with fury.
"NO I DON'T!" Raven yelled forcefully, completely enraged at the pink enchantress. A parked car on the street suddenly blew up, forming a massive fireball, sending sparks and flaming metal everywhere.
"No!" Raven cried, as she realized her volatile emotions had, once again, put innocent people at risk. She flung a hand towards the fiery mess, quickly enfulging it in a black aura just before it hit the crowds of people around.
As Raven directed the shards of fire and steel to a safer landing place, she could faintly smell a putrid odor, reminiscent of celery and fish burning. It smelled like burnt nylon rope or twine…
Jinx's ropes… Raven thought numbly. They must have been hit with the embers…and burned through…
Slowly, Raven turned to see Jinx grinning up maliciously at her from the ground, dangling the scorched ends of her bindings from her hands. Tossing them aside, Jinx rose, her magical energy building, the pink power crackling around her ominously.
"Let's try this again," Jinx said, grinning malevolently. "Do you like him?"
"No," Raven responded automatically.
"Liar!" Jinx yelled, sending sharp slashes of pink energy at Raven.
"Raven!" Robin yelled, moving towards his teammate, who gracefully dodged the attack.
"Stay where you are!" Jinx demanded, flicking her hand at the Titans and drawing a figure in the air. Two gigantic arms of hot pink energy burst from the road, scattering gravel and dirt along the street. They swept the remaining four Titans up in a cruel hug, holding them tightly in the air. The Titans struggled, their feet dangling, barely brushing the ground, trying frantically to escape, to no avail.
"No!" Robin exclaimed frustratedly, squirming, his arms pinned to his sides.
"Do you like Robin?" Jinx yelled at Raven, the sorceress clearly enjoying every minute of this battle.
"No!" Raven yelled, scowling. Mentally reaching behind her and ripping a clod of dirt from the earth, Raven launched it at Jinx.
"Yes you do!" Jinx screamed. With a grin, the evil enchantress reached out with her pink energy and swamped the dirt ball, before hurling it back at Raven, ten times harder.
"I'll ask you again: do you like Robin?" Jinx called, as Raven expertly leapt over the pink dirt ball, before it crashed into a building behind her.
"No!" Raven screamed, her power tearing a tree up from the ground, roots dangling in the air, showering the ground with soil and earthworms. She swung it at Jinx, who blasted through it with a blaze of pink fire.
"You do so!" Jinx yelled, now more angry than any other emotion. "Tell the truth!" Jinx viciously slashed an arm at the ground in a strange gesture. Suddenly, an army of pink energy snakes erupted, hissing and spitting venomously. Raven's eyes widened, as the beasts charged at her furiously.
Raven took to the air, hovering above the ground, focussed on blasting the serpents with her dark power, as they reared up and tried to strike her. The snakes just kept coming, however, no matter how many Raven killed. Jinx laughed cruelly.
"I'll ask you one last time: do you like Robin?" Jinx called to the telepath, who was busy destroying the evil energy snakes.
"No!" Raven responded automatically, as she hurriedly destroyed several snakes that had reared up high enough to strike her face.
Jinx snarled. Raising her hands above her head, she summoned a pink bolt of lightning. She turned it over in her hands, a cruel smirk on her face.
Robin had been watching this exchange from the sidelines, still trapped by the immense pink arms. No thought had traveled through his head the entire time, his mind solely focussed on the great battle. When Jinx had summoned the lightning bolt, however, a thought slowly trailed through Robin's mind.
That's a spell, like the one she shot at me earlier… Robin dimly recognized. He turned to look at his dark teammate, who was busy blasting the snakes. And Raven's too preoccupied with the snake things to do anything about it…
Something clicked in Robin's mind. Jinx was going to throw this thing at Raven, and she didn't know it. She couldn't do anything to prevent it, being entirely engaged in fighting the distracting snakes. She was going to be hit by this spell. And there was nothing she could do about it.
With a sharp well-aimed kick to the wrist of the pink arm that was containing him, the arm weakened slightly, and Robin fell to the ground. He lay there briefly, dazed.
Robin got to his feet hurriedly, crouching beneath the arms, Jinx oblivious to his escape, being preoccupied with the spell in her hands. He snuck along the side, getting closer to Raven, while trying to avoid the criminal's notice. The other Titans, taking advantage of the space created by Robin's sudden absence in the arms, slipped out of their grasp as well.
As a particularly large snake reared up to bite Raven, Jinx cocked her arm back, and hurled the spell at Raven, while yelling, "Tell the truth!" Robin jumped out from his hiding place and sprinted towards Raven as fast as he could, intent on rescuing the dark maiden.
As Raven finished blasting the snake, she turned, having heard Jinx's yell. A giant, pink lightning bolt was speeding at her, and it was too close for her to do anything about it. Raven felt fear flash through her, at the thought that this could very well be the end of her life.
"No!" Robin yelled, leaping into the air and tackling Raven, pushing her out of the way of the spell just in time for her to avoid the full brunt of the impact.
The spell sliced through the air above them, skinning Raven's back and the top of Robin's head. Pink energy surged through them, the spell taking its intended course, and Raven cried out at the contact. Robin gritted his teeth, as excruciating pain flashed through him as the curse hit.
They tumbled to the ground, rolling on the road before stopping. Raven groaned, having fallen from quite a height in the air. Robin was out cold.
Jinx walked over to Raven, and looked down at the fallen girl triumphantly, oblivious to the other Titans sneaking up behind her. Raven twitched, in great pain from the fall, likely about to pass out. "Now, tell me honestly: do you like Robin?" Jinx asked, smirking down at the pained girl.
"No," Raven choked out, as blackness clouded her vision. Jinx's eyes widened. "I love him."
The last thing Raven saw was Cyborg flying through the air, tackling Jinx, as she lost consciousness and passed out.
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Ooh, evil cliffhanger, eh? Well, you'll just have to review and tell me what you think for me to update again soon, won't you? ((grins)) :D
Remember, please review, and let me know what you think! Anything you don't understand fully will be fully explained in the next chapter, so don't worry. Review!