A/N: I apologize for the slight delay. School starts next week, and things have been kind of hectic with rushing about, fitting things in to the dwindling days of summer...
Kudos to Vinnie, who is the best beta ever, and puts up with my sarcasm, and to Jerrod, who I love writing with.
6 weeks later...
It was night.
Thick clouds clogged the sky, blocking out the shine of the stars, their rays of light lost in the immense mass. Only the moon's thin, milky glow managed to filter through the clouds, dimly outlining objects, casting eerie shadows into the darkness of the pitch black below.
The clouds shifted slightly, exposing a sliver of the moon. A slim ray of light fell upon the roof of the local Jump City museum, slowly entering through a dingy dirty skylight.
The moonbeam fell in, illuminating dust particles as they drifted about eerily. Shapes of various exhibits, sculptures, and paintings slid into view, and a small dark figure stepped into the ray of light.
As if they didn't like whoever had emerged, the clouds shifted again, plunging the figure into darkness. The figure grumbled slightly and fumbled with something at his waist, before raising his hand to his ear.
Clicking a button on the device he held, he muttered, "Report."
"Gizmo?" A female's voice crackled through the speaker, clearly irritated, judging by her tone. "Where are you? I've been waiting at the target for five minutes now!"
"I would be there, if the stupid pit-sniffing clouds would quit blocking out the stupid moon," the person called Gizmo said angrily. "I can't see a rotten stink-headed thing in the darkness, Jinx!"
"Then do something about it!" Jinx hissed. "I thought that pack on your back had some degree of usefulness. Or is it merely meant to look stupid?"
"Shut up, slughead!" Gizmo snarled. "Why don't you go pick on Mammoth? He's not at the mark yet, either!"
"I have been!" Jinx spat. "But he seems to have gotten preoccupied next to a vending machine, judging from the location of his signal. I need to- oh shit!" A loud, crashing sound was heard nearby. Gizmo winced.
"Gizmo!" Jinx's voice was urgent over the speaker. "Something's happened to Mammoth! Get to the center of the exhibit as fast as you can. I'll get Mammoth." The transmission ended with a click.
"Stupid, booger-brained, pit-sniffing gunk munchers," he grumbled, withdrawing a pair of red-lensed goggles from his pack, "wanting to rob a stupid impressionistic gala exhibit at a trashy museum. Who cares about a bunch of old lumpy paintings, anyway? Why are they worth so much?" He paused to sneer at one nearby. "It must be because they're old."
Still mumbling, Gizmo strapped the goggles on and lowered them over his eyes.
Immediately, the scene was bathed in red light, with thin red security lasers clearly evident. Smirking, he made his way over to the control panel. Withdrawing a remote control, Gizmo expertly pressed a few buttons, hacking into the system and quickly disabling the security protocol.
A tiny light flickered from red to green. With an evil grin, Gizmo dashed into the next room.
"Jinx, I'm twenty feet away from the center," he bragged. "Bet you didn't expect that, did you, peanut brain?"
"Jinx," Gizmo tried again. "I'm almost to the center. Are we ready for Abduction Pattern Delta?" He held the communicator up to his ear, listening intently for a response.
Static crackled into his ear.
Growing slightly concerned and irritated, Gizmo stormed off towards the mark.
"That slugface is ignoring for calling her names, I'll bet," he snarled. "I'll teach her to ignore me..."
With a push of the button on the side of the metal doorway, the automatic doors slid open, letting Gizmo stride through before gliding shut silently.
"Jinx! I'm here!" he announced, looking around. "Jinx? Where are you?"
Night vision goggles still in place, Gizmo carefully scanned the area for forms of life.
Unfamiliar cold terror sank through him, settling heavily around his stomach. Where were they? What had happened to them? They should be here...
"Jinx?" Gizmo called quietly. "Mammoth? Jinx?"
A flickering light caught his eye, and Gizmo turned to look at the source of it. A familiar-looking object lay on the center of the carpet, apparently having been dropped He moved closer, peering at the strange device.
Recognition flared in his eyes and his breath caught in his throat.
Jinx's communicator was lying on the floor, forgotten.
No HIVE student would ever willingly give up his or her communicator or be so brash as to leave it behind. This, Gizmo knew with absolutely certainty. It had been branded into them from day one. So he knew Jinx would have never let go of her communicator.
Unless, of course, it had been pried from her cold, dead fingers...
Shaking his head violently, trying to stop himself from panicking, Gizmo scowled. I am not scared! He told himself firmly. He walked towards the communicator, before hesitating.
It's just lying out in the open, a tiny voice in his head observed. Why would it be there? This must be a trap.
Gizmo snorted. "No one knows we're here," he said aloud. "So there's no way it would be a trap."
It's a trap, the voice in his head insisted. Don't pick it up.
"It is not a trap!" he told himself. "I'm just overly paranoid from playing Silent Hill 3 earlier."
It's a trap…
"No it's not!"
It's a trap…
"No, it's not!"
It's a trap…
"NO, it's not!"
In a rash act of defiance against himself, Gizmo grabbed the communicator off the floor.
"See?" he said aloud. "Nothing happened."
Suddenly, a red spotlight flickered on above him, illuminating his fearful features A siren began to wail and lights flashed outside. Gizmo jumped, terrified, nearly wetting himself.
"Gizmo," a deep voice boomed. "Surrender. It is your end."
"It is not, barf face!" Gizmo snarled. "The cops have never caught me, and they never will!"
"You misunderstand," the voice said darkly. "The police are next door, investigating a jewelry heist. They are not here for you."
"W-where are Jinx and Mammoth?" Gizmo demanded, hating himself for the telltale quiver in his voice.
"They have been dealt with accordingly," the voice said, the deep tenor echoing through the room ominously. "Your time, Gizmo, as at an end."
"Like I'll ever go to jail," he said defiantly, sticking his tongue out, fiercely ignoring the goose bumps that were popping up all over his skin, despite the warm night.
"Again, you misunderstand," the voice said. "It is not your time as a criminal that is at its end." The voice paused, before intoning darkly, "It is your time on Earth."
Strange lights suddenly flickered into view all around, and Gizmo turned around rapidly, his eyes wide. Blood red candles surrounded him in a circle, with eerie cloaked figures in between them.
"W-what's going on?" Gizmo stuttered, petrified. A lone figure garbed in a dark robes moved forward, his face hidden in the shadows.
"You are dead, Gizmo," the figure said, his icy voice washing waves of terror over him. "I have come to take you away."
"You- you're God?" Gizmo said feebly. The figure laughed. It was a cold laugh, high and cruel, and sent shivers running down Gizmo's spine.
"I'm afraid not," the figure said, harsh amusement in his tone. "You're not going to heaven, Gizmo."
Gizmo whimpered pathetically as the figure moved forward.
"You're going to hell."
Gizmo cried out, nearly wetting his pants as the figure grew closer and closer, leaning down to peer directly at Gizmo, who's beady eyes looked back with absolute terror.
Suddenly, the creatures hood fell off, and a brown and red eye looked directly at Gizmo, an eerie toothy grin mere inches away from his face.
Gizmo shrieked with terror, and promptly fainted, collapsing back onto the floor and lying there, motionless.
The lights flickered on, and the candles and other eerie apparitions vanished in the light. A strange, large man was dancing around the body of the unconscious criminal, the fluorescent lighting glinting off his metal body.
"Really, Cyborg," Raven said, rolling her eyes, moving out from behind a sculpture. "Did you have to scare him shitless?"
"Yes!" Cyborg said, a defiant gleam in his eyes. "He totally deserved it! That little punk is nothing but trouble!"
Raven sighed. "Will you ever grow up?" she deadpanned, moving to pick up the communicator he had used as bait.
"I think we know the answer to that one," a feminine voice said, "and that's mine."
"Relax," another voice said from behind. "We're all on the same side, after all."
"Jinx, Robin," Raven said, smiling slightly as the two emerged from behind a pillar.
"Everything go smoothly?" Robin asked, looking at Gizmo's still form on the floor.
"For the most part," Raven commented, shooting a dark look at Cyborg.
"Gizmo deserved it anyway," Jinx said airily, waving a hand. "You have no idea how aggravating it is to put up with him day after day."
"You could always come with us," Cyborg said slyly, slipping an arm around Jinx's shoulders. "You wouldn't have to put up with the little guy anymore, you know."
Jinx smirked. "Thanks, but no thanks, Cy," she responded. "I'm perfectly content with my current role."
"I would hope so," Robin said, smiling, his own arm around Raven. "Your role as a spy inside the HIVE is very helpful. Without you, we would've had no idea about the theft planned for tonight."
"I'm not your spy," Jinx said, sniffing. "I simply inform you of our goings-on whenever it suits my own motives."
"In other words," Raven shot back at her, "you do it so you can see Cyborg."
Jinx flushed, her cheeks matching her hair. Cyborg laughed.
"C'mon, Jinx," he said, taking her hand. "Let's take Gizmo and go make sure BB and Star handled Mammoth."
"Sure," Jinx said, smiling at him.
"I think he just wants some time alone with Jinx before he has to pretend he captured her and send her to jail," Robin said in a loud stage-whisper to Raven, grinning.
"You think?" Raven whispered back loudly.
"Aw, shut up," Cyborg said, his face flaming as he and Jinx walked into the next room, dragging Gizmo by his collar. Robin grinned at Raven, who smiled back.
"He's the biggest a drama queen ever," Raven noted. "Honestly, making holograms just to scare someone? He seriously needs a life."
"He's showing off for Jinx," Robin told her, smiling. "I must admit, your idea to make Jinx a spy was excellent. The HIVE never suspects her simply because she's one of their long-standing students."
"It fits her," Raven shrugged. "She gets to be bad while being good as well. She would never stand for being seen in a good light, anyway."
"Very true," Robin smirked. He looked up through the skylight, before turning back to Raven. "It's almost dawn," he told her. "Think you should go make your statement to the press?"
"The press is here?" Raven exclaimed. "It's the middle of the night!"
"They heard sirens, so they followed," Robin said simply. "The T-Car parked outside didn't help matters, either."
Raven groaned and rolled her eyes. "I don't want to deal with them!" she said flatly. "They've been bugging me for the past month!"
"Can you blame them?" Robin mused. "Ever since you hugged me after the Trigon fiasco, rumors of our relationship have run rampant in the papers."
"Come on," Raven said, tugging his hand as she headed for the exit. "I want to get this over with."
"You know," Robin said, smirking. "You could just tell them that we're together."
"And justify all their spying around?" Raven shot back. "I don't think so."
"If you confirm their suspicions, they'll have their fun, and then they'll drop it," Robin reasoned, climbing down the stairs to the exit, Raven gliding alongside him.
"Then they'll start with the pregnancy gossip again," Raven retorted. "It never stops. The paparazzi will always come up with something new."
"Come on, Raven," Robin pleaded. "What harm could it do?"
"Didn't we just go over this?" Raven said blandly, pushing open the door. "I said no."
Raven and Robin stopped abruptly, momentarily blinded by all the flashes going off in their faces. Shaking her head, Raven scowled at the press, their notebooks and camera's visible in the approaching dawn.
"Raven! Care to make a statement on the events of tonight?"
"Fine," Raven said, scowling at the reporter. "We were on alert because of the Gala Exhibit, and when the alarm went off, we came and fought the HIVE. End of story."
"Raven!" a reporter called. "Who set off the alarm?"
"Gizmo," Raven said flatly. "He unlocked a decoy alarm system, alerting us to the presence of the HIVE."
A grenade came hurtling out of nowhere at Raven, accompaninied by a loud yell. Reflexively, Robin threw himself over Raven, knocking her over, sending them both to the ground as he instinctively shielded her with his body. The grenade hit the museum wall, the explosion creating a deep scar and sending small chunks of brick and mortar flying.
Coughing, Robin extended a hand and helped Raven, who was covering her mouth with her cloak, to her feet. She turned to look in the direction of the scream to see Beast Boy and Starfire struggling to restrain an irate Gizmo.
"You stupid slughead!" Gizmo yelled, straining against Starfire's efforts to put him into the police transport unit. "I did not unlock a decoy alarm! You guys were already there! How did you know we would be there! How did you know! How did you-" Gizmo's voice was abruptly cut off as Beast Boy stuffed a sock into his mouth and flung him into the transport unit.
"Sorry about the grenade," he said sheepishly. "He got away for a second, and Cyborg hadn't bothered to take his pack off him."
"No problem," Robin said, still clearly shaken. Raven stayed against his chest, still holding his hand, trying to get her bearings.
"We'll see you back at the tower!" Beast Boy called, as he and Starfire took off, accompanying the HIVE to jail.
"Idiots," Raven muttered. Robin smirked.
"Raven! Are you and Robin together?"
All too late, Raven realized she was still wrapped in Robin's arms, despite the press standing right in front of them.
"Damn it," she swore quietly.
Robin looked down at Raven, who looked back at Robin. Clamors of "Raven! Care to confirm rumors about your relationship?" and "Raven! Is it true that you and Robin are a couple?" surrounded them.
"What's the big deal?" Raven muttered. "Everyone's in relationships. Why is ours special? There's no point in talking about it."
"Want to give them something to talk about before we go?" he posed, smiling.
Raven looked at him suspiciously. "Like what?" she said, her eyes narrowed slightly.
Before she knew what was happening, Robin had flipped her hood off her head, and in one smooth move, he had dipped her back and was kissing her. Raven heard the screams of reporters and was dimly aware of flashbulbs going off before she tuned them out, focussing on kissing Robin back instead. To hell with the reporters, anyway.
Smiling widely, Robin pulled her back up, grinning at her flushed face. In a sweeping motion, he picked up up bridal style, carried her down the stairs, and deposited her on the back of his R-cycle, the press screaming madly as he got on infront of her.
"Ready, love?" he asked, smiling, as he handed her a helmet. He laughed, and Raven locked her arms around Robin's waist as he thumbed the starter, the motor roaring to life. With a flourish, he flipped up the kickstand, and tore off into the sunrise, the press screaming behind them.
"I was wrong," Raven said flatly, though a smile sparkled in her eyes, unseen by her pilot.
"Wrong about what?" Robin asked, puzzled.
"Wrong about calling Cyborg the biggest drama queen ever," she responded, smiling, her voice nearly drowned out from the rising wind noise.
Robin just laughed.
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And that's the end! ((smiles))
There wasn't too much of Jinx, which I know everybody wanted, but I think the ending fits. It wraps things up quite well.
So, what did you think? Of the epilogue, and of the entire story? One way to tell me...