'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Jump City
Not a creature was stirring, except for Red X.
It was Christmas Eve night in Jump City. A thick layer of snow covered the city in a white bliss. Carolers were closing their hymnbooks and heading home for a hot cup of chocolate in front of the fireplace with friends and family. Department stores, which make half their years money at Christmas time alone, were slowly closing their doors for the night. A few stores thought it'd be good idea to stay open all night for those hapless last-minuets shoppers.
It was a merry little season in Jump City tonight.
Even across the frigid bay, Titan's Tower stood covered in white snow and even strings of Christmas lights. Inside the Titans were just as festive and happy as the rest of the city. Robin and Starfire sat on the couch with a blanket while eating some Tamaranian treat she'd made. Cyborg whipped up a batch of his famous bathtub eggnog. With a wave of her hand and the slightest smile on her face, Raven made the last few ornaments levitate and hang them selves on the giant tree. Beast Boy, in the form of a humming bird, flew to the top of the room to strategically place a little missile-toe on the ceiling. Christmas music played in the background.
All across the town, mothers and father tucked their children into bed, and friends and family laughed and drank too much eggnog.
It was the happiest time of the year… especially for Red X.
He stood on the roof of a particularly high building that over looked the Tower and the rest of the city. Christmas had never been much of a holiday to him, and this year was no different. No one to open presents with this time but him and his pet rock. That's why he had planned this big holiday heist.
But, in the spirit of the season, he wore a Santa hat on his head even now.
The cold wind was savage, biting even though his suit. X didn't want to repel down the side of building with this wind and this snow, so he disabled the security cameras on the roof, picked the lock on the stairway door, and entered the warm building.
The young thief made his way though the corridors of office spaces with ease; even most of the security guards were off for Christmas. He made a quick stop at the security room, cracked the door open just enough to toss a stun gas-bomb inside to knock out the guard. Then he went to work at the security system, using a device Gizmo gave him to feed the monitors and computers a continuous loop of the past 5 minuets. Then he left.
Soon he reached the room he wanted, quickly picked the lock, and inside found the giant vault he wanted. He occupied himself for the next ten minuets by carefully picking the locks on the vault and surpassing its security. He adjusted the hat on his head and even sang a little to himself as he passed the time.
"Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg… Batmobile lost a wheel… And Red X got away!"
He listened intently to the clicks of the tumblers in the locks. He carefully rewired the keypad. He even sneaked a gander at his reflection on the chrome steel surface of the vault.
Done. X pulled the huge handle of the vault with all his might and the door swung open with a swish.
The thieving prodigy's eyes widened at the sight inside the vault. The sides of the vault where stacked with cash, credit cards, coins and change, gift cards… Everything a thief could ask for under his tree.
Red X allowed himself a huge smirk of satisfaction. He eagerly stepped into the safe, but remembered to be cautious and quick. He reached behind his cape and withdrew a greenish-teal folded wad of cloth.
He held the cloth by a tip, and let it unfold into a sack. Then, with all the holiday delight of a schoolboy in a toy store, he grabbed arm fulls and arm fulls of cash from the safe and dropped the money into his sack.
The sack was huge, filled to the brim with crisp bills and wads of money. X happily threw the bag over his shoulder, holding it by the opening rim closed in his hands. He merrily strolled out of the vault, and even closed it up as if to mock the company he robbed.
"Merry Xmas to all… And to all a good heist!"
He walked out the room and made his very merry way down the corridor. And then it happened.
It seems to happen at least once in every thief's lifetime. At least once, some old security guard happens to be at the right place at the right time. Looked like it was X's time for that horrible coincidence.
The young thief stopped in his tracks as soon as he heard the gasp and slowly turned around, head first peaking around his shoulders.
Sure enough, behind him some old security guard was struck paled and stared at X. Red X stared back at him with just as much pale shock. Nothing shocks a thief more then being seen on the job.
They stood shocked, staring at each other.
"Um… Ho ho ho?", Red X tried.
The guard picked up his communicator. "Security!"
"I'm outta here!" Red X bolted for the end of corridor. He out ran the old guard, despite the sack of cash over his back, like a racecar outruns a tricycle.
"Out of the way, crud-muncher!"
"Hey, you gonna eat that?"
"Does this shirt make me look fat?"
The three Hive kids trashed the department store down stairs. The store thought it'd be a great idea to stay up all night, open for any pathetic last minuet shoppers. They didn't intend to be open for these three kids.
"Eh, what is all this snot? I've seen better crud.", Gizmo said as he flew around on his jet pack.
"Gimme!" Mammoth occupied himself by eating some holiday chocolates.
"How much does it cost?", asked Jinx as she held up a pair of jeans from the rack.
"Uh… It's free! Looks great on you too.", said the store clerk, who was just trying to make it through the night.
"Free, huh?", Jinx smirked. "This place really does have low prices."
"You're about to pay a very heavy price.", Robin said.
The Hive kids turned around and saw the Teen Titans, theatrically standing at the storefront entrance.
"Heh. Ya looking for a fight?", Gizmo asked as he flew near Jinx.
"'Cause we can take ya on.", Mammoth stepped near Jinx and Gizmo.
The Titans all stood ready. The Hive kids stood ready. They stared each other down.
Robin yelled, "Titans, G-"
"WAIT!", Red X yelled.
Everybody turned and saw Red X running through the department, the sack over his shoulders, the Santa hat on his head, on a couple of security guards on the thieves tail.
Red X grabbed a rack of clothes as he ran and pulled it down to the ground behind him to trip up the guards. The poor guards fell for it and fell face first to the ground
Then, both the Hive kids and the Teen Titans watch with a sort of dumbfounded surprise as Red X ran the line between the two teams without shame or a problem with it.
Red X spun on his heel and ran backwards. "Okay, you can continue!" He spun back around and kept running.
"Uh… Dudes, was that just…?", Beast Boy began.
"Red X?", Jinx said with a bit of a satisfied smirk.
Robin gritted his teeth. "Titans, go! I'm going after X!" And Robin bolted away from his team to chase Red X.
Red X ran down the isle and, thankfully, found an elevator at the end of the path next to a public restroom. There was a gathering of scared employees and customers huddling on the ground behind the women's shoe section. X ran right past the huddling people and for the elevator. When he reached it, he wasted no time and pounded on some button to call it.
But, there's never an elevator when you need it. Red X had to wait for the elevator, and when he looked behind him he saw that bird-boy was running up closer and closer.
The elevator might not get there in time. "Oh great…"
Red X looked around for anything, anything. Huddling people. They'd work.
Red X reached into his sack and pulled out some wads of money. "Merry Christmas!" He threw some money on the floor and the people, driven by the greed of the holidays, jumped from their hiding places to gather up the money.
Robin's eyes widened as he tripped and fell all over the poor unsuspecting people.
After the resulting six-person pile up, Robin looked up and saw the elevator doors closing, and Red X safely inside the elevator.
"Happy holidays…", he said to Robin as the door closed shut in front of him, shutting him off from the rest of the world.
"X!" Robin crawled over the people, stepping on them in the process, and threw a bird-a-rang at the elevator's control panel. That caused it to initiate an emergency stop. When Robin reached it he pried the doors open; the doors opened easily as per emergency procedures in Jump City.
But when Robin looked in it, there was no Red X. In fact, the only thing left in the lonely elevator was a big hole in the bottom.
Red X's sack landed in the alley way and Red X himself fell on top of it, using it as a cushion, both him and the sack having come from the rooftop above. "Oof!" A few wads were ejected from the sack when he landed, so after catching his breath, he grabbed the sack and picked up the wads and put them back.
That's when X looked up and noticed a homeless man sitting on the side of the alley, staring at him through a thick dirty beard. X stared down at last wad of cash in his hand, then looked back up at the homeless man.
"Merry Christmas.", he said mundanely, then tossed the cash toward the man.
The man scrambled for the money with all his might, and once he got it looked up to thank X but the thief was already running down the other side of the alley with his sack. "Thank you! Merry Christmas for sure!", he yelled back.
A few moments later Red X ventured out of the maze of alleys and onto the open streets. It was late and virtually no one was out on Christmas Eve night, so Red X took the dare of walking across the street.
Down the street was a small gathering of people watching the news out a storefront window. Red X walked up behind them, not caring if he was scene by a small crowd.
"What's up?", he asked a guy at the end of the crowd from behind him.
The man never bothered to turn around. "Red X just robbed some department store's vault and made off with the loot. Cops have no idea where he is, but they wonder if it had anything to do with an attack by those Hive kids that was happening at the same time." The man turned around and saw Red X.
Red X stared back at him.
The man smirked. "And now Red X's gotta pay me off so I don't anyone he was here."
"Or he could just hit you over the head with his sack.", Red X said.
The man said and held out his hand for a pay off. "But I don't think he's got the guts."
Red X swung has sack around and hit the guy square in the side of the face and knocked him over. "Yeah, but I know him much better then you do."
Red X ran off into another alley and exited out another on to another street. On the other street, he looked around and saw a dinner on the corner that was still open. He knew that it was one of those secret villains-only places for society's "morally challenged" people to reside.
Every two-bit villain and thug looked at the door when Red X opened it, wearing his Santa hat and holding the sack of his shoulder. X looked over to the chief on the other side of the counter. "A hamburger and a slice of that pie over there. To go."
The bartender looked at him. "You from one of those Clash Of The Planets conventions? Cause the rest of us haven't evolved beyond the need for currency ya know!"
Red X walked over and took a seat at the bar. "Neither have I, buddy. My money's good." He set the sack down.
It wasn't long before two other people walked up to Red X. One was just a plain old big guy with short-cut black hair and sunglasses, muscular to the extreme. The other was also a big guy but he wore these strange high-tech looking gauntlets.
"Nice sack, Santa Clause.", the big guy said.
"Yeah… Ya got something in there for us?", asked the man with the gauntlets.
"Nope, now why don't ya go back wherever ya came from?", Red X said, blowing them off with a wave.
"But it's Christmas after all…", one of them suggested.
Red X just turned back to staring at the counter. "Then call be the Grinch and buzz off."
"Looks like someone needs the Christmas spirit, Slick Back.", the one with the gauntlets said.
"I think you're right, Event.", said the huge one.
Okay, so the big one with the bad haircut was Slick back, and the other big one with the gauntlets was Event.
Slick Back raised his huge muscular arms in the air, and swung down in a club.
Red X sat still, waited till the last second, then rolled out of his seat. Slick Back's massive hands crushed the seat. But X, now just at the side of Slick Back, slapped his hand on the side of Slick Back's vulnerable head and delivered a powerful electrical charge.
Slick Back screamed before X took a stronger hold of his head and slammed it into the counter top hard enough to knock out the guy. The painful charge finally died when X let go of his unconscious head.
Event seemed a little shocked at first, but then gritted his teeth. "You…! Why, I outta-" Red X shut his blabbering mouth by firing an X at his mouth, which wrapped around his face and stuck like tape. Event busied himself with trying to remove it, then he looked up in time to see Red X's heel slam into his head.
Event fell over and Red X landed from his drop kick next to his coveted sack of stolen cash. He grabbed his sack and slung it over his shoulders. "Put the bar stole on their tab.", Red X said to the horrified owner of the dinner, who was standing on the other side of the counter holding a back of X's food. Then he casually picked up the doggy bag with his food from the owner's hands. "You can put this on their tab too. Later, and happy holidays.", Red X said as he casually began to walk away.
"Hold it!", Slick Back yelled.
X turned around and looked over his shoulder.
Slick Back had recovered already; he must've been some kind of meta-human. And he was helping up Event back onto his feet. "We're not through with you yet!"
"I am!" Red X bolted and ran out the door, more because he didn't want to get into a fight then out of fear of losing it. He knew he could beat them both, if only he didn't have this sack of cash and bag of food to get in his way.
Oh, and the Santa hat didn't help.
What a dump.
Red X managed to open the window of the small home without much noise. He knew a house this poor and ugly wouldn't have a security system and he was right. X didn't like entering a home or anything when anyone was inside, but he reasoned that this place looked deserted.
He figured he could hide here for a bit.
Once quietly inside with his sack and hat (he'd eaten his food in private on a rooftop), he made his way to the living room for no particular reason. There he found a small, sparsely decorated, Christmas tree. A few small gifts lay safely under the tree. There were no cookies out for Santa, and an empty doggy bed rested in the corner beside the ripped up couch.
Red X honestly felt bad for these people. Even though he had no Christmas spirit what so ever, he could still afford to make it look like it. But who ever lived here didn't.
And just as the swell of pity swirling inside Red X reached a peek, he heard another gasp. This one was younger and innocent sounding.
Red X whipped around instantly and faced the little blonde girl in pajamas that had stumbled out of bed. She stared up at X with giant blue eyes and a dropped jaw.
"Santa…?", she asked.
Can this night get any more cliché! "Um… Yes, yes I am… Santa Clause…" Red X didn't know what else to say.
"Why are you dressed in black?", the girl asked.
"I…thought it would be cooler this year."
"And why aren't you fat?"
"You try delivering the world's presents in one night. It's hard work."
"And where's your sleigh? I didn't hear it land on the roof."
"I traded it in for a motorcycle."
"And how'd you get in here if we don't have a chimney?"
"Um… Nevermind that." Red X crouched down to the ground and put on his most jolly face for the little blonde girl, who might as well have been Cindy Lou Who. "What do you want for Christmas?", X asked every so merrily.
"For my dog, Scooter, to have his operation."
Red X's face instantly changed to the most bizarre of expressions. It was truly priceless to the see him cock his left eyebrow so far up. "W… What?", he spat out.
The little girl pointed to that empty doggy bed. "My dog, scooter, is at the vets right now. He needs an operation, but Mommy and Daddy says we probably can't afford it.", she said with the saddest of faces.
The little girl pulled at X's heartstrings, and he dropped his head in a deep sigh. He looked back up at the girl and asked, "How much is the operation?"
"I think Daddy said… Twenty thousand dollars."
"Twenty thousand! What's this dog getting? A face lift!"
The girl stared back at him confused, but she did look adorable when confused.
Red X sighed again, stood up, placed his sack on the floor, and reached deep down. He pulled out a bunch of wads of money in his arm.
The little girl's eyes widened even bigger and her open mouth smiled widely.
Then X dumped the money on top of the little girl's head.
"There. That should take care of it."
The girl inhaled and gasped, "THANK YOU SANTA!"
"SHH!", Red X even held his finger up to his mouth. "Do you want to- Um, I mean, you don't want to wake everyone else up. I'm supposed to come when you're sleeping, remember?"
"Oh yeah." The girl covered her mouth and giggled. "Thank you, Santa.", she whispered.
X bent down and patted the girl on the head. "Eh, forget about it, kid.", he said happily. "Where's your back door?"
The girl pointed to the door out through the kitchen.
Red X stood up, threw the sack over his shoulder again, and walked toward the door.
"Aww… You have to go now?", the little girl followed him.
X opened the door but looked back at the girl. "Sorry, kiddo. I got lots more presents to deliver." Red X stepped out into the alley behind the house and turned around to face her.
Then he rubbed his nose with his finger for a little Christmas magic, and disappeared.
Red X walked though the parking lot of some delivery company's warehouse. Forklifts and parked semi trucks all rested around his lonely steps. He carried his sack over his shoulders still and the hat still rested on his head. It was getting late at night, and X was ready to hit someone over the head for the way this night had gone.
He was supposed to be back at his apartment sipping eggnog and maybe watching an old kung-fu movie. But instead, he had to go out of his way, taking the long route home, just so the police or the Titans wouldn't see him.
Maybe he should rent out a few small places all around Jump City. Keep a few tiny safe houses around in case this ever happened again.
He'd think about that later, now, he just wanted to hit something.
"Get back here!"
Red X turned around saw Event and Slick Back. Slick Back looked just as huge and stupid as ever, and Event had a very red mark over his face in the shape of an X, left over from the one Red X left on him no doubt. They must've followed him after all. Normally X would've cursed himself for being followed and not knowing it, but tonight, he was elated to have something to beat.
"We're taking that sack from you whether you like it or not!", Event yelled.
Red X smirked. "Alright then…" Red X noticed an open semi next to him and he threw his sack and his Santa hat inside to keep them safe during the fight. He stared back to the two idiots. "Let's play some reindeer games…"
Event held up has his hands and they glowed a bright yellow, he pointed them at X and a beam of bright energy shot from each one.
Red X's quick reflexes allowed him to dodge and roll on the ground just in time.
Slick Back lunged towards Red X, but X replied by throwing a special x at him like a Frisbee. Each of the four arms of the X separated, trailing thin cable behind them that were joined at a nexus, forming a bolas in mid air.
The X-Bolas wrapped around Slick Back's arms and bound them tight, for now. Slick Back fell and slid on the snow.
Before Event could counter with another set of blasts, Red X shot a goo-x towards him, which hit him square of his arms.
"You think this gunk'll stop me!" Event charged up another blast and fired, but the goo contained the blast at point-blank range, and Event's gauntlets exploded in front him. After the smoke cleared, his hands were missing and electronic parts where scattered on the ground.
They weren't just gauntlets, they were cybernetic arms, and he just blew them to pieces.
Red X suddenly appeared in front of him, his image phasing back into clarity. Red X grabbed the stump of wires where Event's hands had once been, and sent an electrical charge directly into the machinery. Event screamed as the energy flowed up the arms and into his body.
Red X let go, letting the charge die, and Event fell defeated to the ground.
The thief turned around just as Slick Back found his footing again and broke free of the x-bolas. He charged at Red X again, and X replied by throwing a volley of shuriken at him.
But Slick Back simply let the razor sharp weapons bounce off of him. X raised his eyebrows in surprise, and then jumped to the side to avoid Slick Back's tackle.
After rolling back on to his feet, Red X looked back at the huge hunk of muscle.
"Hmm. Did you really think those toys would hurt me?", Slick Back boosted.
"So… You're a meta, huh?", Red X said.
"Yeah… I'm Slick Back, and I'm indestructible."
"Well see about that."
Slick Back charged forward again with huge, and obvious, punches that X could see coming from a mile away. Red X backed up avoiding the punches.
Slick Back raised his arms for a club again, and Red X dodge it by jumping back and landing on a forklift, right next to the forklift's propane tank. X took that opportunity to plant a present on the propane tank.
Slick Back pulled back his arm to punch, but Red X jumped just before the punch came. X flew over the arm, grabbed Slick Back's head, pulled off of it, and cleared his way over Slick Back just as his fist impacted the frame of the forklift.
Just as Slick Back was about to pull his fist out of the forklift's frame, he noticed a beeping and flashing red x on the propane tank.
Red X landed and rolled in the snow, propelled by his own running and the force of the explosion.
It was safe to say his new x-mines worked like a charm.
Red X recovered on the ground and got up with a soft groan. He stared back into the flames of the blast.
Slick Back stepped out the fire, his clothes where shredded and burnt, his flesh was seared, his broken sunglasses were barely hanging to his face, his black hair was a mess, and he had no eyebrows. Slick Back stared at X like a dizzy man, then fell face first in the ground.
Red X stood up strait and smirked at his victory. "Come on guys, where's your holiday spirit now?"
Behind he heard the sound of panic and slammed doors. Red X turned around and saw two men close up a semi and drive off in it.
It was the semi Red X had stashed his sack in!
"AGH!" Red X sprinted after the semi instantly after the semi, running as fast as his slim built legs would carry him. But the semi picked up speed as it exited the parking lot and slipped further away from X.
Red X reached to his belt and withdrew his grapnel gun and fired. The x-grapnel flew to the top of semi and clung to the corner. Soon X was carried off his feet by the grapnel's retracting line closer to the semi. When he reached the back he grabbed on to the long lock/handle mechanism on the door and retracted the line.
After putting away his grapnel, he went to work entering the semi the quick way. He activated his beloved rotary blades on his right hand and began to saw his way into the driver side door's lock/handle mechanism. Soon he sawed a long hole into the door and destroyed the lock the hard way.
The semi hit a bump in the road and the driver side door was flung wide open, carrying X with it. The thief grabbed on to the door with one hand for dear life as the semi sped down the snowy road.
Inside the cab, the driver looked in his mirror and saw the door fling open with Red X hanging on. He gasped and instantly told his passenger, who picked up his radio and began calling for help.
Red X quickly retracted that rotary blade on his other hand and used that now-free hand to pull himself to safety. After swinging from buildings and going toe-to-toe with the Teen Titans as a hobby, pulling himself back into trailer was easy, especially when he pushed his legs against the rear bumper to get in.
The semi pulled on to the highway. The highway was surprisingly busy since all the single people where moving from one party to the next.
Once safely inside the trailer, Red X looked to the side and instantly found his sack and Santa hat, safe and sound. Red X lunged and held the sack so tightly, happy to be reunited with his stolen money. He stood up and smugly put his hat back on and then threw the sack over his shoulder again.
"Well, time to go.", he said to no one in particular.
He opened the driver side door again only to find a police car following directly behind the semi!
"Bah! Can this night get any more frustrating!"
Red X saw the cops inside the car panic at his sight. One grabbed the radio, and the other grabbed his gun.
Red X ducked behind the other door as shots rang forward. Then he crouched down to the ground to avoid shots that pieced the closed door just over his masked head.
From his crouched position, Red X skirted along the trailers floor ahead. He moved behind some unknown boxes of freight and cargo.
Then he cut a large hole in the side of the semi with a laser from his left hand, point-blank range along the semi-trailer's wall. X kicked away the section he'd cut off and peeked outside.
A bridge was coming up and the semi was near a bus.
Red X set the sack on the ground but kept it tight in his left hand's grip, withdrew his grapnel gun again, and fired at the bridge when they were within range.
Soon X flew from the hole in the semi, propelled the retracting grapnel line. He swung over traffic, trailing behind his sack that was tight in his left hand's grip.
He swung over the bus, retracted his line in mid air, and fell to the bus's roof as the grapnel retracted back into the gun. Once X regained his footing, and checked his precious sack and Santa hat, he crawled over to the front of the bus. Once there, he leaned over and looked though the front window to see just who he was hitching a ride off of.
It was a bus full of nuns.
Red X pulled his head back up and on top of the roof again. "A bus full of nuns! You got to be kidding me!"
"Freeze! You're under arrest!"
Red X whipped his head around and saw more police cars converge on the bus's trail. Normally, X would've made a joke about how he never got tired of hearing that phrase or a set of Miranda Rights, but now the only thing he could say was… "Where do you guys keep coming from!"
While he looked back, he noticed another car speeding up closer and closer to them. He looked real closely and was just shocked when he saw who was driving the car. Event and Slick Back!
And to make this night just a little bit worse, Red X glanced forward and saw the T-Car in the opposite side of traffic! Undoubtedly driven by Cyborg, the T-Car made a violent U-turn into the this side of the highway.
Now… The police, Slick Back and Event, and Cyborg were all chasing Red X as he rode on a bus full of nuns on Christmas Eve.
"YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!", Red X screamed at the top of his lungs.
It took X a moment before he got over the surprise, cleared his wits, and gathered his second wind. "Okay, X… Think."
Red X launched a volley of shuriken towards the spot just in front of the T-Car. The shuriken hit the road and were run over by the T-Car's tires. The blades of the shuriken sliced through the tires and the T-Car spun out of control and crashed into two police cars behind it.
Not bad enough to cause casualties by any means, but now Cyborg was out of the race and he took a few cops with him. Excellent.
Event and Slick Back, who had managed to dodge the out-of-control T-Car, drove beside the semi.
"Well, Sisters, this is where we part ways!" Red X jumped off of the bus and landed on the hood of Event's and Slick Back's car, startling them. He held out his hand to the police car next to them, and shot a line of his newly designed x-webbing at the police car and anchored the other end on the hood of the car he was on.
(Later he'd comment on the X-webbing and how fun Copyright infringement was.)
The line of X-webbing soon became elastic and began pulling the cop car closer to Slick Back's car. "Later, suckers!"
Just before the two cars impacted, Red X jumped off the one car, and landed then jumped off the cop car. The two cars impacted each other's sides. Neither car was disabled, but both where certainly debilitated.
Red X landed in the back seat of a third car next the cop car. It was a black convertible driven by a fairly young rich man, probably a lawyer.
The man was startled by Red X's arrival in his back seat.
"Just drive!", Red X ordered as he uncomfortably laid in the back seat with his sack on his stomach.
The police cars began to converge on the black convertible.
Red X sat up in the back seat.
"Hey- Hey, listen man. I got a wife and a kid on the way- Don't- Don't disintegrate me or something!"
"Relax, bud, I'm not gonna hurt ya. Just make a hard left at the next intersection.", Red X said.
The man did just that and they began riding up the steepest hill in all of Jump City. But, to X's great dismay, the tip of the hill was closed because it no snow had been shoveled beyond that point due to a strike.
Red X reached into his sack and withdrew a wad of cash. He extended it next to the man's head.
"What- What's this?", the man said as he took the money while driving.
"For the damage. Now keep going!"
The man, too panicked to follow any other train of logic aside from X's command, pushed on the accelerator and crashed right threw the barricade of warning signs. The car drove on the thick layer of snow on the hill.
Soon the car began to swerve slightly out of control as they came closer and closer to the tip of the steep hill.
"Well, this is my stop.", Red X said as he set a foot on the edge of the car's door and prepared to jump out.
"What are you! Some kind of stunt man?"
Red X smirked. "Something like that."
Just as the car swerved violently to the side, Red X jumped off and landed in the snow with a roll, trailing his sack along with him.
"Come on, X… Keep going now… So close.", he said to himself.
Red X recovered from the stunt and got back to his feet. When he looked back he saw the black convertible slowly sliding downhill. The remaining cops learned from the convertible's lesson and abandoned their cars to chase X on foot.
Red X threw the sack over his shoulder and hauled it up the hill. He kept running as fast as his tired muscles could carry him.
"That's it! I'm getting a motorcycle! One with snow tires!"
He looked back as he ran towards that very tip of the hill and saw that Slick Back, Event, and even Cyborg had somehow rejoined the chase.
X reached into his sack and threw out some more bills of cash to hopefully pre-occupy a few greedy cops.
Could this night go wrong in any more ways!
Red X reached the very top of the snow-covered hill decided to make his stand. He set the sack down, turned around, and planted his feet deep in the thick snow.
Everyone seemed to slowly stop in their tracks, cautious of what the elusive thief might try. They all paid attention to him, like zoo-patrons paid attention to a white tiger.
"It's mine! Go that! Everything left in this sack is mine! I'm not giving away any more money or loosing it another time. Mine! The sack is mine, got that!"
A bone chilling silence.
"Um…", Cyborg said. "What sack, dude?"
Red X looked to his feet, but the sack was gone! He looked around and saw it slowly rolling down hill away from him.
Then… Red X screamed.
He dived down the snowy hill towards the sack. Everyone else ran to the tip of the hill and looked over.
Red X managed to catch up with the sack, so he grabbed it and pulled it tight to his body. It was significantly smaller then when everything started earlier that night, but at least he had it!
Then X began to roll down hill and pick up more snow. Around and around he and his sack rolled, picking up more and more snow all over them…
Much further down the hill a few moments later…
Kid Flash took in a deep breath through his nose and smelt the delicious doughnuts. "Mmm Mmm Mmm…." He walked out of, what he considered, the best doughnut shop in town. So good, it was worth the long run over here just for a few delicious bites.
As he stepped onto the frigid street, he opened the box and beheld the beautiful treasure inside. He reached into the box and pulled out a doughnut, and savored the moment just before he crammed it into his hungry mouth.
How great this was going to taste!
He took a bite and smiled warmly to himself as he chewed the hot doughnut. At this point, nothing else mattered.
Then, a shadow began to loom over him.
He opened his eyes and noticed the looming darkness when he heard the loud rumble. He looked to his side and was so surprised he dropped his jaw before he could swallow.
A seven foot tall snowball was just in front of him!
Before the fasted kid in the world could panic in a comical fashion, the snowball rammed into him and carried him along with it.
Red X was closer to the center of it, surviving on his own supply of air from his rebreather, but he still tried to yell, "Just shoot me!"
Faster down the hill and around the corner the snowball rolled, carrying Kid Flash and Red X with it.
Meanwhile, down the street a small little "Ma' and Pa'" bakery sat at the next turn in the street. Inside all was quiet for the holidays.
Faster the snowball came!
So peaceful inside the bakery.
Just so peaceful…
A few minuets later, after barfing under the snow then putting his mask back on, Red X rose from a pile of snow and leaned against the wall of the bakery.
Snow covered everywhere, and X's sack and flown open so bills sprinkled the ground all over as if to mock him. A single wad of cash, barely bound together anymore, rested beside him.
Red X looked to his right and saw Kid Flash pressed up against the wall upside down. He slowly slid down the brick wall and fell over, his feet plopping into the snow. X didn't know if that kid could get dizzy, but what ever reason, Kid Flash was out cold.
Red X had been closer to the center of the snowball where he was guaranteed to be cushioned. Maybe Kid Flash had been on the outer layer of the snowball that hit the bakery wall.
Who knew… And then again… Who cared?
Red X rested his head against the wall. "I hate the holidays…"
A homeless man emerged from wherever he had been spending the night and approached Red X. "H- Hey… Spare some change?"
Red X, completely frustrated by the tonight, grabbed the last wad of cash and tossed it at the homeless man's head.
"Merry Christmas…", he said rather curtly.
Nearly an hour later…
Red X's pet rock rested in its cage in Red X's bedroom, awaiting it's master's safe return.
Red X entered his apartment via the window, walked across his living room, up the spiral staircase, and into his bedroom with a slam of the door. His head was hunched low and his shoulders were slumped. And as if to signify that all Christmas spirit had died in him, his Santa had finally fell off on it's own.
"What a night…", he said exhausted. "After all that… All I managed to bring home was…" He held up the pitifully empty sack and pored it's little contents onto the floor. "…two dollars and thirty seven cents…"
Red X dropped the empty sack, barely walked a few steps, and crashed onto his bed. How wonderful it felt to cuddle against his soft bed!
Red X poked his head up from the crumpled sheets and spotted his pet rock. "Don't stare at me like that… I've had a rough night." Red X flipped over in his bed onto his back, reached for the remote control on his nightstand, and turned on the TV.
Great, the news was on. Red X hated the news, except for when he was on it. The rest of the time it was just blah blah blah.
"…have recently finished cleaning up the messes left behind by tonight's rather odd escapade by Jump City's most famous, self-proclaimed super-thief, Red X.", said the reporter on the news.
"If you're just joining us…", he continued, "Red X stole a large undisclosed some of cash from a undisclosed department store vault tonight. And what shocked authorities even more so then his daring Christmas Eve Heist, was that X started giving away the money all over the city!
"One sum of money was scattered around for prisoners of an by the Hive Kids in the very same department store a few moments after the heist. Several homeless people have even claimed to have come in contact with some of the money as well.
"But perhaps the most touching of Red X's unexpected charities, was the case of the little Mary Jones. Apparently, Red X broke into the Jones family's home earlier tonight and left little Mary with over twenty thousand dollars so her dog, Scooter, could have an operation.
"The department store, which will go unnamed for now, has requested that any of the stolen money be returned. However, in the spirit of Christmas, the department store as gladly offered to completely pay for the Jones's dog's operation.
"This is Bob Burton, live from channel 5 news."
The TV switched from the reporter back to an anchorwoman at the front desk of the news station. "Thank you, Bob.", she said. "And the Gotham Knights have thrown yet another incredible Christmas party…"
Red X thought to himself and then… He started laughing to himself. Red X was not a man without a sense of humor or irony. All he could think of was the thick irony surrounding the events of tonight.
"I'm Linda Gray.", said the anchorwoman on the news. "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night."
Red X turned off the TV.
The sun rose through the window's of X's apartment, bringing Christmas Day into everyone's homes.
Soon Starfire would wake up all the other Titans and they'd gather around the giant tree and open presents. Arrowette woke up at the Elias School for Girls and shared a very happy Christmas among her closest friends. Kid Flash was probably back to where ever he had come from, running around the room in a blur, opening presents like a 5-year old in front of his friends and family.
All around Jump City, all along the coast, people where waking up with happy thoughts in mind. Children rushed out of bed to lay claim to their presents.
Christmas Day was upon us all.
"Merry Christmas.", Red X said.