A/N: Written because I think, deep down, Jinx is just very, very lonely... Or not.
I don't own the Teen Titans.
Two in the Sea
Jinx rehearsed it in her head.
Will you go to the dance with me?
That was easy. Again.
Will you go to the dance with me?
She was standing in front of the door to Stone's room (because nobody ever called him Victor, not even her), one foot toeing the ground, hands clasped behind her back. The hall was empty except for her. Her eyes darted to the nameplate for the umpteenth time, checking, verifying, procrastinating. She felt like an idiot. But sometimes it got easier if you just practiced a bit beforehand.
"Will you go to the dance with me?" she whispered, so quiet that it was hardly more than lips moving. Nobody could have heard it. Nobody was around, but –
A bark of laughter sounded somewhere down the corridor. Jinx nearly jumped out of her skin. People were coming. She cursed quietly, before raising her hand to the door and knocking firmly, as was her way, three times.
The door wooshed open almost before she had finished.
"Yeah, Whaddya want?" came the voice from within, irritated and distracted.
Tactics 101 would have dictated that maybe this wasn't the most opportune of times. But, no, she was already here. And Jinx never ran if she could help it. She leaned against the door frame, one hand perched on her hip, and conjured up a playful smile.
"Is that how you greet everybody, or am I just that special?"
Stone looked up immediately in surprise, as she had known he would. He was sitting at his desk, hunched over his Advanced Weaponry project, which appeared to be acting uncooperatively, from the array of parts and tools scattered about. Some pieces appeared to have been thrown across the room, lying strewn all over the floor.
"Jinx!" He stood up reflexively, and scratched behind his neck in embarrassment. The lighting was dim compared with the high fluorescence of the hallway, but she could still see him blush. "Uh… sorry, didn't know it was you… I mean… yeah."
"Sit down," she said, rolling her eyes, as she sauntered into the room, as best one could saunter when the floor was covered with bits and pieces of deadly weaponry, anyway. She took a seat on the bed, bouncing a few times for good measure. He dropped back into his chair.
Like a stone. Ha, ha.
Oi. Just because she maybe-kinda-liked-him-at-least-better-than-anybody-else-in-this-loser-pit didn't mean she had to turn into a blithering idiot when he was around. She gave herself a couple of resounding mental slaps.
Kicking her legs gently by the bed-skirt, leaning on her palms at the edge of the mattress, leaning forward a little bit, Jinx looked at Stone from beneath her lashes.
"Whatcha workin' on?" she asked, even though she essentially knew.
"Ray gun," he muttered in a small voice, looking defensive. She flashed a feline smile.
"You'll see…" he said. "Oh, you'll all see!"
He could have followed it up with a mad cackle, but had apparently chosen not to.
"You've been working too long," she told him. Actually, she was feeling a bit concerned. If Stone went mad, who would she go to the dance with?
"Yeah, but it just needs a little more…" he trailed off, turning back to his project for a moment to tighten some bolts. A devious wiggle of Jinx's fingers, and the wrench he had been using clattered to the floor. "Hey!"
She snatched it nimbly up and jumped back to stand on the bed to hold it as high as she possibly could. He could probably just grab it if he stretched a little, but at the same time she knew that he wouldn't.
"You want it back?" she asked with a quirk of one brow.
"You know I do." He stood up, pushing the chair back with an ominous scrape. "And get your shoes off my bed."
Jinx glanced at her boots, pressing down the softness of the sheets. "You sound like an old lady, ya know."
"Aw, now you're asking for it."
She laughed. And then he went for her and she wasn't sure exactly how, but the wrench fell off the foot of the bed, and she came crashing down onto the mattress and Stone came with her. When she looked over at him, she thought that would be the end of it, but he was reaching for her still, and the smirk on his face meant trouble.
"What are you doing?" she asked, instinctively shifting away.
"I think it's time I taught you a lesson." He looked at her almost darkly.
That was the last thing she was able to say for the next few moments, because Stone had grabbed her by the middle and began to tickle her mercilessly, until she couldn't breathe for laughing so hard and she was begging him to stop and trying to squirm away from his iron grip. No one had ever tickled her before. Nobody had ever dared.
Finally, though, Jinx managed to escape and scramble to the other end of the bed, and Stone didn't follow. She sat there gasping for breath and he sat there laughing at her. She hexed his pillow to fly straight at his face so hard it almost knocked him over.
"Jerk," she pronounced, mostly for show. "You're lucky I'm not cursing you for life!"
"Hey, you were the one who stole my wrench and then climbed all over the bed with your shoes on – and you're still wearing them! I gotta sleep here, ya know!"
The shoes, too, went flying at his head. Unfortunately, he ducked.
"You really are an old lady," Jinx told him, settling herself on the mattress, anger halfway to forgotten. She curled her toes experimentally. Stone was nice for a good tiff, she reflected, because she found it difficult to stay mad at him.
He sat down on the edge of the bed. "An old lady who whoops your butt in the training sims."
"You know what?" said Jinx, after a long moment, because she had never been able to keep quiet, and she wasn't sure that she really liked silence at all. It was stifling, and lonely. But silence with Stone was nicer than regular silence.
"I like you."
"Uh…" Blush. "Really?"
"Yeah," she said slowly, dreamily, thinking out loud against the background of a warm kind of magnetism that pulled her closer to the dip in the mattress that Stone's body made. "You should feel honored. I don't like very many people."
In fact, if she thought very hard, she couldn't think of any at all.
"You find that hard to believe, Rocky?"
Jinx couldn't decide whether his terrible awkwardness was adorable or irritating.
"I'm not very comfortable around most people, you know," she continued. "I never have been."
"Really?" he teased.
"Naw, I bet that's not true."
A tiny something burned up inside of her, and she said haughtily without thinking, "What would you know about it anyway?"
"Uh… nothing, I guess," said Stone, taken aback. He stared at her in silent surprise that stretched into awkwardness.
Jinx imagined spearing herself through the heart. Even when she tried to be – not nice, never that, but even when she tried to be agreeable, say, she always fucked it up somehow before the end. She felt very much like a bitch right then, and this is why, she thought, this is why I –
She looked at Stone looking at her. And God, he wasn't even angry, just watching her, puzzled or concerned or something.
So sensitive. That was why she thought she liked him.
Because he wasn't a dweeb like Gizmo, and he wasn't a beast like Mammoth, or a rat like SeeMore, or a nobody like Private Hive. And she couldn't think of anyone else to compare him to.
…I'm sorry, but her mouth would not work around the words.
Will you go to the dance with me?
"What are you doing here?" she asked instead, frustrated with herself and letting the frustration pass away.
Stone froze up at the question.
"Wh-what do you mean?" he asked with badly disguised nerves. "I'm just here to learn…"
Jinx cataloged the odd reaction.
"You could do better than this," she said, and caught herself leaning toward him. She pulled back and looked away. "I mean… you're different."
Well, it was true, wasn't it? He wasn't like the others, too weak to be heroes, too stupid for anything beyond petty crime, too downtrodden to fit back into the society that had rejected them. Orphans, misfits, and all that rabble. She supposed there was a certain amount of bitterness there. Not that she cared, or anything.
"You're different, too, Jinx –"
"No, I'm not. Don't say that."
"Because it makes me uncomfortable. So just don't, okay?"
"Why would that make you uncomfortable?"
Her face compressed into a frown.
There she felt the weight of the quiet days, the long and lonely days – three, four, fivein a row– spent in mother's apartment, burning herself trying to cook with the stove. The half-remembered days when she was left in the backseat with the drowsy heat of summer pressing on her chest. Her own strangeness equating with aloneness, and the permanent temporariness of the homes in the time After Mother.
Bad luck had always followed her, not her fault, but belonging to her nonetheless. There was a sense of being defeated before she had even had the chance to fight.
But these were things that no words could belong to. There was a time when she might have told anybody who wanted to hear, only nobody ever did, and now, too late.
"Because I said so. And what I say, goes."
Stone shook his head. "You don't have to act like this, you know."
"I'm not acting. You don't know anything about me."
Stone shook his head again. Jinx felt patronized and angry. Her fists clenched white on the royal blue sheets.
"Fine," said Stone. "Whatever. Was there something you wanted?"
He sounded fed up with her – and she could be sure because, by God, she knew what that sounded like.
"Tch," she started scornfully, without thinking, "I wanted to go to the dance with you."
"Fine!" he snapped.
"Fine!" she echoed, folding her arms peevishly so that the mattress jumped, and glaring at him.
After a moment of stilted silence, she realized what she had said, and then he realized what she had said and he lit up as brightly pink as one of her hexes.
"Er… you, uh… really?" he said.
"… Yes." Jinx shook herself. That hadn't gone as planned at all, had it? Nothing ever did. She glanced at Stone, suddenly very shy, which wasn't like her at all. Her heart thumped a mile a minute, for a reason she could not understand. "Do you…?"
He was quick to answer. "Yeah! I mean, uh, yes – yes, that'd be great."
"Okay." She beamed like an idiot, flushed with victory. She forced herself to stop being stupid and snap out of it, then scooted forward, until she was sitting next to Stone on the edge of the mattress, with her legs next to his, knees almost touching, and her thigh so close to his that if she leaned a tiny bit... so she did lean, and at first he stiffened, but then relaxed and it was intimate and lovely.
She felt like maybe he cared about her.
It occurred to her that she wouldn't mind remaining just where she was, in the silence, with the warmth of another body – Stone's body – nearby, reminding her that he was still there. Her head dropped onto a warm, broad shoulder, which seemed to communicate to her through its solidity a feeling of something that might stay.
"Wear something nice," was all Jinx could think to say.
It was a safe, warm place she was in. Even though she knew that nothing lasted, it felt like forever.
A/N: Anyone ever notice what a playa Cyborg is? I mean, he got with that girl from the stone age, Jinx, and (according to a lot of fanfic, anyway) Bumblebee… Eh, maybe it's just me.
I would love a review. I really would. Really.