So clearly this sort of fell by the wayside for me. But I have continued to receive many sweet, wonderful, warm messages despite my lack of updates, and I do feel bad for leaving this hanging. So this chapter is a condensed version of the ending I had planned; it's sort of a breezy, blow-by-blow of what happens to everybody. I'm sorry I can't give you the full version I envisioned, but I feel this way I can cover the most important things, and finally end this story. Thank you to everyone who ever read and enjoyed this project over the years. I enjoyed writing every last rambling conversation :)
To summarize the story leading up to now: so much has happened! Elliot and Psimon are wrapping up their fight. Wally is moving out to Keystone, and his future with Jinx is uncertain. The HIVE have realized that much of the memories from the Brotherhood of Evil scheme were erased, and some of them are up for Titans membership...
Thank you again to everyone.
It Is An Epilogue
Many hours later, Angelica and Raven made a joint appearance on TV, taking turns answering the reporters' questions. Angelica had her arm clamped tightly around Raven's waist, and their interactions almost appeared to be friendly. Angelica kept her wings spread, so the cameras would not catch Billy in the background as he performed emergency first aid on Elliot. It was decided that Psimon was a lost cause, since even Billy could not think of a clever way to re-attach his glass-encased cranium to the rest of his body.
Back at the Tower, however, life moved on.
There was a resounding SMACK which rang throughout the kitchen, and Jinx clutched her cheek, shocked. Wally was up in a flash and had Seymour by the collar.
"What the hell was that?"
Seymour shrugged in his grip. "I'm just returning a gift I didn't want. Girl should know better than to hit me while I'm down."
"I was worried, jerk!" Jinx snapped. "You were totally out!"
"I was focusing, and you nearly broke it."
"What were you focusing on?"
"Where did Mumbo go?" Seymour asked loudly instead.
"He went back to the Com room," said Wally. "He wanted to check the new footage of Elliot and Psimon killing each other. What were you focusing on?"
"What are you eating?" Seymour ducked around Wally.
"Nothing you'd like," said Jinx, taking the largest bite of sandwich she could fit in her mouth.
"Pig. Angelica is going to get here soon, I thought I should let you know."
Bread, bacon and lettuce sprayed out into the sink. "I have to change!"
"Jinx, you look fine," said Wally.
"No!" Jinx wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and tossed away the rest of her sandwich. "I need that paneled vest, and skinny jeans-"
"You can't fit into skinny jeans anymore," Seymour sneered. Wally whacked his arm, but didn't duck away when Seymour whacked back.
"They make skinny jeans in all sizes," Jinx continued. "And make up! I need to fix my eyes. Maybe if I do like a shadow trick under the cheekbone-"
"Jaya, Angelica can spotcheck eyeliner brands at fifty feet. You've not gonna be able to hide seventeen pounds from her."
This time Jinx whacked Seymour's arm. "I have not gained seventeen pounds!"
"You're right. My apologies."
"Seventeen and a half."
"Girl, just own it," Seymour shrugged. "What do you care what Angelica thinks anymore?"
"How can you even ask that?" Jinx wailed. "I'm going to Argent's room. Warn me when Angelica gets here!"
Wally watched her as she stormed out.
"Way to provide moral support to your girl," Seymour snickered.
Wally wheeled around. "Dude, what is up with you?"
"Dude, what's up with you?" Seymour hopped up on the counter and swung his legs over the edge. "Shouldn't you be out in the Midwest by now?"
Wally shrugged. "I don't want to leave in the middle of an emergency."
"I was going to go out to the scene, but with the wind and all, and…well, it's settled."
"Yeah, you're kind of useless today, Wallace," said Seymour. "Well, bye."
"Crisis averted. Elliot's fine. Psimon's dead. A bunch of other people are dead or dying too, but whatever, that happens. Oh…the TVs," Seymour frowned. "Billy can't watch TV for a while." He hopped off the counter. "Excuse me."
"It's not like I'm out of here for good," said Wally. "The Flash only needs me out in Keystone for a couple months."
"During which, you will attempt to maintain a long-distance thing with Jaya."
"Even though you don't think it's going to work."
Wally's shoulders sagged. "Oh. You were awake."
"And you're still making out with her anyway, because you might as well get what you can while you're here."
"Is that why you're being so weird? Look, I was just thinking out loud. I was nervous. I've never done a relationship like this before-"
"So just break it off."
They glared at each other for a moment.
"Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you," Wally said finally.
"Yeah, I would. Jaya is screwed up enough from all the other jerks she's dated. And she likes you a lot. It would be better if you two just became friends, before she gets bitter."
"And then you can make your move?"
Seymour narrowed his eyes. "What move?"
Wally laughed. "God, I got so suckered in yesterday-"
"She seemed so happy that I was making an effort to get to know you guys, like we could all be friends or something-"
"Wallace, I am not interested in her like that."
"You stalked out our place! You tried to get me on my own!"
"Wallace, I am not interested in her like that. The whole point of "getting you on your own" was to talk and establish that before you got the wrong idea! I'm the one who did a bunch of work! And now you're leaving, so whatever, waste of time. I'm not fast enough, I guess," said Seymour. "Which is fine, frankly. I'm not interested in speed. I prefer endurance. Now shouldn't you be packing or something?"
Wally gritted his teeth. "Yeah, probably."
"And I want my golf clubs back."
"Whatever," Wally muttered. A little louder, he added, "I'll be back in just a couple months. This won't change anything, unless you try something."
"I waited five months," Seymour said as he left the room. "You had plenty of time to get things straight with her. It's not my fault if it doesn't work."
Unbeknownst to most of the Tower, a short news clip ran reporting the death of Ding Dong Daddy. Mumbo watched in perfect silence as Karen and Cyborg stood by. When it finished, Mumbo sighed and switched off the screens.
"I will never understand," Mumbo said finally, "How it is that I got to be so old."
He left that night to parts unknown, to enjoy his retirement in privacy and peace.
"Jinx, what are you doing?"
Jinx, who had been using the metal lining of the hall as a mirror, wheeled around in surprise to see Robin, hands on hips.
"I was just…I'm…this is so stupid," said Jinx. "Um…how do I look?"
Robin shrugged. "Fine."
"Angelica is going to be here soon, and I'm just really nervous," Jinx admitted. "I haven't seen her in over a year."
"Angelica…is that Angel? From the Academy?"
"Yeah, they weren't very creative with names at the beginning," Jinx said quickly. "I mean, they never got better, but-"
Robin frowned. "You were fine with everybody else coming in yesterday."
"I wasn't fine, I was just tolerant, I guess. I don't really care about that-"
"But with Angelica?"
"And you're not fine with it, are you? You freaked out when they first escaped! You made me stay here!" Jinx snapped.
Robin stepped back, surprised. "I was worried about your safety. Did that come across as…? I didn't mean it as anything against you. I was honestly just worried."
Jinx blushed, and turned back to look at herself in the reflection of the wall.
Robin looked her up and down. "You look fine. I don't understand what's wrong."
Jinx took a deep breath. "Angelica's practically my mother. And I never talked to her about joining the Teen Titans. I have no idea what she thinks about it."
"What does her opinion matter?"
Robin raised an eyebrow. "I didn't realize it was such a big deal. I mean, I figured it was a big deal business wise, but I didn't realize it was so…personal for you."
Jinx shrugged. "I grew up with them. We're family. There's no changing that."
It was hard for Robin not to be nervous after that, when Angelica walked into the Tower.
Angelica Imbrecht, mother to the HIVE and six feet five inches of pure goddess-like beauty, seemed to carry a soothing aura with her everywhere she went. Just her voice seemed to make people giddy. In less than five minutes, many of the Titans were in love with her.
But her attention was solely focused on the HIVE boys. She rubbed small circles between Billy's shoulder-blades, and the tension he'd been carrying since yesterday dropped, and he nearly fell asleep right there with her on the couch. Seymour spoke at half his usual pace and barely broke off into his usual tangents. Even Xilo seemed cheered by her presence.
The only person who seemed to avoid her influence was Vito. He sat at his computer and typed. And typed and typed.
Later, Vito managed to catch a few minutes with Raven. Without even looking up from his computer, he said, "Hey, Raven, do me a favor?"
Raven frowned. "I'm not doing anything illegal."
"Uh huh. You know that weird, dark, scary tentacle thing you do?"
"I know of it."
"Could you do that for me quickly?"
She did. He stared at the spectacle for a moment, and said, "Huh." He turned back to his computer. "Okay, you can stop."
She shrank back down into herself. "And what was the point of that?"
"I just wanted to try it."
"To see how I reacted. I've been trying out different stimuli all day. I'm trying to be scientific about this."
Vito glared hard at his computer screen. "I think I might have clinical depression."
Raven stared at him, and finally managed to say, "Oh."
"There are pills for that or something, right?"
"I think so."
Vito snorted. "I'm so depressed my own mental state is boring. I sat around in my room for about a month thinking about it, but it was really boring. I thought if I tried taking an interest in somebody else's problems, it would become more interesting, but now even listening to Robin talk about his issues is boring. Jinx and Wallace are having relationship problems, and it's boring. Angelica's finally home, and it's boring. I'm tired of faking interest."
Raven considered him carefully. "Maybe you just need to try something new."
"I've looked into that. Everything sounds boring."
"What about a job here?"
"What, building things for you guys? I think Cyborg would take offense."
"I don't think he'd mind having a consultant to talk with."
Vito sighed and rubbed his eyes. "The truth is, I haven't even had good ideas for inventions, lately. I mean, I've invented a lot, so maybe I've just finally run out," He sighed. "I don't know."
Vito ended up taking a vacation from inventing. He still had plenty of patents to sell, which produced fantastic amounts of money to sustain him.
Angelica and Jinx stared at each other for a long time, without moving. Finally Angelica opened up her arms. "Well, come hug me, dearest."
They hugged. Jinx could feel Angelica measuring her with her arms, and tried not to care. "It's really good to see you again. I missed you so much."
"And I missed you," Angelica kissed the top of her head. "I've been watching you on TV. I have a little book full of clippings about you from the newspapers. You look so happy. I'm so proud of you."
"Relax," said Jack. "My Red X days are over."
Robin just stared at him.
"In a way, I saved your life," Jack continued blithely. "If you'd kept the suit, you would have gotten xinothium poisoning eventually, like me. I'll keep up the chemo for a while, and then I'll find something else to do. But my criminal career is over. I can barely climb stairs."
"I'm just so sorry," Robin said finally.
"Well, I don't want your pity," said Jack, pushing himself unsteadily out of his chair. "I'm tired. I'm going to bed."
Robin sat up late in the common room, staring at the chair Red X had been sitting in. Jinx found him there around four in the morning, and walked him back to his room.
"You can't blame yourself for other people's stupidity," she said as they walked. "He chose to use the suit."
"But I'm still responsible for-"
"No, you aren't," Jinx said fiercely. "Robin, listen. People affect each other in chains of events. Even the most harmless, even good things cause bad things eventually. And bad things cause good things. It all works in every which way."
"Robin. If I blamed myself for every bad thing I inadvertently caused-and there would be a lot-I'd be a freaking wreck. Everybody looks up to you because you're strong and you keep things in perspective," She glanced back at him. "I've always really admired that about you. Please don't let me down."
Eventually a press conference was necessary, and for the first of many times, Robin and Seymour appeared on television together. And generally it went very well, but sacrifices had to be made.
Seymour shut off the TV and shrugged. "So that's what I had to do."
Elliot continued to stare at the blank screen.
"It's not for forever. You can just take some time to travel a bit. You could go back to your own dimension for a while, if you want. Visit your mother. I just need you to steer clear for now."
Elliot raised an eyebrow. "I can stay away for longer than that."
"Sure you can, if you want. People are just upset about the property damage. But eventually, when things have died down a bit, and people see in retrospect what you were doing, that you were helping, they'll be more-"
"Seymour," Elliot said gently. "You cannot be all things to all people."
Elliot left that night, without saying goodbye to anyone. In his mind, he'd already said his goodbyes before his fight with Psimon had begun.
Montego and Bailey took off the next day, but not before treating Jinx to a private brunch with just them.
"I remember you," Montego said, taking a swig of coffee. "Like a little mouse sitting in the back row. I didn't think you'd last a day at that school. And look at you now. Are you happy?"
Jinx nodded. "The Titans…sometimes it's kind of like playing with little kids. You have to bite your tongue a lot so you don't ruin things. But they're nice. Did you…were you guys always having to be careful with the rest of us? So you wouldn't ruin it?"
"Well, I don't know if we really avoided ruining it," said Bailey. Since HIVE Academy, his humor had taken a permanent turn for the worse. "But we tried to do right by you guys."
"You must be happy you don't have to babysit anymore," Jinx said shyly.
Montego and Bailey exchanged looks. "Nah, I'll miss it a little," said Bailey.
"We'll miss you all," Montego added.
That day was the last anyone ever saw the pair.
Xilo took off with a bang.
"Sorry!" He called to Billy as Blackfire's new, stolen ship took off. "But earth is just getting too boring!"
Blackfire was starting a new gig as a space pirate, and apparently needed a first mate. Xilo, with his new-found galactic fame as "the guy who had punched out the ambassador that one time", was an ideal choice, not to mention an old friend.
Blackfire even visited briefly with Starfire before she left. Starfire cried throughout most of it, and Blackfire repeatedly told her she was being annoying and a big baby.
But she seemed genuinely touched, even if only for a moment, when Starfire threw her arms around her and cried out something in Tamaranean.
Starfire was beaming with joy fifteen minutes after her sister's departure. "We have achieved closure, and that is good, I think," She told everyone.
On her new ship, Blackfire stared moodily at the expanse of stars.
"What's the matter with you?" Xilo demanded finally. "You're being boring."
"Nothing," Blackfire increased the speed of the cruiser. "Maybe we'll visit earth again, sometime. Just to pick up coffee and stuff. Not to see anybody. Definitely not to see my stupid little sister."
They continued to visit once a year, generally around Christmas when they got the timing right.
Wally's departure was much quieter, since everyone expected him to return eventually. It hardly even seemed like he was leaving. He promised to visit as often as he could, and two seconds later he was in Keystone City, staring at the door of the apartment his uncle had rented for him.
There wasn't a very big distance, he insisted to himself as he turned the key in the lock. It would be fine.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding!" An old voice snapped near him. Wally turned and found himself face to face with the man formerly known as Mumbo Jumbo, standing with a bag of groceries and a ring of keys at the door right next to Wally's.
Mumbo made Wally swear an oath of silence, and they tried their best not to bother each other. When Wally's uncle called to ask about villainous activities in Keystone, Wally only hesitated for a second before reporting that no new villains had appeared.
But the young speedster couldn't disappear without comment. The media outlets of Jump City immediately jumped on the juicy gossip: Jinx and Kid Flash had apparently broken up.
Everyone advised her to just leave it alone, but Jinx couldn't. Finally, without telling anyone, she participated in an impromptu press conference.
"I'm frankly disturbed by the interest taken in my relationship to Kid Flash," she said. "There seems to be the implication that my services to Jump City are worthless without a man at my side, and I'm not sure what I think of that."
"Jinx, you and Kid Flash were a close item for a long time! Do you plan to move in with him in Keystone as well?"
For a moment it appeared as though Jinx was going to rip the reporter apart. But, calmly, she replied, "I love Jump City. I could never leave."
Jinx became an overnight media darling.
It ended up being a triple-funeral.
For Psimon, the older villains simply said it would be polite to put the body away somewhere. With Elliot on the lam, the "out of sight, out of mind" policy seemed the best way to go.
For Ding Dong Daddy, everyone knew it had just been a self-fulfilling prophecy. Dodge had been claiming he would die young for years.
For Fang, everyone simply felt terrible.
It took some work, but Seymour and Jinx were eventually able to convince Billy to go, and to dress nicely for it. He drank approximately three bottles of Jack Daniels the night before, and refused to speak to anyone, but he still went. Many rumors circulated about the reading of the will, but when asked what Dodge left him, all Billy would do was shake his head and insist he wasn't keeping any of it.
Kitten showed up, wearing Fang's leather jacket and her hair cut shorter. She sat in the front row with her father, so she and Billy couldn't speak.
"I want you to have it."
"I've told you a million times that I won't take charity."
"I don't want anybody else to have that much money. You can pay for college, you can-"
"I can't leave now, Daddy's too depressed."
"So defer for a year and re-apply. But take the money!"
"William Jones, I am not interested in your millions. Go screw yourself."
"It's not fair," Billy moaned later. "I worked so hard to get dis-inherited from my family. To get rid of all that money. And now I've got even more. Dodge ruined everything."
At the reading of the will, Billy had received several million dollars, several cars, some properties throughout the United States, and a personal, post-humous letter from Dodge, which he kept in his pocket for the rest of his life.
"Yeah, life's terrible," Jinx snarked. "Gimme that bottle. You've had enough."
"I tried to give it to Kitten-"
Jinx teased the Jack Daniels from his grip. "I know."
"She won't take it."
"Well, you probably scared her. It's millions of dollars."
"After everything she said about college-"
"Billy, you really just don't get girls at all."
His communicator began to ring with Kitten's ring-tone, so he answered it. He wouldn't answer anybody else's calls.
"Very funny, asshole."
"Did Seymour help you come up with this?"
"A fake scholarship is kind of a long way to go, you know!"
"Kat, what the hell are you talking about?"
On the other end, Katherine squinted at the small type on the letter head. "Gotham University? Ringing any bells?"
"No, it's not!"
Seymour walked in waving an envelope. "You've got mail, dude."
"I'm busy!" Billy snapped at him. "Kat, I honestly don't know what you're-"
"It's from Gotham University?"
"Not now, Seymour!"
"Dude, it's got a Bat insignia on it."
The scholarship letter was long, arduous, and wordy. The personal note on the bottom however:
Consider this your parole. Don't screw it up.
Billy threw both the folders down in front of Robin. "What the hell is this?"
Robin looked down. "Um…envelopes."
"From the Bat?"
"Are they really?"
"What did you do?"
"Nothing. Sometimes he takes an interest in these things." Robin shrugged. "I guess you're going to college, then."
"He can't force me to go to college!"
"Billy, it's Batman," Seymour cut in. "He can totally force you to go to college."
Robin took a deep breath, well aware of the dangerous territory he was about to dive into. "In Dodge's will-
Billy sucked in breath between his teeth, but didn't say anything, which Robin took as a good sign. He continued, hesitantly. "In Dodge's will, he left you some property in Gotham, right? A house?"
"Yeah, so?" Billy snapped.
"Well, it would be convenient," said Seymour.
"Like hell it-"
"For you and for Kitten."
"So that's the deal."
Kitten refused to look at him. "So you want to live together?"
"It would be convenient," Billy said blandly.
"So like…living together or living together?"
"What's the difference between-"
"Like as housemates or as boyfriend and girlfriend?"
Billy's eyes widened and he coughed. "I mean, I don't know how you're feeling right now. I didn't want to push anything-"
"For Christ's sake, just ask me out."
"Wanna go out? Officially?"
Eventually, "going out" became engaged, and engaged became married. But it all happened very quietly, away from Jump City and certain friends who would have blown things out of proportion.
There was no avoiding the drama when it came to Roy and Jade, however.
The HIVE boys had insisted that Jade was just a friend, and "definitely not a secret evil assassin named after an Alice in Wonderland character of any way, shape, or sort", which immediately sparked the suspicions of everyone. Karen in particular seemed to resent the long hours Roy and Jade would spend in his room, just the two of them. When it was time for Titan's East to return to their own coast, however, Jade did not go with them.
There were a few, dubious witnesses who claimed to have seen Aqualad and Jade arguing about something on the rocks outside, the night before Jade disappeared. And no one wished to comment when they noticed that Aqualad and Roy stopped speaking to each other for weeks on end.
There were many doubts and hesitations throughout the transition process as various Titans returned to their homes, but the fact was that Seymour got along rather swimmingly with everyone: Robin, the Titans, other law enforcement, and particularly the media. Except, of course:
"We need to talk about it," said Mal, for the umpteenth time.
"We really don't," said Seymour, brushing past him.
"Look, I was a jerk before-"
"Yes, you were."
"But I seriously thought you were just screwing with me," Mal gritted. "I mean…do you want me to fill you in on what happened, when we fought?"
Seymour stopped dead in the hall.
"Everyone says you have a photographic memory," Mal continued, taking the halt as a good sign. "Maybe you just need a few details to jog it, you know?"
"I don't remember anything about it," Seymour said eventually.
"Therefore, it didn't happen."
This remained Seymour's attitude about the entire Brotherhood of Evil debacle. He even joked that he had only gone to the meeting in the first place because he thought the Brain was a Dalek.
"I thought I was going to meet the Doctor, that's all," Seymour insisted.
But to Jaya, he admitted that the idea of losing memories scared him to pieces.
"I can't claim to have a perfect memory anymore," Seymour would rant. "Anything might have happened during those months, and I've just got no idea. It's disorganized. I hate it!"
In their attempts to move past old problems, the Titans missed a crucial, crucial detail. Upon reflection, Cyborg would later muse that addressing Seymour's fear, directly, might have saved a lot of trouble in the future.
Meanwhile, other relationships began to improve (with only a few helpful nudges from Seymour):
"Seymour told me to ask you about the Sardi language," Raven said flatly, holding out a thick book. "I…I haven't actually encountered it before."
Jinx stared at the thick volume. "You want me to translate it for you?"
"Actually, I was wondering if you could teach me how to read it."
Jinx blushed. "Um…it might take a while…"
Raven withdrew the book. "And it's probably really inconvenient. Right. Sorry."
"No! No, that's not what I-I'm not-oh, jeez," Jinx muttered, face flaming. "I just meant…you don't mind…spending all that time with me?"
Raven squirmed a little. "I'll be honest. I don't really do the whole "hanging out" thing. That's Starfire. And you're sort of a social butterfly. So if you think this would be boring-"
"I'd love to!" Jinx blurted out. "Seriously!"
Raven smiled, just a little. "Okay," she said. "I'd love to, too."
"Friend Seymour!" Starfire chirped. "It is so nice to be able to call you that!"
Seymour smiled half-heartedly. "You don't have to."
"But I wish to!"
"No, I mean, you don't have to do that whole hippy-dippy, fake-happy, super-nice thing around me."
Starfire nearly dropped out of the air. "I am happy."
"Sure. So why do you have to go around proving it?" Seymour shrugged. "Look, I've hung out with Blackfire before. She said you weren't really like this. This…nice. Like, you were happy, but not that nice."
"If I did not act nice," Starfire said carefully, "My friends would get the wrong impression. My planet…we are very different in how we express happiness."
"No, I mean, I understand all that," Seymour said quickly. "I…I kind of do the same thing. But you don't have to, around me. That's all I mean." Seymour shrugged. "We're not that nice. People just expect us to be. But you don't have to fake it in front of me."
Seymour took a deep breath. "So I've been having thoughts-"
Jinx snorted. "That's dangerous-"
"And I was thinking about you and me-"
"And I've had people coming up to me and asking me what my feelings are for you."
Jinx raised an eyebrow. "Who's been asking?"
Seymour shrugged. "Just people. Don't worry about it."
Jinx bit her lip. "But now I'm worried."
"Don't be, it's just dumb people. But they apparently think there's something going on, so I thought I'd better tell you, I'm planning to play it gay."
"I'm gonna camp it up a little, maybe hook up with Aqualad, and then everybody will think I'm gay, and they'll leave you alone."
Jinx sighed. "Seymour, you are such a good friend, but you really don't need to do that."
"I know, I'm an excellent friend, way better than those jerks that were talking behind your back."
"Um…yeah. No, but you don't have to worry because Wally…Wally is kind of a non-issue at the moment."
"Well, yeah, I assumed but…wait. What?"
It was to be their final phone "date", to their mutual pleasure.
"So what's her name?"
"Linda. She's an intern at the newspaper here in Keystone. Do you mind if I ask what his name is?"
"You know him. It's Cash."
"So they were cheating on each other?" asked Billy that night when Seymour called him. "I gotta admit, that's more balls than I gave either of them credit for."
Seymour shrugged. "It was bound to happen. They're both so needy, and with the long distance."
"And I bet you encouraged her."
"Don't incriminate me in this. I was barely involved. You're not mad at Cash?"
"Of course I'm mad at Cash. I forbade him and Sam from ever touching my baby sister, and he goes and makes a move as soon as I'm out of the way? I'm flying back to California tonight. I'll kill him."
Seymour smiled. "You have an exam tonight. You can't just blow off your classes like before. Batman'll get you."
Billy snorted. "He's obnoxious. And he's probably tapping this call."
"But really, it's the best case scenario. I don't mind that it's Cash."
"Well, of course. But think about it. He's one of ours, and he's mostly harmless. He won't do much to change her. He just worships her, and that's fine." Seymour settled back in his chair. "I can give her free reign of my kingdom this way. It's fine."
"Are you creating an empire?"
Seymour shrugged. "I guess that's one way of putting it. I'm just trying to keep the world more organized. As it should be."
"I don't feel bad," Jinx said later. "But I probably should, right?"
Seymour shrugged and passed her the popcorn. They had mutually decided that popcorn was harmless, possessing few calories. "Make it a feminist thing. The second anybody tries to call you out on it, just point out that he cheated too, and it was mutual."
Jinx narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "Did you know he was cheating on me? Like, were you spying on him in Keystone?"
"God, no!" Seymour lied. "Jeez, I try to respect people's privacy a little, you know."
"You knew," Wally said accusingly.
"Well, I sort of predicted it, yeah," Seymour admitted.
"But you didn't tell her."
"Did you want me to?"
"So what's the problem then?"
"I…I'm sorry. This isn't fair to you."
"I thought you'd…take some pleasure out of that. Getting to tell her."
"God, no!" Seymour lied. "That sounds like the worst thing ever."
"Hey, unlike you, I can resist temptation sometimes," Seymour said snidely. "Besides, I'd hate to be the bearer of bad news and all."
"I hate to be the bearer of bad news," Mumbo said quickly when Wally opened the door, "So I need you to carry a message for me. To Jinx."
Wally moved just a little to block Mumbo's view of the inside of his apartment. He hadn't told the older man that he and Jinx had broken up. "Sure. Is it…what is it?"
"It's Seymour." Mumbo looked incredibly guilty. "I predicted this. I really should have done more. I'm so sorry."
"And where exactly did this anonymous tip-off come from?" Jinx snapped.
"I can't tell you," Wally repeated yet again. "It's just a reliable source."
"Was it your reporter girlfriend? If she's trying to dig around for dirt-"
"Linda wouldn't do that!" Wally cried. "Besides, this isn't even a Keystone problem, it's a Jump City problem."
"I just don't get what you're trying to do," said Jinx. "If you've got an issue with Seymour-"
"Please, just check this out."
Of course, far too late for anything to be done about it, it was found that Wally-and his source-were right.
But by then, the embezzlement was long past committed, and the new organization far past gathered. Seymour claimed to have only coordinated the new group, but it was obvious that he was the leader. It was the greatest, most subtle crime-wave ever committed in the history of the Teen Titans, and it took them years to notice it.
Amongst the watermarks and documents, there were a few patents resembling Vito's old inventions. Seymour refused to tell anyone when the inventions were dated, or where Vito was.
"Was this always the plan?" Jinx demanded later, when she visited him in jail.
Seymour shrugged. "I wanted to get things more organized. The world is such a mess."
"That's not it. What happened? Seymour..."
He stared at her for a little while, and finally admitted, "I was bored."
Billy flew into California that night, and sat up late drinking with Cyborg.
"Kitten didn't want to come," He explained over another shot of Jack Daniels. "She's just too upset."
"Everybody's upset," Cyborg said gloomily. "We've all been taking turns cheering up Jinx. But they were so close. They were like twins."
Billy glared at the table. "If anybody was going to get that bad, and screwed up, it was going to be me. It was supposed to be me."
"Don't you start too," Cyborg warned him.
"It needs saying. It's just true."
"How is college going?" Cyborg asked quickly to change the subject.
"It's great," Billy admitted. "Much better than I thought."
"And how's Kitten?"
"Pregnant," said Billy.
"You should have seen the look on his face!" Kitten crowed when Jinx came to visit her. Robin had insisted Jinx take a vacation for a while, to take her mind off things.
"What are you going to do about school, though?"
"I'm graduating early. And I can write from home, for now. Billy's still at it, though, with his math degree. They're offering him fellowships everywhere!" Kitten looked over Jinx carefully. "How are you doing?"
"Is it going to be a boy or a girl?" Jinx asked quickly.
Kittens smiled mischeviously. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
It ended up being twins, a healthy boy and girl. Jinx was named godmother immediately.
The same day, she resigned from the Teen Titans.
"I'm not going to be a teenager much longer," she laughed when Robin asked why. "The age limit is kind of implied in the title, right?"
"But what are you going to do? You could go to college. I could talk to Batman-"
"I'm going to travel for a while," she said. "I just need to get away from Jump City. I still plan to serve and protect, wherever I go."
"Please, just call me Jaya."
"Travel will be good for you," Seymour agreed when she told him her plan at her next visit.
Somehow, Seymour's crime operation continued to function perfectly without his presence being required. It seemed that they were following his orders, but no one could trace communication between his cell and their hideouts. Jinx had asked him once if it was Elliot carrying messages for him, but Seymour had simply smiled and shook his head.
"I figure it will be a sort of finding-myself trip," She shrugged. "Everybody else I know got to have one of those."
"Everybody except me," said Seymour.
Jinx leaned over and pressed a kiss on the glass between them, around where his cheek was. "Keep an eye on me," she said.
Seymour escaped from jail the next day. It was painfully obvious that he only ever stuck around because Jinx had continued to visit him throughout the years.