Disclaimer- I don't own the TT. So here it is folks, the last chapter of Night Jewel. There may be an epilogue if people think so, but im not sure. I'd like to thank all my reviewers and readers, but now i'll shut up so you can read.
Story By StormDancer
It is not light that we need, but fire; not the gentle shower but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
Jason took a deep breath as the common room doors loomed in front of him. He had been in the tower before, of course, a number of times. It wasn't that hard to sneak in and out of, for him at least. Now he knew that was in part because he had helped work on codes like this, with Dick, in years gone past. But this was the first time he had ever walked in, invited, with people excepting him.
"Are you ready?" Raven asked quietly from beside him. He looked down at her. She met his masked eyes squarely, "If you wait any longer someone will want to come and get you."
He took another deep breath. This was it. He had known this moment would have to come when he had first slipped the opal necklace to Raven. But it was so hard now that it was actually here! Another breath. He had managed to bluff his way through more dangerous situations then this. He could do it. He could walk nonchalantly into a den of superheroes with one of them on his arm and think nothing of it. He was Red X, master of the masks. But now he was also Jason, a child who just wanted his friends back.
"Yes," he stated with more bravery than he felt, "I'm ready."
The door slid open to reveal the heroes beyond.
No one moved. Starfire's hands had lit up unconsciously, and Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Bumblebee had tensed, ready to spring. In response, Red X felt his weight shifting; ready to fight the moment aggression would be offered. Speedy (mask back on), Robin, and Raven simply waited for the tension to be broken.
Finally Cyborg straightened, cannon shifting back into a hand.
"Well, now that everyone's here," he announced, "Why are we not partying?"
Beast Boy chuckled, and the tension was gone. The other's aggressive poses disappeared, and Jason could hear Raven let out the breath she had been holding. That made him feel better. If even she was nervous, then he could admit to being slightly apprehensive without shame.
"Go mingle," Raven muttered to him as people drifted around and the TV flickered on.
"And where are you planning to go?" he replied, grabbing her wrist as she tried to disappear.
"Where I always go at get-togethers like these," she yanked her wrist away, "away."
He grabbed her shoulder before she could teleport.
"Oh no you don't," he warned, "Because then they'll all have the chance to really embarrass you. And you wouldn't want that."
She glared at him, but her lips twitched in what might have been a smile had it been allowed to grow.
"Fine," she spat without any venom, "you win. Let's go let you meet the heroes."
He rolled his eyes and planted his feet stubbornly.
"Or we could just stay here," he proposed. She smirked, and his eyes widened. "Raven," he began, 'What are you going to-"
A black portal opened beneath their feet and he fell into it before he had time to react. He rose up out of it in an undignified tumble in front of Cyborg, who was leaning against the wall and watching the proceedings.
He managed to leap to his feet before Cyborg noticed anything. Raven, who had made a graceful exit from her portal, let a giggle escape her. He glared at her.
"That was not very heroic" he informed her loftily.
"But it was amusing," she retorted, "Now talk."
He sighed, but meandered over to Cyborg, Raven a pace behind him.
"Hello," he said. The robot turned to face him.
"Hi," he replied carefully. Raven rolled her eyes at their posturing as they stood in silence for a moment.
"Thank you for breaking the tension back there," Jason finally offered, "For a minute it looked like there was going to be a fight."
"I'm not sure what we're going to do with you," Cyborg admitted, "But for right now, I can accept you as an old friend of Robin's and Raven's-" he amended what hew as going to say at Raven's glare, "and a very close friend of Raven's."
Jason grinned. A way to get her back for the portal trick…
"OR you could just say I'm her boyfriend," he suggested, "It's the truth."
"I never said that," Raven muttered, "It isn't too late to back out."
He slung an arm around her shoulders.
"You mean you don't want me?" he breathed into her ear. She shivered, but smiled shyly up at him.
"I never said that either," she murmured. Cyborg groaned and covered his eyes.
"Okay, I said I was fine with you to," he declared, "That does not mean I have to see this kind of stuff. No romance when I'm around, and we're cool."
Jason grinned, forgetting Cyborg couldn't see it or sense it like Raven could.
"Then why don't you leave?" he suggested. Cyborg punched him (gently) on the shoulder. It was weird, a friendly punch coming from the hand that had so often laid him out flat.
"Thank you," the robot retorted as he walked away, "I will."
Jason turned to his girlfriend.
"So?" he prompted, "How did I do?"
"Very well," she admitted, tossing back the hood of her cloak, "So who's next?"
"You?" he recommended. She slapped him lightly on the forearm.
"Just for that, I think we'll go talk to Aqualad so he can hit on you," she retorted. A wave of nervousness rolled off of him to her empathetic senses.
"How about we go chat with R-Speedy instead?" he countered quickly. A honest-to-goodness grin spread over her face, making it even lovelier then before. Jason was so caught in her sparkling eyes that he barely heard her comment.
"I don't think so," she cackled, "I'm in the mood for some amusement."
Jason stared off across the bay from the top of the Tower, barely noting the stars twinkling like jewels against the night sky.
If anyone had told him 5 years ago that this was where he would be now, he would have laughed his head off. His best friends turning out to be Robin and Speedy? Impossible. Him becoming a master thief? Sweet, but never going to happen. Him ending up with the half-demon super-hero who's everything he could ever hope for? In his dreams, but nowhere else. Yet somehow, it had all happened.
He reached up and rubbed his mask. It was beginning to chafe a bit. He hadn't taken it off for a long, long time, what with the Titan party that was still in full swing downstairs. The night was cold enough that he could feel the old scar burning, informing him that it would probably snow tomorrow. Probably not the best time for the Hamilton Industries heist, then. He sighed. While he usually only stole from corrupt companies, he made an exception for that one. After all, it was his, at least in part, so he wasn't truly stealing. And, he admitted to himself and only himself, it was a petty revenge against his parents.
Parents that he supposed Dick and Roy would probably try to make him get back in touch with now. He would resist as hard as he could, of course, but somehow he felt like he should. It would at least be amusing to introduce Raven to them. And if he wanted his inheritance he would need to be reconciled.
Raven appeared beside him, but didn't sit down, waiting tactfully to be acknowledged by him.
He moved over slightly. She settled down beside him, resting her head on his chest. His arm wrapped around her, pulling her closer.
"I was just wondering why you left. No one was being nasty, were they?"
"No, that wasn't it," Jason told her, "although Aqualad hitting on me was weird."
"Don't worry about that. I kind of, well, I told him to," Raven admitted, "Just to see how you would react."
"What!" he exclaimed.
"Well, it was amusing, and I wanted to see what would happen," Raven explained.
"oh." he was speechless for a moment, then began again, "Well then, no one was being weird. Or weirder then could be expected."
"So why'd you leave?"
"Me and Dick had a talk," he stated simply. She sat up to look in worriedly in the eye. So this was the cause of the odd things she had been sensing.
"What was the conclusion?" she queried cautiously.
"Basically I don't steal in the Titan's jurisdiction, and the Tower is open to me except for hiding from the law or concealing stolen goods."
'But that's better than you expected," raven said, inspecting him worriedly.
He just stared out over the water, not meeting her eyes.
"So what's wrong?" she asked softly.
She looked skeptically at him.
"Okay fine," he conceded, "Something is wrong."
"So what is it?"
He shrugged impatiently.
"I don't know!" he slammed a fist into the ground, "It's just, just, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop."
"What do you mean?" she wrapped her cloak closer around her, but didn't move nay closer to him.
"Everything's been going so smoothly," he clarified, "I'm just waiting for Dick and Roy to tell me that they handed me over, or for you to slap some irons on me and say it was all a ruse."
"Do you not trust me?" Raven replied gently.
"No!" he exclaimed, "I do! It's just that… I don't know."
"That you aren't used to things going well for you," Raven finished for him, "that you never thought you were going to be the one to get a happy ending."
He stared at her.
"Yeah," he said slowly, "How'd you know that?"
She sighed, drawing her hood up. He tugged it back down.
"Because I feel the same way," she admitted, "I was supposed to be dead or the only person alive by now. I wasn't supposed to have to deal with all this drama."
"I'm glad you are,' he responded, "It wouldn't have any point without you."
"Same," she replied simply. They sat silently, both lost in their own thoughts. Raven could see, sense Jason moving beside her, but she didn't look. She was too absorbed in her own musings, on how to work out her future, to really comprehend what he was doing.
"Jewel?" he finally said. She turned to face him, only to be confronted by an unfamiliar male face. Her eyes flicked to the side. The mask was lying there; it's anonymous X staring up at her accusingly. She looked back at Red-Jason. Big grey eyes stared back at her, full of something that was mixed with a heavy leavening of fear.
Her hand reached out of its own accord to trace his features, as if touching a ghost to make sure it is real. Her hand moved over strong, well defined features and pale skin tentatively. He was tense beneath her hand, ready to bolt.
"Now is where you run away screaming," he announced hoarsely. She drew her hand back.
"Why?" she asked, barely audible.
"Because I'm hideous," he spat bitterly, "No girl would ever want to look at me."
"Jason…" she trailed off, staring at him, "You're gorgeous. You even said all the girls wanted you back when you went to school."
Her hand was back, running over his face and through his hair. As much as he tried not to, for she wouldn't be his as soon as she saw it, he leaned into her touch.
"You can't see it, can you?" He rose in a swift, fluid motion, and dragged her over to a light that threw his face into harsh relief, illuminating the scar the slashed from his right temple down to his left jaw, stretching the skin oddly across his face. Her light fingers moved to it, feather-light touches moving down it.
"The kidnappers tortured me," he informed her with brutal callousness towards himself, "this was their way f showing they were serious."
"Oh." She was still just staring at him, big eyes full of an emotion he couldn't even begin to name.
"So are you going to flee now?" he spat. She sighed and reached up to put her arms around his neck, standing on tip-toe.
"Jason, you're so much more then I deserve," she murmured into his ear, 'I don't care about a scar."
He pulled away.
"But you're so beautiful," he argued, "You don't deserve to be with something as-"
"If you say hideous again, I will hurt you," Raven interrupted, "you are not hideous. You are one of the most handsome men I have ever seen with or without a scar. But that doesn't matter," she stalked closer to him, carefully as if she was approaching the wild animal he was trembling like; "The man I fell in love with doesn't have a face."
"But he's flawed-"
"Flaws only make a jewel more beautiful," she replied, drawing ever nearer, "they make it unique."
She was pressed close against him now. She could feel him quiver just as he was looking into her eyes for revulsion he couldn't find.
"Jewel-" he began, but then her lips were on his, and her hands were losing themselves in his dark hair. And he was drinking in the very feeling of her, his Jewel, and nothing more needed to be said.