Luck, Zeppo Style
People had always told AJ that she had bad luck. In fact, there wasn't a single one of her friends and family that hadn't commented on it at one time or another. Bad juju seemed to follow her around, and it seemed like she had been cursed: majorly mojo cursed.
But she'd never believed it. She'd always been of the opinion that she had good luck, and plenty of it. True, she got onto more trouble than could seem humanly possible, but she always got out of it again, either by herself, or with the help of her friends, or, lately, superheroes.
For the first twelve years of her life, things had been rather quiet – for her family anyway. She'd lived with her parents in Cleveland, and while world endage seemed to almost happen every other month or so, she lived a pretty safe life.
Comparatively. They went on a family a vacation to Keystone City, and she got pushed out of the path of a runaway bus by the Flash. She'd gone with her parents on a business trip to Detroit, and Green Lantern had to save them from being eaten by a giant space dragon.
A space dragon; who ever heard of a space dragon?
But still, AJ was pretty sure that things like that could have happened to anyone. After all, she was hardly the only pedestrian in the way of that bus, and there'd been several hundred people in the hotel that the dragon had attacked.
But yeah, Cleveland, while sporting numerous opportunities for her to break bones while skateboarding, or to get trapped in abandoned buildings, didn't have any superheroes. So it wasn't until she was almost thirteen that she really started to meet those famous men and women who wore spandex.
Her dad had decided that it was time to retire from his current 'teaching' job and they moved to Gotham City. The Craziest City in the World would surely be safer than the Mouth of Hell, as they so quaintly called Cleveland.
Yeah, right. The problems they'd run into in Cleveland they'd at least been used to. On the other hand, Batman took care of most of the crime in Gotham, so things were quieter for her family, if not necessarily safer.
It wasn't three weeks before AJ ran into Robin. Or, rather, Robin rescued her from some muggers. He looked exceedingly stupid in those short pants and the pixie boots were a fashion don't, but… Well, he'd saved her life, and he did have the legs to make the little short shorts work.
Two years later, she ran into some trouble near the docks. Once again, Robin pulled her bacon out of the fire. She'd been running away from two slobbering hyenas, of all things – and her family typically had bad luck with hyenas – when she'd suddenly been swept up into the air and out of trouble. For a moment, she'd almost thought that she'd been saved by Superman.
But no. It was Robin. Not the Robin she'd run into the last time, however. This one was taller, broader, and, well, hotter. To her mind, anyway.
It could have just been that she'd finally gone through puberty.
When she was fifteen, her father got a promotion and moved them to Metropolis. She never had gotten to meet Batman, but she figured that was a good thing. And in Metropolis, she got to meet Superman.
Well, 'meet' as in 'be caught thirty stories off the ground when the building she was on collapsed.' But yeah, saved by Superman. Flying was cool.
Over the next few years, she ran into Superboy, and two of the Supergirls, as well as Green Arrow and Black Canary. Then she graduated from high school and went to college in New York.
New York, the city that never sleeps. Also home to Titans Tower, and the Outsiders HQ. By the time she graduated from college, AJ had met most of the Titans, past and present, and every member of the Outsiders except for Nightwing.
She got a job in San Francisco, and moved back to California. Well, not back, since she'd never lived there, but both of her parents, and her honorary aunts and uncles had, so it almost felt like going back home.
Especially when demons attacked, and Superboy once again saved her life. Instead of being skewered on the wrong end of a sharp, rusty pike – not that there was a good end to be skewered on… – she got pressed up against his really ripped T-shirt-clad chest, and she'd been through the near-death experience thing enough times to be able to enjoy ogling him. Then there was the time when aliens invaded, and Kid Flash ran in to get her out of trouble. She'd even once gotten to see Wonder Girl use her lasso when all the kids of world got Beast Boy's powers.
She'd been glad she was too old for it to have happened to her; she thought of her luck as good, but best not to push it by accidentally turning herself permanently into a rat like her Aunt Willow's old friend Amy. And the hyena thing still held true.
But yeah, bad luck, good luck, whatever. AJ was still alive after twenty-two years of being almost killed on average of every two and a half weeks, so she really didn't think she had it that bad. Especially since she was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the largest collection of superhero autographs not obtained by monetary means. Apparently, there was some boy billionaire inventor in Japan that had a larger collection, but he'd bought most of his.
AJ felt she had a right to be a little smug about that.
Of course, currently she was hanging upside down over a boiling, roiling vat of some noxious green liquid that smelled like pea soup. Anna Jenkins Harris wrinkled her nose, sighed, and settled in to wait for her rescue. She hated pea soup.
Just her luck.