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.
All it takes is an instant. An instant for feelings to shift, old ideas to crumble and new emotions to be planted. One moment to turn a life, one second to open the dark and see the light beyond. One instant to change.
An alarm blared throughout the building. Surveying the blinking room quickly, the thief swore softly as he spotted the laser his foot had brushed. He grabbed the emerald and stuffed it into a pocket, then sprinted up the hall, all caution gone. The game was up anyway, what he wanted right now was a quick getaway that preferably didn't waste the juice in his belt.
The thief spun to face the heroes, only just dodging an electric blue blast. He barely had time to react to that before a fist came hurtling at his face. He blocked the strike easily and swept the legs out from his opponent while simultaneously ducking a strike from a huge green gorilla. He sprang a safe distance away, twisting to avoid a starbolt.
"No opening attempts to be clever today, kid?" he taunted. Starfire assisted Robin to his feet. The boy glared from beneath his mask.
"You aren't worth it, X," he retorted. Red X shrugged mockingly.
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"Do not rise to his worm, Robin!" Starfire exclaimed, lit hands illuminating her curvaceous body. The thief examined her; not attempting to hide something he knew would piss off Robin.
"Take it from me, doll," he told Starfire, "He's not worth you."
Robin lunged. Cyborg and Beast Boy grabbed him before he could attack. Red X stared suspiciously at them. It wasn't like the Teen Titans not to attack.
"I mean, look at him ' red X continued with his original plan of making the titans so mad they would make a mistake, "The only thing you could like about him is he has big feet."
Starfire cocked her head at him, confused, as Beast Boy and Cyborg held in chuckles and Robin's glare deepened, with an added flush. The thief grinned. He loved getting reactions out of people, especially the Boy Blunder. And it was useful to know that at least 2 out of the other 3 titans weren't completely in awe of Robin.
Red X brought his thoughts to an abrupt halt when that occurred to him. There should have been 4 other Titans. Where was that other girl, the sorceress? She might always hide in the shadows, but usually an attack would have alerted him to her presence by now.
'Where's the Goth girl?" he taunted, "Off killing herself?"
"Oh no," Cyborg grinned broadly, "She's been here all along."
The floor beneath Red X collapsed. As he fell, he saw a hooded figure floating underneath the spot where he had been standing, all the supports twisted away.
He landed catlike on his feet and took off running as the sorceress drifted after him. He could hear the boy's pounding feet behind her, but they were a ways away.
At the end of the corridor, a dead end, he spun to face the approaching heroes.
"That was stupid," he informed them, "Now I have a reason to do this."
He disappeared before he noticed the smiles spreading across the Titan's faces as Raven also disappeared into a black, translucent raven.
"It worked!" Beast Boy exclaimed as they left.
"Did you doubt it would?" Starfire inquired, "But what is wrong with friend Robin?"
Their leader was still standing where they had left him, punching the wall.
"He's mad at X for flirting with you," Cyborg informed her patiently.
"Oh." Starfire thought a moment. "I shall go do the up of cheering."
She flew to Robin.
"So now what do we do?" Beast Boy asked his friend.
"We wait," Cyborg responded with a sigh.
Red X reappeared in an empty warehouse a few buildings away from the one where the Titans sat, presumably annoyed and frustrated. The thief grinned beneath his mask as he drew out the emerald which had caused all the trouble. After examining it, it was wonderfully beautiful and would fetch a good price on the market. He replaced it in his pocket and strolled off, resisting the urge to whistle.
He was nearly out of the building when a shift in his costume made him look around. The emerald was floating beside him, encased in black energy.
"What the-" he exclaimed, replacing the jewel before dodging a barrage of boxes. As he was distracted, a warm hand slipped into his pocket for his catch. He groped beside him and caught a cloak. Red X pinned the girl against the wall.
"I thought I had ditched the Titans!" he growled menacingly. The sorceress glared back. Amused at her spirit, and even though she couldn't know it, he met her eyes for an instant.
Amethyst gems gazed back unafraid, and though he knew she couldn't see beneath his mask, he felt like she was looking through it to his soul. But in that moment when she peered into him, the guards around her eyes slipped, and he read her ice, her compassion, and the spark of fire that raged in their center. All at once, he felt all the contours of the hot, lithe body he had pinned against him. The quiet loveliness of the girl who he had captured but was still fearless struck him all at once with the force of a physical blow.
"I don't get lost that easily," she retorted, her musical voice falling over him as he tried to remember what she was responding to, "And it isn't that difficult to find you."
How different form the alien's confused English, this intelligent, subtle repartee. Still startled by revelations and in a hurry to get away from that body before he did something really stupid, Red X dropped her and hurried back a pace to put distance between them. Raven landed easily, drawing herself up proudly. Her hood had fallen back, revealing the icily charming face he had never seen before.
"You can't say my retorts scared you more then my fearless leaders'," she informed him, voice soaked in sarcasm, "So why didn't you knock me out or otherwise do something to facilitate your escape with your hard earned gains?"
"Oh, this?" he managed to respond, pulling out the emerald and studying it. The luster seemed to have gone out of it. He tossed it to Raven, who caught it through her carefully concealed surprise. "You can have it. Somehow, Jewel, it doesn't seem so valuable anymore."
He disappeared; glad of an excuse to flee and regroup. Raven stared at the emerald in bemusement before stepping into a portal of her own. From the shadows, red X stared after her as if seeing her for the first time.
An instant to fall in love.