Disclaimer- I don't own the TT
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.
He yawned as he strode into the ballroom, his dark suit blending perfectly with the other men's fancy outfits. Despite the yawn, he was as alert as a cat in one of its half-sleeps, and just as wary. It had been a long time since he'd even been spotted, but it would never do to become careless.
He circled the dance floor casually, noting the valuables present out of instinct. It was why he went to these pointless galas, after all. But tonight he was here as a civilian, not a thief, and a heist this soon after his last success would be suspicious and unsporting. He had to give the police a sporting chance, after all.
He finally oozed over to his usual corner, where he would hide unless he saw one of his varied acquaintances to whom he wished to speak. It was known at these gatherings that he did not wish to speak, only to observe, and people accepted that, although they wondered at it. They usually assumed that he was simply shy, and so a few girls would come to attempt to coax him out. They always failed, but that just backed up the suspicions. He was one of them, after all, Jump City's elite, and thus could do no wrong.
He surveyed the room, eyes barely stopping at the scantily clad women draped on various things throughout the room. He may have been here tonight for sport, but he had always preferred a challenge to someone so easy to capture. A movement in the shadows at the opposite corner caught his eye. That corner was usually unoccupied; he was the only one who hid at these events. A newcomer was big news, unless this person was sneaking in. He slid around the walls to get closer to the other corner.
There, leaning against the corner, was a girl with blue-violet eyes. Blue-violet eyes he recognized, and had somehow expected to see again.
Red X knew what he thought of all the Titans. He thought the Boy Blunder was an idiot who could never see what was right in front of him; the robot was a good enough sort if overly competitive and trusting; the green kid was a moron without a brain (sure, he knew their names, but not naming them made them less human: the enemy, nothing else). The red-head was hot, if a bit too naïve; the blonde had been cute when she had been with them, but a fool to go to the losing side; the girl with the blue-violet eyes was enigmatic and thus slightly intriguing, he didn't know her as well as the others.
He was quite aware of who the media insisted he loved. He was just as aware that he did nothing to stop that rumor from spreading. The boy blunder obviously believed it, as did the rest of the titans, except maybe the other girl. He could never tell what she thought. But he also knew that the rumor erred. He had no inclination towards the red-head alien, no matter how hot she was. Not that he felt anything for any of the others; he was too good at what he did for that. Emotion just got in the way, and he could always delude himself that the blue-violet eyes he saw in his dreams were just a fantasy.
Red X perched on the spire of the church, peering down at the forms of the Titans, who were searching for him below. He chuckled as he saw Boy Blunder yell pointless orders through the pounding rain, and dropped down to land among them just as they had been about to separate.
As he landed softly on the concrete, the Titans went into instant motion, only discomfited for a second; they had fought him too often to be surprised by his sudden entrances. Still, he was just as fast. He took the green one out the same way he always did, with a quick toss of one of his sticky x's. The others knew better then to head on charge, moving in simultaneously as one well oiled machine. Red X knew better then to face them all at once. Four against one were bad odds even for him.
Even as they charged, he threw the X's engineered for the alien at her. She managed to blast two, but the third hit her right on the chest. The Boy Blunder stopped to catch her, and while his arms were full, Red X managed to incapacitate him as well. Three down, two to go.
The robot charged, hand shifting into the cannon as his other fist drove down, a punch that would have flattened Red X where he stood. But Red X had already moved, and was about to slap an EMP X on the robot's back when it was wrested out of his hand. The violet eyed girl was standing, mostly concealed by the shadows, on the corner of the roof. While he moved to neutralize the new threat, one of the robot's punches caught him a glancing blow to the head, and he was sent tumbling dizzily to the edge, then falling over it as his head whirled with the blow and the knowledge that he could not summon the strength of mind to teleport or grapple or save himself from the inevitable crash and the death that would follow.
His feet hit rough concrete gently. He opened eyes that had been squeezed shut in resigned terror. He was back on the roof, held in the tight clutches of the dark magic that had just saved his life.
"What did you just do?" he asked blankly. No hero would save the life of a villain, no matter how or why or when. Except, apparently, her. The violet-eyed girl simply gave him a empty look. He couldn't read the answer in it at all. It was a question he would ponder for many days to come, he could tell, but right now the most important thing was to figure out how to escape her clutches.
As the terror of death left, his will returned. He lost no time in teleporting away to the other side of the roof from her, bracing himself for the object that he knew would come flying his way. Instead, another massive hand came swinging at him from behind. Only the barely audible thump of the robot's metal feet alerted him in time to dodge it.
"Attacking from behind?" he taunted as he wove in and out of the robot's attacks, punctuated by bricks flying with uncanny aim at his head, "not very honorable."
The robot grinned.
"I'll take note of your complaints when you start to act noble," he replied. Red X was about to retort when another brick forced him to twist in a very uncomfortable fashion and drove his repartee straight out of his mind. He needed to neutralize the witch before she hit dead on and knocked him out.
A quick teleport and he was behind her, slapping the X onto her mouth before she could react, and then he was back, battling the robot. The robot knew exactly what kind of attack to guard against, and was thus delaying the battle for long minutes, but finally Red X saw his opening and flipped over his opponent to slam the EMP onto his back. The robot fell, out of commission. Red X grinned. He had beaten the Titans for the last time. He saluted the Titans mockingly from a rooftop away, before turning on his heels and jogging away.
"Don't jump the gun," a gravely alto informed him as a pool of darkness opened in front of him and blue-violet eyes shone up at him as they rose out of the abyss, "You haven't won yet."
"How did you-" he stopped the automatic question. It didn't matter how she got free, only that she had, and he needed to neutralize her again. He reached into his belt for her X's, but his hand came up empty. The witch dangled a few X's from her slender hand. He looked closer. They were his, alright. He shrugged. Words must not be as imperative to her magic as he had been informed. No matter, he could still defeat her, even if his head was still reeling from too many blows.
"So," he asked as he charged the small girl, "Why did you save me earlier?"
She didn't answer, dodging his blow and sending blasts of power at him, which he in turn dodged.
"Not very talkative, are you" he observed. She raised an eyebrow, and he grinned beneath his mask. She must have been the only person he knew who could express that much emotion in one look, "Or are you just afraid that if you talk to me, my overwhelming charm will sweep you off your feet?"
That got a reaction, just as he had hoped.
"Don't flatter yourself," she spat. He chuckled. The only sound was he light breathing and thump of solid hitting spandex, until he broke it once again.
"You know, no single Titan has ever beaten me," he observed.
"Your point is?" her voice was dripping with sarcasm and the effort keeping up to him was taking on her.
"That following that pattern, the Teen Titans are going to lose their last battle," he replied, his own voice showing none of the not too inconsiderable amount of effort he was exerting.
"No pattern lasts forever," she retorted, managing to pin him against a wall. He ignored the feeling of having her pressed up tight against him and changed the tables, holding her against the wall of the taller building beside the roof where they fought.
"But wouldn't it be a shame if this one did?" He smirked down into blue-violet eyes that glared up at him, "Ending not in a blaze of glory, but a swamp of failure."
For a moment, 4 red eyes were superimposed over her burning purple.
"Yes it would," she agreed in a voice lower then her usual monotone, "But it will not happen."
And in a move faster and stronger then humanly possible, her leg swung up and around and smashed into the side of his head, shattering the bolts that kept his mask in place. It flew off into the street below. There was no way he could recover in time to snatch it before it would be crushed into pieces by the cars. Unwillingly, he glanced at Raven.
Daunted, open chocolate brown eyes met blue-violet. Somehow, without his mask, he could read the shock, the triumph, and even a hint of horror at her feat. She had unmasked him. She had revealed the masked, and now she looked into the face of the one with no face.
Red X resisted the urge to cower away from the staring blue-violet. Without his mask, he wasn't Red X, master thief and coolest of the cool. He was only a civilian playing dress up. Blindly, he looked away and began to run, away from here, away from the person he saw reflected in calm purple eyes.
A familiar warmth covered his face as he felt the mask settle once more over his features. He looked back, emboldened once again by the reemergence of this persona. Raven's hands were glowing black as he felt bolts being fixed, his mask being clinched back in place.
"Are you just going to run?" she asked coldly. He grinned and bounded back, but paused in front of her.
"Why did you do that?" he inquired as the fight began again. She shrugged.
"My argument is with Red X, not whoever you are in your free time," she stated blandly, sweeping his legs out from under him and landing on top of him, pinning him to the ground.
He rolled over, putting himself on top. Her blue-violet eyes glared fearlessly back at him, and now he could read the promise in them. The promise not to tell, and something else, something deeper that he could not yet decipher.
He was so absorbed in his thoughts that she managed to throw him off of her. He landed lightly and was back so quickly with a punch to her temple that she too toppled backwards off the roof, dazed by the force of the blow.
Unthinking he leapt off behind her, streamlining his body. A yard from the ground, he caught her and teleported back up to the roof. She was nearly unconscious when he laid her down gently on the roof and tucked his loot into her hand.
"What-" he put a finger over her mouth to shush her.
"The Titans deserve to go out with a bang," he informed her. Her blue-violet eyes were thankful now, though confused, and in it he could finally read the full promise. He grinned as he melted away into the air. He would see her again. She had promised.
/End Flashback-End Flashback -End Flashback/
He hadn't seen her again. He hadn't seen any of them again. The Titans had disbanded the next day, going out in the blaze of glory he had allotted them. He had not heard hide or hair of them since then, although he could tell who the new hero in Gotham was after a single fight. No one could fight that mush like Robin and not be him. But that was all he knew of the former Teen Titans.
Still, he was not at all surprised that now, 5 years later, a girl with blue-violet eyes was seated in the other corner. She had told him so, after all, and so he walked over to her and slipped into the chair beside her with no fear of being rebuffed. She glanced up at him and sighed.
"Why did you save me?" she asked, as if the past 5 years had never happened.
"Repaying my debt. Why are you not shocked or something to see me here? Why are you here?" Laughter echoed in her eyes that was present nowhere in her face or tone.
"Robin got me entry, said I needed to be more social. I've seen you before. I assumed you had seen me." The matter of fact way she said it shocked him. She had been a hero, she knew who he was. She should have taken him in long before this, if she had noticed him.
"And you haven't approached me? I'm offended Raven, I really am," he joked.
"Rachel, not Raven," she corrected, but without venom, "And you weren't supposed to know who I was."
"Sorry," he apologized without any sincerity. She chuckled.
"No you aren't, but that's okay. I assume I wasn't supposed to recognize you either."
He shrugged, watching the no longer dark, but now vibrant young woman next to him.
"It was inevitable."
"Shouldn't you be more surprised to see me?" she inquired idly, "It cannot be every day an old opponent shows up at a ball you happen to be attending."
This time, without the mask, his grin was visible. She smiled unconsciously back, a shy, tentative smile that barely reached more then her eyes.
"No, I wasn't," he admitted. She tilted her head in confusion.
He shrugged and beamed down into her bemused eyes.
"I said no such thing," she contradicted with a well hidden laugh.
"True," he agreed, grey eyes sparkling, "But your eyes did."
A bell tolled midnight. She shook off her confusion and stood, shaking out her long dark skirts.
"And that means it is time for Cinderella to leave," she informed him.
"Will you be here next time?" he inquired, his attempts to sound nonchalant failing miserably. She smiled back to him, her whole face lighting up with its force.
And she was gone without another word or look.
But somehow, when he opened his door a few days later and she was standing outside, he wasn't surprised.
"What do you want?" it didn't sound as venomous as it would have with anyone else. Something about those blue-violet eyes took away his sting.
"We have a Titan reunion tonight," she informed him, "I need a date."
"So?" he wasn't going to make this any easier then he had to. Watching her squirm was just too fun. She was pretty cute when embarrassed, too.
"So," she sighed. He knew what she was going to say, she knew he knew it, and so she was going to have to be the one to break the deadlock. "You are going to be that date."
He grinned and shrugged theatrically.
"I don't have anything better to do," he agreed. Actually, he had been planning a heist, but that could be delayed. If the employer didn't like it, screw him. Red X was the best, and as such could set his own schedule. He continued, "Do you want me in costume or out?"
She giggled, than clapped a hand over her mouth in horror.
"We can let them figure it out," she dead panned. He held in a whoop.
"I will see you then, then," he informed her.
"Good," she may have had no expression, but he could see the smile in her eyes as she turned to walk away.
"Wait," he called. She turned back, and nearly ran into him. He took a hurried step back. "How did you know I would go?"
Much to his surprise, and apparently hers, she stood on tip toes and pressed her lips to his. Her blue-violet eyes glittered into his.