Chronologically, this takes place early season 2. However, it was written before season 5 aired.


Jinx was nervous.

Her first solo assignment (finally!) and she was practically jittering. Nerves had generally never been a problem in the past; but then, she'd never been given a solo assignment before, and this one would either make or break her covert operations grade. An 'A' here would balance out that 'C' she got in governmental villainy—and maybe Kid Wykkid would stop teasing her for mixing up Machiavelli with Mussolini (damned M-named Italians!). At least she could come right back with a reminder of his 'D' in seduction techniques last semester.

The place was packed, Jinx noted, and not without an increment of relief. The large the crowd made it easier to blend in and therefore less likely that someone would recognize her—though dressed in civvies and with brown colored contacts she looked plain enough, if a little punk-gothic. And she had a good seat! Third row and right in front of the center ring, just behind the press section. When she'd entered the big top she noticed that all of Jump's major newspapers were represented, but her eyebrows had arched some when she caught sight a press badge from the Daily Planet on the lapels of the bespectacled reporter in front of her. Why would a major east coast newspaper want to bother with a charity performance in Jump City? Especially a relatively small-time circus like Haly's. This gig wasn't Barnum and Bailey's or anything…

When the show finally began, Jinx quickly grew bored of it. Rather than paying attention to the opening act she found herself scanning the crowd, taking in the sight of smiling happy families with mixed emotions. On the one hand, she denied her envy—no one had taken her to the circus as a child—but on the other, she couldn't help the morbid curiosity of wondering just how many of them would wind up with horrible nightmares tonight. Of course, she was still morbidly curious herself as to why the headmistress had given her this particular assignment. 'Unfinished business,' the woman had said, but never bothered to explain further.

As the acts dragged on Jinx's wandering eyes flashed on a face she recognized. What in the name of Hecate is Bruce Wayne doing here? Gotham is across the continent from Jump...

The woman on the billionaire's arm had to have been a model—she sat nearly as tall as he did, with graceful features and long, flowing black hair. Jinx smirked—even here in Jump City, Bruce Wayne's supposed sexual antics made the tabloids more often than not. She resisted the urge to shake her head, contenting herself with the knowledge that at least her little surprise would have a good audience.

It wasn't until three acts later that Jinx realized the blond, bearded man on Bruce's other side was none other than Oliver Queen, America's other pet billionaire playboy. Jump was only twenty miles outside of Star City, so his being here at least made sense. Perhaps Wayne was out visiting Queen? Their companies had grown increasingly buddy-buddy ever since Wayne's collaborations with LexCorp ended two years ago.

The two of them probably sponsored this thing, Jinx realized suddenly. She remembered that they did a lot of that—charity work and such. Well, corporate villainy had been the most boring class ever, but at least now Jinx felt she'd gotten something out of it.

Mystery solved, Jinx went back to people watching and found that the blonde bombshell on Queen's arm seemed the perfect counterpart to Wayne's dark-haired beauty. She could hardly wait to see if they were the type to cry hysterically at shocking tragedies, and if their men could handle a weeping woman.

Then finally the acrobats took the stage. Well, so to speak. There were four of them, but her mark was the guest headliner. Jinx had no idea why the headmistress wanted some carnie dead, but it wasn't her place to question orders. Instead she waited for him to take to the tightrope alone. Snapping it out from under him would be trickier, but more professional than simply collapsing the entire structure. And professionalism counted for a lot when one was aspiring to professional villainy.

At last the moment came. Grayson was to complete—without a net—a tumbling pass across the rope. The ringmaster called for quiet, and Jinx rolled back her sleeves. She was rather disappointed that she wouldn't get to see him complete the pass—he'd been a joy to watch thus far, the gymnast in her had conceded readily enough, and it would have been interesting to see how he managed to land his hands on the rope. With a mental sigh Jinx summoned her powers over probability, and waited for precisely the right moment to—

FLASH!

Her hex struck true. The snap seemed to echo under the big top, right along with the audience's collective scream. The people bolted to their feet—Jinx included, because it wouldn't have served at all if she was the only spectator to appear unsurprised—but then she watched in amazement as Grayson—falling upside down, no less—reached out…

...And snagged the frayed end of the tightrope!

The slack ran out quickly, breaking his fall, but the recoil jounced him like a fish on a line. The strain of it had to have dislocated Grayson's shoulder (there was no way it couldn't have) but miraculously the kid kept his grip—though a tremor through the Probability Spectrum alerted her to the fact that he shouldn't have. In the moment though Jinx didn't care. She was too busy watching Grayson swing out like Tarzan towards the rigging to pay much attention to the gentle thrum of incongruity.

At the apex of the swing Grayson released the rope, turned a loose flip in the air, and—body flung out like he could freakin' fly—managed to grab hold the rigging in his good hand. Then he was sliding down to safety, the friction on his chalked grip leaving a cloudy contrail trailing in its wake. Jinx was so impressed that she barely realized she'd failed in her objective...

...Until she caught a glimpse of the stands across from her. Bruce Wayne stood rigid, hands clenched into fists at his sides. The stormy blue eyes that locked with hers burned black flame, and unaccountably, Jinx shivered. Hecate... Not even Slade's wrath had fallen on her so intensely.

She was so preoccupied by the unbanked hatred in that gaze that she failed to notice the reason she'd had such a good view of everything: the reporter seated in front of her had vanished. Nor did she fully realize that Wayne had recognized her—disguise and all.

Or that his date—as well as Oliver Queen and his date, had left the stands…


-fin-