Chapter Forty Two:
Trying to forget the dreams that had been stirring in her mind, Terra fluttered her eyes open, blinking several times softly before sighing and rolling onto her back, staring at the ceiling fan with a transfixed look on her pale face. Softly she placed a open palm over her stomach, cringing just slightly at the churn that answered her.
Just consider Slade's offer… you know he can help; he knows what he's talking about when it comes to these sort of things… She heard. But it's going to hurt… I'm not afraid of that… what am I afraid of then?
Terra lifted her other hand and softly rubbed her cheek as if the slap Slade had planted once before still stung there. It was still a powerful memory when she felt it come back; being betrayed by the next best thing she had to a father at the time had been devastating. Her fingers tightened slightly, grabbing her skin before falling to her shoulder, finger tips dancing softly over the bony complexion as she frowned, eye-brows turning upside down.
Closing her eyes for a moment; Terra turned her head to the side and looked towards the window, watching as the yellow curtains shifted slightly from the air draft in the room from the fan. Deciding to ponder the choices a little later, Terra rolled back to the side and slipped her feet to the floor. She looked at the desk across from her, blinking then smiling just slightly at the small fold of clothing that had been left for her.
"Rose musta left them." She muttered, walking over and going through the small pile, before dressing quickly. The stretchy jeans fit surprisingly well, even if just a little loose around the waist; her hips held them up. Terra was surprised she fit into the powder blue spaghetti strap tank top as well. Even if she did examine herself in the mirror and cringe at the clothing; this was so not her style… but it beat dirty clothes that where now thrown on the floor.
Terra walked towards her window, her bare feet comfortable on the smooth carpeting. She pushed past the veil like curtains and peered outside, lifting her brow as she watched the two people in the back yard. It only took her a moment to recognize Jericho by his blond hair, and soon then X. Man, it was hard getting used to not seeing that mask… how sick was it; that she actually missed the suit a little bit? It was hot. Terra grinned just slightly before frowning and shaking her head. Such a girl.
It looked like the two boys where practicing hand-to-hand combat. Both had bandaged hands, and (as Terra couldn't help but blush just slightly at) shirtless. She watched them for a minute, leaning against the window frame with a little frown on her face, she noticed that X was looking different then usual. His pale, almost ice-white skin was slowly beginning to tan again from the suns exposure, and she noticed it took on a slightly yellow tint to it. As the sun peeked from the few clouds that blocked it; Terra saw his hair highlight with a more radiant brick-red color. It wasn't long before she began to squirm and grow bored of the housing walls around her, watching the two boys outside have all the fun was no longer an interest.
Making another quick set of actions, Terra put on a fresh pair of socks and her boots soon then, before rushing out of her door and down the stairs. She decided to go out the front door, and walk around the gardens. All around her she could still feel the power looming, it was heavy, and she was afraid that it was weighing her down again. Against Slade's advice, Terra pushed the feeling aside, it was becoming nature to just try and ignore it these days and so she didn't give it much thought. Her arm still burned slightly, but the fresh bandage on it and the medicine she had taken was making it feel better, and it was a little amount of pain to consider anyways.
Terra turned the corner, brushing past the ever green brushes and was welcomed by the wide green lawn, ended by a cliff side lake and surrounded by trees; she looked around and amazed at Slade's choice of residence. Skirting the edge of the stone wall house, Terra walked alongside the brick walkway, her eyes turning to X and Jericho as they continued without noticing her; or at least not showing they noticed her.
"YOU GUYS FIGHT LIKE GIRLS!"
Terra looked over to the patio she was making her way towards, grinning just slightly at Rose's choice of words. The girl was standing with her arms crossed now; sweat pants and what seemed to be her favorite style of shirt, another spaghetti strap tank top (this one pink) that showed her mid drift. She was barefoot, her hair pulled back in a loose pony tail; she still had a bit of a mean image to her.
It was only a matter of seconds before Rose turned her head to the side and smiled at Terra's presence, waving her forward before gesturing towards the lawn chairs that had been pulled out. "Good to see your up, how's the wrist doing?"
But Terra didn't answer; she knew it wouldn't be any good, as Rose's attention was already directed back to the boys, a little bit of a snarky look on her face as she scoffed at them. Terra frowned just slightly, following her glance to X and Jericho before she plumped herself into the lawn chair, resting her leg over the arm rest.
"How long have they been doing that?" She asked.
"Eh, a few hours. They stink too," Rose joked.
"You've been watching them the whole time?" Terra lifted her brow. Okay, so maybe she was just a little… a little protective of X. Speaking of which; the geomancer shifted her eyes to him for a moment before forcefully looking back away.
"On and off." Rose shrugged, sitting down as well.
"Oh..." Terra shrugged the best she could in her position before frowning with an annoyed look. Oh knock it off, she said, before sighing and rolling her eyes back to Rose. "I half expected you to be out there with them." She said.
"Oh; I only fight big boys, not toddlers." Rose clipped, a sarcastic grin on her face as she sat down and tossed her feet onto the little porch table.
Terra chuckled before leaning back a little further, making the lawn chair creek slightly at her pressure. She watched the boys a little longer, before frowning slightly, and cocking a half eyed look towards Rose. "They fight like they know each other."
Shrugging, Rose leaned back further in her seat as well, folding her arms over her mid-drift. "Isn't that part of the art?"
"You know what I mean." Terra muttered, narrowing her eyes a little further, but for a long while Rose didn't answer her, instead stared ahead, a muse on her face as she lifted her laced fingers to her chin and rested them together, the way her shoulders rolled reminded Terra of Slade's on pose during his thought processes, but she kept focused on the white haired girl; wanting an answer, even if it was being fueled by the little jealous part of her. The geomancer didn't notice that the two teenaged boys had ceased their training, but did notice when Rose tilted her head again and replied slowly.
"I already told you; it's not my place." Rose's eyes shifted to Terra, then looked behind her, her silver blue eye gaining a sort of expression to it.
Terra raised her eye brow, confused, before looking behind her, and startling into a upright position to see X standing behind her. But he didn't look down to her but exchanged glances with Rose, then shrugged, a numb looking overcoming his face before he pulled his dark blue T-shirt back on and walking into the backdoor, sliding it shut loudly, making the glass tremble.
"It's kind of complicated." Rose shifted her eyes to Terra, but the geomancer was staring her down intently. "But I guess if you really want to know…"
It was a confusing part of time for both of the young teenagers. Rose had been spending a lot of time trying to cope with herself, staring at the mirror many times, and many times shattering the glass with her fist. Anger was swollen in her chest, the loss of her mother leaving a gaping hole of uncertainty she was longing to refill with something. Other times, she was staring down at her hands, as if she could still see the blood of her uncle falling between her fingers. The swords she had used to end his life with had been given to her as gifts from her father, and she would look up at them hanging on her wall with a bitter taste.
The last Ravager, her uncle; had tortured her, had wanted to kill her… but he had ended up ending her mother's life with the twist of events. During those long days, she could still see his face looking up at her as she raised the knives to him, her father standing next to her patiently, waiting for her to claim her revenge, and new title. The Ravager had stared up at her, his eyes dark, his strong narrow jaw set tight, as his forehead set heavy over his eyes. The brown hair fell in layers about his face, as he waited for his death with some sort of dignity, tied to prevent his escape; he had already known his time had come.
Rose heard his scream of pain every night for months after that, until it slowly destroyed a part of her humanity, her first life taken was the hardest. Her father had then taken her home to allow a recovery time; the security had been more then comforting to her. Rose could also recall how Wintergreen had continued to offer her his own support, staying out of her way, but always there to give her a hand if she needed it.
Not long afterwards however; Slade brought a new face home. Rose remembered looking over the banister at the scraggly looking boy. Her eyes had squinted, her nose crinkled at him, and the slight hint of familiarity she could see in his face. But she had had her own issues at the time, and didn't question him, or offer any conversation. Later that night at dinner, the boy had finally confronted Slade, asking why he was here, what he wanted, and how soon he could leave.
Slade had replied that it would make sense later, he would show him. Rose had become curious by then, her gray eyes(as they had both been intact at the time) shifting towards the boy; Alex several times. Whenever he would catch her looking, he'd make a squinted, ugly face towards her before turning back away; rude little punk.
After supper, Slade took both of the two young teenagers back to an office like room, a computer screen was on, paused. Rose had then recognized the scene; it was a video tape of the warehouse, the same one that had been haunting her the past while. She could make out the three figures as her father, herself, and her uncle. The Ravager still had his mask on, the blood red color, with the open top where his brown hair would spill out just above nightmarish eye slits.
Alex had shouldered next to her to look at the screen, before scoffing and crossing his arms. "What's this?" He had asked boredly, but she could see the interest in his chocolate eyes. He watched when Slade didn't answer him, but played the tape.
Rose remembered shivering, feeling a slight faint run over her as she watched Slade walk over and de-mask the man over the video tape. His hair ruffled then fell around his eyes; he breathed one heavy breath, before looking up to meet his death. As the hair parted, his strong, sharp features showed again; the straight and almost snarling expression was snapped back at her, and Rose almost had to look away for a moment.
But the boy next to her was staring even harder, his eyes narrowed at the screen, his arms sagging at his sides as for just a moment, a look of a lost expression crossed his face. Rose had tilted her eyes towards him just long enough to see him mouth the word "Dad…" oh so quietly to himself. Again she felt the shiver, as the air suddenly began to strangle her; her own eyes opened a little wider, before turning back to the screen blinking, and looking back to Alex. She saw the resemblance now; the way the brown hair grew, naturally parting around the almost triangle-face, while keeping a scraggly appearance. The jaw bone, the strong forehead, and the dark look that loomed under the eyes.
"Your father," Slade had said presently, waiting until the video tape showed Rose thrusting the knives into Wade DeFarge, The third Ravager, watching Alex startle and jump, before continuing. "And my brother."
The silence following was almost constricting, Rose shifted and moved a little further away from the boy, her head hung, but she couldn't say she felt ashamed; the killing of her uncle, his father, had been justified. Haunting; but justified to her, she would not regret the death of Wade, but as she looked to Alex, she couldn't help but feel sympathy.
The tape showed Wade leaned forward slightly, his eyes wide, the dawning death showing through the sudden emotion that swirled around in his eyes. His killer stepped back, letting the tip of the swords drop to the floor as blood slowly dripped from them with a poetic motion. She had watched; her face twisting just slightly with a mixture of shock, fear and joy. After Wade fell forward and to the side, the cold roll of death fluently falling over his face, his head slamming against the hard surface flooring, all went quiet; before Slade turned the tape off.
Alex had been excused; and surprisingly enough took the offer of a room down the hall. But he was sitting outside, looking over the large lake from the cliff spot with no fear of the falling. Rose had walked up from behind him quietly, the night warm, and the bugs chirping wildly. She had then taken a seat next to him, sprawling out over the edge, letting her feet dangle over the edge as her heels kicked back and forth.
"You're not here to say sorry; are you?" Alex had asked with a scoff.
"Do I look like I ever say sorry?"
"So what do you want then Starbright?"
Ah, insults. Rose had squinted her nose, scowling at him before drawing her temper back in. "Dad said you can stay here if you want."
"He's your dad?" Alex had then lifted his brow up at her, giving her a complex look before shrugging.
"Yep," Rose had twisted an evil little look towards him, before throwing her arm around his boney shoulders and pulling him close. "So that makes me your cousin, and you know what? I've always wanted a cousin- I have all of this pretty make up, and these frilly dresses I just can't wait to-"
"GET OFF ME!" He had cried, throwing her arm from his shoulders before scooting further away; only resulting in Rose's laughter.
At that point it had started a odd, and wired friendship. Rose could still remember the cold look in Alex's eyes when he had said that he wished he had been the one to kill Wade, but wouldn't hold it against her, the anger that had built up around him was like an armored wall, but that had seemed to interest Slade. The man had been tracking Alex for quite some time, ever since he had found out about him after Wade's death, he had also shown interest in Alex's short-time friend, Dick Grayson; but mentioned it very little since forth.
It took time, and coxing, before Alex would finally trust Rose and her father enough to take them up on their offer of combat and acrobatics training. He had been told he had a lot of potential, and Rose had then seen the vanity in his eyes shine just a little before seeing then one of his weaknesses. He was always eager for attention; negative or not so became many things. An over-achiever, a prankster, or a just plain jerk; he loved getting realized, although never seemed all that interested in actually socializing. As the slow months of training persisted, and Rose and Alex became even more comfortable with each other, she became one of the few people he would agree to work with. He refused Slade's helpful advice on almost everything, and always hated Wintergreen for some reason that Rose was sure not even Alex knew the real reason too; but he allowed himself a few times to rely on her, and she him.
A few years passed, and as Alex started growing older, Rose started to see the resemblance in his face compared to Wade more and more. Even though she had since then continued to follow her father's wishes, and even accompanied him on a few assassin missions; Wade's face would still haunt her, and she soon found it hard to look at Alex straight in the eye. Rose noticed that Slade had also taken note of Alex's maturing features, and for some reason not long after Alex would refuse to look Slade in the face. Rose had never found out why, but had dismissed it eagerly and gone on with her new life.
The rough, angry boy slowly began to change over those couple of years. His angry exterior was dropping as Slade's training continued. Alex was never left with nothing to do, he was always given some sort of challenge, even theft missions as it seemed to be his favorite. As a safe place to call home; or at least closer then he could last remember became familiar, his cocky, cool and smooth attitude surfaced. He gained witty little comebacks for everything told to him, and was always more then happy to open his mind to the possibilities of completing any task thrown at him. Rose knew however that he had a soft spot, she had only seen it a few times, but was quick to realize that he rarely hurt people anymore. She didn't know if it was because he had wanted to change away from the lost and darker figure he had once been, or if perhaps something in him had just matured to that point; she had always scoffed at it as a weakness.
Rose recalled then, one of the last times she saw Alex between gaping time periods. He had come home from one of his solo-outings, his face red and eyes storming in such a way that Rose had paused half-way down the stairs to consider his expression with a lifted brow of interest on her part. Alex stormed past her, throwing a black hooded mask to the floor on his way. The rain outside didn't crease, but continued to poor in all of it's rage.
"SLADE!" He had screamed, standing in the middle of the living room, his shoulders heaving, his breathing ragged. He had a wild look of fury circling around him, but Rose didn't say anything to him. She had watched as her father walked down the stairs, stopping just behind her and staring down at the boy with a straight, but curious look on his face. Alex however, then wasted no time in persisting his anger. "You knew!" He cried, pointing an accusing finger towards Slade, before slashing his hand back to his side. "You knew and you didn't tell me!"
"You're not ready." Slade said monotonously.
"My ass, you bastard; I'm more ready then you think!" Alex growled, Rose could hear the familiar DeFarge rage swallowing within his voice. "I had every right to know."
Slade shook his head, and for a moment, Rose looked up to her father, and she could have sworn she saw a sympathetic look in his gray eye as he frowned just slightly. "William, don't think a few thefts make you invincible, you're not ready to take on something of that height. Not alone."
"This is my fight," Alex snarled, his face twisting, his brows furrowing in a knot above his storming brown eyes before he bent down and picked up the sopping wet mask. With a hard tug he pulled it over his head and just as quickly as he came; stormed right back out into the cold rain.
Rose had blinked, watching the best friend she had had in a long time leave, before looking up to her father. "I'm going after his stupid a-"
"You stay." Slade commanded with a sudden stern tone. "This is his lesson."
Rose had been dissapointed, she had then stared back to the open door; watching it shutter in the wind. "Whose he going after?"
Rose sighed, shaking her head. "It was years before I saw him again... I lost count of the time; time doesn't mean much to people like us. I heard he ran down to Mexico after his run-in with Zucco... but by the time he ever came back I had been gone for awhile doing my own thing. Dad hooked him up with the Red X suit, told him where to find it, and how to get to it, I guess you where to help with that, what with all the information he had gotten on the big T tower."
Terra shuttered, before looking away quickly in shame.
"But anyways; meeting up with you guys was the first time I've seen Alex in years... if you want to know what happened since then, you're going to have to get it out of him. He'll never tell me." Rose shrugged, suddenly trying to change her expression.
After the story, Terra had left, a new load to muse over, she wasn't too sure if she wanted to comprehend it all. Things where slowly piecing together, but as one of the biggest things X had ever loathed, family tie, had been revealed, she could see what he had wanted to hide so well. She knew only as much about his father, Wade, as she had been told, but was able to piece together the man fairly well. His close bloodline to Slade too... told Terra why X had been skittish about letting her know about it. And at first, the geomancer couldn't help she had been slightly appalled, but after a moment of thought she couldn't say she associated X with Slade in that way. Perhaps a few months, or even weeks ago she would have felt differently, but as she had once said; things change. In all of this swirl of thought; Terra too felt a sort of... embarrassment on her part, the way she had always gotten skittish, or suspicious of X and Rose's interaction now made her face heat up slightly at how childish she had acted, and thinking the worse rather then just waiting for the facts.
She gave X time to think for himself, or maybe it have been vice versa, but it wasn't until later into the evening did Terra actually go out to look for Alex. The entire day she had felt her powers pulsing around her, it was becoming almost a habit so often, that she was becoming numb to it, even if Slade continued to warn her against such self-induced naivety.
Terra found X sitting at the very far edge of the yard, the small cliff that was only about ten feet from the sandy shallow waters below. She sat down next to him then, rolling her shoulders back as she leaned back on her arms. Terra could see that he wanted to ask her how she was feeling; she could see it in his eyes before he looked away. She frowned, knowing that X always did what he wanted, and if he didn't ask if she was okay, she knew he didn't want to ask... whether or not that disturbed her she wasn't sure. The deeper emotion however, pushed her through the petty surface of his expressions, as she softened her expression, moving her hand and touching his arm gently with her finger tips as she leaned a little closer, tilting her head to the side as her hair spilled around her face.
"I'm fine... thanks for asking," she grinned slightly; but when X looked further away from her, Terra frowned again, letting her hand drop.
"You where right."
Terra blinked slowly. "Wow, how long did you have to practice that?"
But he wasn't grinning, his head was slightly tilted down, brown hair falling around his head in a sort of blockade so that Terra could just barely make out his shaded eyes within the shadows dancing around his sharply cut face.
She fidgeted, frowning in turn as her face seemed to drop just slightly as she continued to stare at him. She wasn't sure she wanted to ask, in fear he would say something, do something that would again feel like her heart got torn out, but she was brave enough to ask anyways. "About what?" Terra was surprised how low, and whispery her voice had come out as.
"We we're a bad idea." X blinked, his lips turning inwards just slightly, but he wasn't able to pull any sort of cool, collected look this time, she could see the way his walls where beginning to tremble, but instead of focusing on her own pain, Terra narrowed her eyes at his instead.
Shaking her head, Terra turned a sharp look to X as she felt her chest begin to thud with an anxious sort of fear. "What makes you say that all of a sudden?"
She could see his shoulder tense around his neck, like a sort of block as he lifted his eyes out to the lake with a stone cold look. "You're a distraction. I got more important things to do."
"Like what?" She snapped, not willing to let him go that easily she forced herself to push past her lodging fear of any kind of separation. "Zucco? If that's it, your stupid revenge cycle, then what? What's after that?" Terra knew that he only thought in the present, he never seemed to anticipate what to do next, and it was times like this that it irked her.
"What's it to you?!" X cried, turning to her suddenly as he pushed himself from the cliff side, slamming the toe of his shoe into the dirt and spraying it up at her in insult.
"You say that every time," She snarled, catching the dirt with a roll of her fingers and sending it to the side, before she too stood to her feet. "And every time I wonder how blind you really are if you can't figure it out."
"That's the problem, I did figure it out." X swiped his hand in the air.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Last night; if I hadn't been distracted, that guy wouldn't have snuck up on me, us." X curled his lip again, this time it lifted into a snarl as his brown eyes fired towards her in a almost accusing sort of manner. Terra saw he was blaming her for distracting him, which ended up in her getting hurt. He blamed her for getting hurt, but let it anger him anyways, it was times like this she could only too clearly see the box that X had formed around himself, a comfortable barrier of a cage; even if he tried so hard to escape the cage of reality, and the world, he always hid back into his own. In one way she could understand his way of thinking, the way he turned the tables so it wasn't his fault, but it didn't infuriate her any less.
"You don't know that."
"Yes I do," X shook his head, before forcing his look back away, his face was flushed into a tanner color, as his fists balled tightly to his sides. "You know, I used to be so sure of myself, or everything I did, I never questioned it, or looked back or regretted. Ever. And that worked, it got me by all these years without ever having to lug around any regret or pain or-"
But he had already argued this with her before, and this time Terra was determined not to let it end badly again. She shook her head, stepping closer as she grabbed his arm. "Or anything at all." He was trying to avoid her face, but Terra skillfully flushed it towards her, and when she caught the glimpse of his eyes locked her own onto them with a somber little frown. "Look what never looking back did to you."
"And look what always looking back did to you." He snarled quietly.
Terra stared at him for a moment, shock rippling through her expression before she closed her open mouth and bowed her head slightly. He had a point, a very good point, but then so did she. Being opposite sides of the same coin sometimes made things difficult to understand each other, but for some reason the more stubborn he got on these 'conversations' the more headstrong she always got to try and even them out. In much of the same fashion he acted around her, someone had to be there to balance the other out, and it was like they couldn't help but comply. "Alright, I'll admit it, I'm as screwed up as you; does that make you happy?"
He snorted towards her, looking down at her as if she where some sort of disgusting thing, yanking his arm free from her he turned his back and began walking back to the house. "Just leave me alone."
The geomancer watched him stalk off for a minute, before her brows twisted down towards her nose. Terra bolted after him, again grabbing his arm, and swinging him around with all her strength. "No, I'm not just going to 'leave you alone' to go mope around like some lost kid." Terra eyed him over, frowning deeply as her fingers dug into his bare arm. "I know what you're going through... I can help, whether or not you want me too. I wont let you waste off like I've tried to do."
X looked a little shocked at her, staring at her with a blank expression, but rapidly vivid brown eyes. But he was stubborn too, and shook his head disdainfully before turning to leave again. Listening to a rapidly flourish of instinct; Terra was quicker then him, her fingers dug back into his skin, yanking him back as she lurched forward reaching out longingly she caught the back of his head within her palm as she pushed her face up to his. Pulling his head down to her, Terra passionately pressed her lips against his, as her eyes crammed closed. She felt his tense shock, he wasn't moving, but she danced her lips between his; forcing his mouth open as she pressed her body up against is. She could feel the heat generating between them already, his face felt hot to her touch, the sweet, almost tangy smell of his skin was all around her senses, arousing a emotion in her stomach.
Slowly, X accepted her, as Terra let go of his nail-bitten arm, he softly touched her waist as her spare hand now moved up towards his face as well. He tilted his head to the side, grasping her lips and holding her still for a moment before she broke free again, grasping his upper lip tightly. There was a short moment of passion; she could feel it like a warm vibration as his lips overwhelmed her own intentions. X didn't break away as he took in a deep breath, she felt his chest heave with the effort; pushing against her own, but the geomancer stayed willingly close. Terra shivered, feeling his tongue hint towards the very edge of her lips, but she didn't let him press further before she softly pulled her face away from his, her eyes half open as they both took in a heavy breath.
"I'm not letting you go too." She whispered, her fingers moving to brush past his hair as her eyes flickered up to meet his. "I can't..." Terra shook her head as her hair spun wildly around her head, biting back a sob that threatened to pull at her emotions, averting her eyes back down she soon then closed them as she felt the tears threaten to flood her face. As she pressed her face against his chest, she tried to think of something else to say, although nothing else seemed to fit. But as she felt his arms begin to cradle her, wrapping around her back with one hand cupped over her crown, she knew she had said all she had to.
With her arms wrapped tightly around his waist, Terra pressed her face further into his chest, not wishing to look outside yet as they rocked gently back and forth for a moment. For being someone who tried so hard to be cold and distant from the world, Terra couldn't help but continue to be amazed at how comforting X could be, how warm and how close he could bring her to the feeling of a home. Not as close as the Titan's, or Beast Boy had ever brought her, but close enough to make a difference, close enough to allow her some sort of support. Still, Terra couldn't help but frown at how something just didn't feel quite right; she still felt the anxiety pulsing through her, she felt a sort of fear engulfing her. The same passionate, but fearful emotion that became entitled to her every time she shared a moment with X.
After a moment they moved back towards the cliff, this time settling a bit further from it, sitting down on the crisp green lawn. Terra watched as Alex laid down, folding his hands under his head as the moon began to rise. She grinned just a little, wiping her eyes just in case tears had strayed down. She hated to be seen crying, even with people she knew and trusted. Crawling over the grass, she plodded herself ontop of him, making X grunt out in displeasure.
"OUCH!" He cried, moving his palms under her before throwing her off to the side.
"HEY!" She screamed, plodding to the ground before sitting up and glaring towards him from under her hair. "What was that for?"
"I'm not a pillow."
"You'll be a pillow if I want you to be a pillow."
"You heard me, pretty boy." She growled playfully, grabbing some grass in her palm before throwing it at him childish, laughing all the same as she felt a normality fall back into place between them. The constant little tug-o-war they never seemed to stop playing, but she couldn't deny that it intrigued her in a way.
"Hey!" He shot, waving his hand at the grass before reaching forward and lurching for her leg. Terra saw it coming, but didn't move in time as she felt him grab her ankle and pull her over the grass as she screamed. Alex pulled her under him, Terra laughed as she tried pushing at him with her feet, but they where soon subdued as he bent over her, grinning wickedly. "I heard you have a fatal weakness."
Terra stopped laughing, frowning as she stared up at him with mortification. "... it was a lie."
"I don't think it was." He threatened with a dangerous look spawning over his face.
"Oh-... please... please PLEASE Do-ONN'T! AAAHHHHH!!!!!" Terra screamed louder wiggling over the ground as she combusted into laughter at his fingers tickling up and down her sides. No matter how far she rolled over the ground though, he was right there tormenting her. Terra pulled herself together, fighting past the tears of laughter before she lifted her knee's and straddled his hip bones. He didn't seem to think much of it, until Terra pulled him down to the side and landed on top.
Even then she was too quick for his reaction to kick in, Terra threw her fingers down, running them up and down his rib cage before tickling up near his arm pits. She wasn't sure if she had ever heard him laugh like that before, it actually sounded like a happy sort of laugh, it was odd coming from him, but it made her smile all the same. Soon enough, Alex was rolling, trying to get out from under her as he yelled through his laughing fits.
"STOP- AHAHAHA- IT AHAHAHAHHH -NOW!!!!!" With that, X threw her to the side, making Terra roll around on the side.
Terra moaned, rubbing her head before look up in time to see X come flying at her. She squealed, skittering to the side, but was too late as X tackled her down to the side. She couldn't help but laugh as she pounded her fists on his shoulder, before finally hitting him in the side of the head, listening to him yelp out in surprise as he let her go. Terra quickly crawled away, but again she felt him grab her ankle, screaming she was yanked backwards, getting a mouthful of grass before she rolled onto her back to kick at him. But X had already advanced ontop of her and quickly reverted her aimed foot away before grabbing her wrists and pinning them down.
"You fight dirty." She accused with a slant of her brows.
"You know you like it."
"Doesn't make it any less dirty, cheap shot." Terra hissed up at him, before pressing her head back down to the ground as he leaned down after her. Terra blinked, grinning just a little as she quickly caught onto his intention, and she let him think he was going to get away with it for a little while, wiggling her hands free as she moved them to his face, before pushing him back upwards and giggling loudly at his annoyance.
"I thought I told you not to just try that whenever." She warned with a little glare on her face, knocking him off to the side before sitting up.
"I thought you would figure out I don't listen."
"Oh..." She snorted, "good point there." Pulling herself upright, Terra took in a deep breath, looking to X from the corner of her eyes, before grinning just a little bit before it got quiet between them, the night birds chirping and the crickets buzzing loudly from the tree's.
Terra closed her eyes for a moment, and took in a deep breath before rolling to the side and snuggling up against one of the few people she felt safe with anymore. They had both been able to make the best with the break they had gotten tonight, even if X had tried skirting to the edge of throwing it back away. It made Terra think, as she opened her eyes and stared back up at the small, but crystal clear dots in the cold sky. Could they keep going? She wasn't sure, but part of her told her she didn't have a choice, she didn't have any other backup plan, or options; X was her final chance, and as she turned to stare at him for a moment, she determined to herself she'd hang onto that chance by tooth and nail if she had too. Anything to keep from having to be alone again.
She snuggled her side up closer to his own, attracted to the warmth of his body against the cold night, because she didn't want to go inside, as this was a temporary escape, Terra intended to make full use of it.
"How much did she tell you?"
"Rose. How much did she tell you about me?"
Terra sobered, looking away from X as she blinked slowly. "You ran off after Zucco... that's all I know."
There was another pause, this one was longer. Alex was tensing up beside her, she could feel him straining to think on what to do; knowing he hated to have to carry on a thought process. He was lazy like that. "I'm nothing like him." He said boldly into the air, trying to make some sort of statement, and making it perfectly clear.
Terra frowned softly, reaching up and grabbing one his hands in her own and letting it set up above their heads. "I know." She lied gently. But she could see the resemblance, the impulsive decision making, the disorderly way of life, the disregard for most other people, but she wouldn't tell him that, because she had a feeling he already knew. Terra knew the pain of being a sort of symbol for someone else, she knew that bearing family marks could be hard, she understood, and she also understood the comfort in lying to ones self so let him do so. Ignorance truly was bliss.
And strangely; even though she know knew X was not far off the family tree from Slade himself... she felt no less comfortable with the thief, just as she would hope that if her family lines where ever directed, he would equally be accepting. Blood was one of the few things that couldn't be changed about a person, one of the few things that someone couldn't decide about themselves. Yet to society, was one of the things everyone was associated too.
Shuddering; Terra quickly forced her own childhood memories away, looking back upwards she frowned a little more. Her eyes shifted towards him as he spoke again, his voice a little quieter this time, she could see the pale expression crossing his face.
"I used to hate to look in the mirror." He said, pausing for a minute as his eyes slowly melted half-way closed. "Everyone said I looked just like him... my mother... Slade. He'd make some passive aggressive statements about it... hit me once. I got to the point where I couldn't look at my face anymore either... I looked too much like Wade, so I started wearing masks..." X paused again, thinking. "I guess it just became habit."
Terra saw his point then, as she frowned while a sobering emotion emitted in her stomach. He had never wanted to take his mask off around other people, everyone had always then just reminded him of who he looked like, reminding him that he was himself, just a reminder of someone else, and not even someone else worth remembering. Terra had never known Wade DeFarge, and couldn't compare father and son, she had only seen X for who he was, and not for who someone else had been. She noticed then, that he had grown comfortable letting her see his face, that quietly, he had come to rely on her, and as Terra thought on it further, realized she had come to rely on him. Red X didn't hold the same kind of background that was held with the memories of the other Titan's, when she looked at him; she didn't see a face she betrayed or hurt like when she looked at the Titan's, they both looked to each other to get rid of the past... or at least escape from it for just a little bit.
Finding some sort of odd, and deep emotion from these thoughts, Terra frowned just slightly, before pressing her head to his chest, gripping his hand a little tighter and taking a calm breath. "So," she whispered, her voice light in the air. "What happened next?" Her eyes darted to his face, but it was hard to see from her position.
X waited a little while, contemplating as he stared up at the sky, he blinked slowly, before answering her.
Finding Tony Zucco had been the easy thing, when you worked on the street, information came smoothly. The young boy had stalked those streets quietly, his small and nimble figure sliding in and out of shadows with his new found talent. Alex DeFarge let the anger in his chest swell, he let it overpower him, he let his cool exterior slip off of his walls as the burning feeling raged over him. No longer was he a young teenager, a fifteen year old boy with scrawny appearances; he became a man on a death mission, passionate about the blood he was determined to spill before the sun rose to warm it.
The luxuriate rented mansion was his target. Alex snuck past the guards easily enough; they where nothing but lower end gangsters, most hardly older them himself. As he got inside the house however; the security was beefed, the hefty looking men in suits walking the perminiters where on-guard, consistent and with their sun glasses over their eyes could hardly be told which direction they where looking into. Alex remembered wondering who Zucco was afraid of to have so many body guards, and how much harder it would be to get to the man himself. He got past the ground guards, using his gifted, heightened human abilities to do everything from becoming almost invisible amongst objects, to running full speed quietly past back-turned men. The boy was quiet, nimble, agile and able from both his inherited genes, and the reflexes he had learned through his most favorite pass time; thievery.
The entire time he rapidly flew around the estate, gathering information from subtle conversations, and following gut instincts; Zucco's crimes haunted his mind. Alex could still see the cold look on his mothers face, he could still smell the blood, he could still feel the hammering shock overwhelming him at the sight of her blood soaked shirt. Her cold eyes pierced him, looking so sunken and wide into nothing, it tore at him. His second chance at a family, the Grayson's, Zucco too had interfered with that, and the boy could feel nothing but that passionate hate burning like wildfire within his chest, fueling him against human limits to get to his goal.
He hadn't been quick enough though, and while rounding a corner, listening to two men having a conversation, he had stopped to listen. Crouching low to the ground, Alex had narrowed his dark eyes, pressing his body against the wall as he peeked around the corner. His timing had been off though, and one of the men had caught site and cried out, pointing towards him. The boy had cursed under his breath, before pulsing off the wall and fleeing down the hall, taking the first door he could find. He had run face first into another set of men, and they didn't waist time before trying to comprehend him. Alex had fought against them, swinging his body around, and taking two of the men down before the first set caught up with him, and he hadn't been as lucky that time as the butt end of a gun slammed against the side of his head.
He remembered being dazed, dragged through the house as he tried to put his thoughts to action; but everything was so blurry, confused and too difficult to comprehend. Next thing he knew two men grabbed his arms, held them behind his back in a painfully twisted manner. Alex had cried out, cringing and gritting his teeth before looking up to see Zucco standing before him, talking to him in a mocking voice, and playing with the sharp blade he held in his hand, twirling it around as he grinned, then looked down at Alex.
Alex didn't like remembering the pain he felt as the knife was brought down on his face, over and over again. The burning, blinding pain that left blood flooding from his face. Zucco had started with a large cut, slashing a point from X's eyebrow down to the opposite side of his nose. The wound was deep, and easily the most painful as shock rippled through his entire body. The man had said he would teach him what good came to street mutts and little punks who thought they could so easily take someone as himself down, but any words after the first cut where hard to hear over the ringing in Alex's ears.
He was hit in the back of the head; and after that remembered nothing until the next morning when he woke up in a dumpster. Alex had crawled from the trash and crawled somewhere to rekindle himself, stole a couple clean rags from a line and washed his face. The caked blood over his face had been mortifying to him at first, but as he cleaned away the dry blood he had found infections from the trash had begun to grow.
The scars never did heal right, leaving him permanently marked with knotted skin around his face, including the most notable skinny long one running down half his face.
Both infuriated, and humiliated, Alex left the states as soon as he could. Crossing the border into Mexico, he used his more favorite tactic; and ran away from everything again. It didn't take him long to readjust living on his own again, by then he was a pretty good thief, and more then able to get by everyday with both necessity, and pleasurable luxuries he could pick pocket, or window snatch. It was kids stuff really; but it worked. He remembered soon enough that he had family in Mexico from his mothers side; and even though they had cut ties with her long ago, he was curious if they would still find a place for him. Alex had never wanted to say he needed a family, he would pass it as a unnecessary luxury that would come in handy from time to time, but he had outstretched again to someone who could offer him a home; but his grandparents would not even let him enter the house. They had said they didn't know him, that he needed to go back home... but X had seen the look in their aging eyes, he had seen that they did know who he was, and simply didn't want to believe it; or perhaps didn't want the hassle of raising a half grown kid from two loser parents.
He had accepted the rejection with a easy swallow, and from that point on until his sixteenth year of life, he spent it roaming around the Mexican country. He picked up more of his mothers native language as he went, and before long could speak it quite fluently. He learned to become a loner, using his inherited charm and skill to get what he wanted; when he wanted it. He became accustomed to getting just that, whatever it was that struck his fancy, and sometimes he would take things only because he could do it.
The day that things again changed for the worse. He had noticed people setting about decorations, mainly skull-like themes all around the small town he had been living in at the time. By this time had had taken on a more native look to him; his mothers bloodline showing more clearly in his yellow tinted skin, and bright brown eyes. His dark red tinted brunette hair was the only thing that set him apart from most of the other population, even his accent had become more fluent. After asking around more more; he found out that 'day of the dead' celebrations would be taking part soon, and later that night he watched the home-made parade items flaunt down the streets. Alex had found it interesting, watching the skull masks decorate the entire small-town; but his stomach had growled, and he had set out to get something to eat.
To cocky to think about it, he had stolen from the wrong set of people, and was seen... after then a long trample through the town, brushing past everyone as the young thief fought to escape, he was hit by a car and thrown to the side, where he was then captured, and taken into custody.
The prison was hot, damp, the smell was horrific and could be compared to the stench of death haunting in a swamp. Some voices talked around, but the area was so dark; it was hard to see around. Smoke filled the room, and and the clank of gun butts being jingled against the bars was loud in the concrete building.
"Get in there, boy," Where what the words translated too as the man threw Alex into the cell, making him grunt as he was scraped against the dirty floor.
At first, a panic had swept around him, he wasn't sure what to do. The caged bars huddling over him, he knew he was trapped, caught... and for a moment afraid. But the young boy didn't stay in such state of mind for long, he walked the cage several times, before he could see an easy way out. Alex DeFarge did not escape the jail however; before he heard off from some of the patrolmen that previous crimes he had been accused off, where catching up to him; and if things worked out, he would be transferred to a much longer-residence.
He had then wasted no more time escaping.
His blood ran wild in his veins the night he picked his locked door free, several men called out to him to help them out; but he refused to even look at them; why would he? He looked out for himself, not these nothings rotting in the hell hole. It was their business, and not his own. He had almost made it out of the jail, crawling along the edges, and even on the ceiling at one point, until angered inmates began alerting the guards, and that was when hell broke loose throughout the small country-side jail house.
When they found they couldn't catch him, gunshots where fired in every other direction from the lazy, uncaring patrols, yells and cries filled the room and echos boomed around as the automatic weapons light up the areas in bright flashes. He could remember the blood pooling around the floor, the soft... velvety pools he did his best to dodge. The bullets where ringing everywhere as the confusion swept, but forcefully, Alex used it to his advantage, slipping past, and only being seen when he needed to stir the trouble up all over again. His skill was useful, but did not come without wounds.
He had been grazed by several bullets, but managed to escape the jail anyways. From there he ignored the pain, the significant pain. He ran faster then he had ever run before, fearing the cage that was behind him. He trolled down the street for the entire night, and hitched a bus ride out by a gas station into town. A different town of course, but it didn't matter, as soon as he was dropped off, slipping off without payment, Alex looked around, looking for any oppertinity to make another quick escape.
It was then that a sleek, black car had pulled up alongside the limping boy. He had stared at it in curiosity, looking so different then when he had first arrived to this country. He looked more like his mother, the deeply tanned yellow skin, the brush brown hair, but his eyes had turned pale, his appearance scraggly, his life apparent. When the car rolled down it's windows, Alex had lifted one brow up in slight surprise to see a well-dressed, clean cut man, his white hair pulled neatly back in a low pony tail as he nodded to the back seat.
hesitantly, Alex thought about it for a moment, before he looked around... and saw that this life was, no pun intended, shot. He opened the back door, and threw himself in. On the ride to the airport; Slade explained that he had located a new opportunity for Alex, that this would be his final strain of help, before letting the boy completely cut off.
Giving him the information on the Red X suit, Alex had broken into the Titan's tower... the fun of it never left him, the way his blood rushed to his head, and made his fingers tremble just slightly with the excitement and anxiety. And once he put on the suit... he found a whole new perspective on himself... no not himself, someone else. As Slade took care of William Alexander DeFarge's papers, identity, Red X willingly let the boy die, and then become reborn into someone else... someone more capable, someone who wouldn't fail himself. Red X dropped his human side, and let his selfish diereses finally take over, as if telling himself it was a self-treat for waiting so long in hard ships. This time; he could continue to just think about himself, and no pain would come of it, because Red X knew nothing about that kind of stuff.
And it had been that way since.
The story had no sooner been finished, then a loud and erupting explosion caught the attention of both teenagers. Terra startled upwards, X not far behind her as she jumped to her feet, a long and drawn look crossed her face as a orange glow fell over it. Her eyes opened wide, her mouth gaped open as she heard the thief curse behind her. They stared in a gawking wonder as the eniter mansion that X had once called home so long ago, erupted in a pillar of flames, black smoke curling up towards the sky as the stench of the fire wafted into the air.
Oh...meh...gawd. I AM SO SORRY THIS TOOK SO LONG!! 18 FRIGGIN PAGES LMAO! It's so long... and then I kind of lost interest for awhile, I've been caught up in orginal stories lately, and then I finally made myself sit down and finish this.
So please forgive me D: