From Makeup to Ruin

A/N: Post Lightspeed; questionable Flinx. Watch for language.

Disclaimer: Don't own Teen Titans. Especially whoever Linda Parks is.


She is sitting on a park bench—alone—idly kicking a fat duck with her boots, and suddenly, he is sitting there with her, draping himself casually all over the bench, as if she had left that space empty just for him.

"Hey, Jinx."

"What." She spares him nothing but an annoyed roll of the eyes (because she sure as hell is not going to back down, even if he's way way too close and it makes her heart jolt—in surprise, not teenage high school love—and goddammit has he not heard of personal space).

"Can't I just say hi?" he grins, charmingly. She scuffs some dirt at the duck, who had wisely strayed outside her comfortable kicking range. He raises his eyebrows but remains planted on the bench.

After a moment (a long, long moment in his eyes), he turns to her, abruptly. "Your eyelashes—" he leans in close, too close, brings his blue blue ocean eyes within inches of her face "—aren't pink, you know?"

She snorts and flicks a hex at him, smirking when he can't dodge in time (because even if he can vibrate his freaking molecules, no one can dodge a quick-fired hex from two inches away). "Of course not, idiot."

He jerks back, unhappily rubbing at the sudden and inexplicable charley horse cramping in his left calf. "But aren't people's eyelashes the same color as their hair?"

She makes another derisive noise and absently directs a spark of bad luck at the duck now preoccupied with gobbling bread, a sardonically cat-like expression forming at the bird's expense (Kid Flash frowns at this, but he's too busy massaging his leg to do much else). "What, you think they make pink mascara?" And it turns out there is pink mascara out there, but Jinx had already gone through her little phase of plundering every dress store and hair salon and punk rock store and pharmacy and convenience store and big box store on both this and that side of town, and had concluded that no such pink mascara existed in Jump City that did not clump stupidly, apply runnily, flake like Mammoth's dandruff, smudge within one hour of even light criminal activity, or—worst of all—looked tacky.

So she sticks with black. Preferably waterproof. And now that she was actually...buying...her makeup (as opposed to swiping it off the shelves, which had been so much easier and required no dipping into her steadily shrinking savings), her preferred brand was Maybelle, which was hailed in a recent issue of Trend she'd casually thumbed through as she waited in line as both economically friendly and cherished by professionals.

It matches better, anyway. She'd get pink top-heavy if she'd found any decent pink mascara in the first place. Stupid pink eyes. Stupid pink hair.

He struggles for a bit, but quickly concedes to his ignorance and impatient curiosity. "What's, uh. Mass-care-ah? Some kind of...relief program?" That turns your eyelashes different colors? he silently adds.

She whips her head to him in shock before she could feign snarky disinterest. "What? You don't know what mascara is? You?"

He leans back, somewhat bewildered. "Well, no?"

She blinks and realizes she's enjoying his company, so she reclines nonchalantly back on the park bench, spitefully aiming another hex at a piece of bread the stupid fat duck was after. The bread now keeps rolling just out of reach of the bird, and she confidently reattaches her aloofly malicious grin.

"Well, I figured since it's you," she begins airily, "and since you're so into pretty girls like Raven and Argent and the Amazons and random girls in bikinis, I just figured you'd know all about mascara."

He edges a little away on the park bench, smiling nervously. "Hey, wait, is this about The Great Race thing with Más and Menos? Cause I thought we were good on that—"

"That race thing you lost, you mean?" she cuts him off, eyes glinting bright pink, still coolly staring at the duck's struggles. A razor-thin wave flashes out, and the duck finds himself molting early (and just after he finally got his bread, too!). He opens his mouth to snap back an irritated no thanks to you, or a hey now, you're not being fair, Jinx, but is saved from certain doom by self-preservation instincts and closes his mouth again. Faster reflexes than normal humans—and most metahumans—do come in handy once in a while. He begins to speak again, but Jinx keeps going. "And let's not forget Linda Park, right?"

This time he freezes.

This time, even though it's a balmy 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and even though he's never, ever cold thanks to his crazy metabolism, and even though they had been on almost cordial terms with each other just two minutes ago and he'd dared to let himself be a little hopeful, and even though he'd taken on running past lasers and bombs without breaking a sweat, he feels a chill run through him.

He freezes, and he knows she sees it (even if it is only just a split of a split of a second, and even if she isn't even looking directly at him).

"Where did you hear about Linda?" he says quietly. And the moment it leaves his mouth, he knows it's the wrong thing to say, because all of a sudden Jinx's face is blanker than a prison cell's stone wall, and it feels like he's sitting next to a charged thundercloud, and the naked duck is now barfing up all the bread he just stuffed down his gullet.

And because Jinx had been the top student during her time at the HIVE, she'd not only passed all her classes with class and flair, but had gotten particularly impressive marks in Deception 101, was given Honors for her work in Deception 212, and had even taken all sorts of supplementary courses and did intensive self-study on that same topic when the school ran out of courses for her to take; all just because she liked the feeling of trickery. In other words, Jinx was a goddamn queen at manipulation, and because Kid Flash was more obvious than See-More when he's using the wrong kind of eyeball, she says "She's a fuckingreporter, you know," and leaves it at that, not mentioning how she'd hacked the internet for hours (and made Gizmo help her, too), obsessively, and told both herself and her team that finding every little thing about him and his background was for the purpose of bloody crushing that cocky mess of red and yellow. It hadn't been—at all—because that woman had been stupid enough to leak out her relationship with him through any sort of media someone of her career might be connected to, but Jinx wasn't about to let him know that.

And then there is silence, and she finally slides her cat eyes over to look, and she tells herself that expression of worry and betrayal and hate and surprise flashing across his face is the best kind, and that it's better than any kind of mystery flower in a vase from a mystery red and yellow deliveryman left at her feet.

And Jinx smiles, crazily, and digs out her newly-bought mascara bottle and tosses at his thinking-at-ten-to-the-30th-power-synapses-a-second face, charging it with a nasty hex just as it leaves her fingertips. "Go save her, Hero," she mocks (and he has all her attention now, all he foolishly thought he'd ever want for today), her Cheshire grin growing even wider as her makeup explodes an inky jet all over his unmoving form. "Go save her, huh?"

And when he launches off that bench to Keystone City and leaves behind a tangled mess of crumbled and melted plastic and two three-foot-diameter craters, Jinx just flips a perfect turn in the air, off off and away, and laughs, laughs her maniacal more-than-just-half-mad laugh (because Kid Flash may be stupid and naïve and too trustful and hopelessly idealistic and can run at the fucking speed of light, but he is still human, and even he gets touchy on the subject of someone he maypossiblykindof have feelings for getting maybeevenatinybitinjuredatall).

And she leaves to go steal herself some new mascara, and on her way out the park, she kicks that duck into the pond and laughs as it drowns.