The Confusion of a Thief
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans. If I did I'd be the luckiest, happiest girl EVER. Heh.
Raven smiled slightly, the smallest up-tilt of her lips, as she jumped off the old decaying, water-logged breaker that kept the beach from moving north, holding all the sand in its section where it belonged, and turned the corner, out of sight of the main beach, that remained empty apart from the odd surfer, the cold, pre-storm weather that seemed to haunt the coast and the City of Jump not really welcoming for paddling or tourists.
The sand moved from underneath her feet, coaxing her slowly closer to the waves as she made her way further up the beach but she refused to levitate, enjoying the simple pleasure of the small challenge, seeing it as a welcome break compared to her usual challenges of fighting super villains.
Raven loved the sea, despite popular belief that seemed to have appeared about the darker titan. Whether it was a cliff-faced coast or the beach, she almost fed from the strength of the waves, was captivated by the tranquil yet dangerous water, and soothed by the sound of the waves crashing into the minute pieces of shell and stone. The way the beach and coast line constantly shifted and changed fascinated her, and it always reminded Raven of Azarath, although she never could have explained why. The grand, floating city had never harboured a body of water with ties to the natural satellite that held her attention just as thoroughly as the waves.
Even during the middle of a tempest, she found the location tranquil and comforting; a sad comfort. Raven visited the beach for two main reasons; to think, and to meditate. To brood upon her thoughts and memories where she wouldn't be interrupted by the noise of her room mates. While Raven loved and cherished her friends, she still often found herself craving the peace that came with solitude; solitude she couldn't find even in her own room.
She stopped for a brief moment, turning to face the choppy waves and tucking a stray strand of hair behind her ear as the cold wind tugged on it, trying to blind her. For a moment she felt nothing but her own closely controlled emotions. There was nothing else; no emotions of her team mates, of her opponents, of the city's people. True peace and something she could only ever experience in true solitude. Empathy had its moments of being useful, but for the most part, it was an annoyance, a hindrance even. A constant buzz of feelings that made self control all the more harder.
Unwanted and unbeckoned, Raven frowned as a familiar energy seemed to find her, travelling as though brought by the vicious wind. A sadness and confusion that wasn't her own filled her thoughts, breaking through her relaxed guard, hitting her harder than it ever would have had she been expecting the intrusion.
Throwing up her mental shields and blocking out most of the foreign feelings, Raven scanned the coast line, fighting to keep her violet hair free from her face. Her frown deepened slightly as she pinpointed its source, the bright cotton candy pink hair standing out like a beacon next to the pale golden sand that looked almost muddy against the muted, murky blue waves.
It was obvious the villainess hadn't seen Raven from the lack of reaction she displayed, and the hero watched as Jinx bent to pick up some pebbles, randomly throwing them into the waves, one after another, before she bent in search for more.
She wasn't entirely sure on which course of action she should take. The Hive Five had only just narrowly escaped defeat this morning after a small scale bank robbery, and she knew Robin would have instantly arrested the girl. Robin, their leader with the solid sense of Justice; of right and wrong. Or so they had all thought. Of course, even their infallible leader had fallen slightly under the weight of his obsession with capturing Slade.
Beast Boy probably would have turned a blind eye; would have pretended he hadn't seen her in order to avoid the conflict and hassle, because he really was the good guy, no matter how many pranks he pulled, and how much he moaned.
Cyborg might had done the same as the team's changeling, or sat and tried to talk to the girl. Raven knew that Cyborg had had a crush on the villainess during his undercover work at Hive Academy – and for a short time afterwards. It was one of the things he'd confided in her during one of their many days in the garage patching up the T-Car.
She couldn't have guessed at what the Tamerainian would have done. While she was good natured at heart, she couldn't see her ignoring Jinx, but neither could she see the red haired alien taking to the villainess. Starfire's emotions – like all Tamerainians - were tenfold to that of humans and that should have made it easier for the empath to guess what Starfire's reaction would have been, but instead she found it made it harder; almost impossible.
Raven would have... well, that was half her problem. Raven never really knew what to do. There were only a few things she ever was certain of, like what genre of books she enjoyed, what languages she was fluent in, and how to keep her emotions under control, and how important that control was. Ethics and morals had always been a grey area for Raven, a murky grey area, and for a fair reason. Genetically, her moral compass would always be somewhat broken, despite how many times her friends claimed otherwise. Then there were her teachings in Azarath. Their morals definitely weren't identical to the morals found in her current home. It was why she'd always been such a good soldier, following Robin's orders.
But looking at the distant figure of Jinx, she didn't feel like following her leader's example. She didn't feel like following her leader's example. She didn't feel like ignoring the villainess either. Raven felt there was something unsettling about seeing the energetic girl so down; about feeling the confusion Jinx was currently experiencing instead of the usual joy and happy-go-lucky energy that poured from her during their fights.
Curious as to why there was this obvious change in the meta-human, Raven allowed that curiosity to take control as she fought against the wind to approach her, the icy fingers almost commanding the Demoness to keep away.
Fighting her way through the sand that seemed to avoid the touch of her boots, Raven noted – somewhat subconsciously – that Jinx wasn't in her usual outfit, and wasn't really dressed for the cold wind either. She still wore her black platform boots, Raven noted with disbelief, not too sure how the girl even managed to walk over the sand in them. The dress and striped tights had been replaced with a pair of extremely short black shorts, and a purple, long sleeved top. Coming to a stop only literally feet from the villainess, Raven couldn't help a small grin forming when she realised she was still un-noticed, despite the sound of her cloak bellowing in the sea wind.
"You know, Beast Boy would have probably said it's criminal for someone with such bright hair to look so dark."
Jinx froze, half bent down, her white hand reaching for more of the glistening, dark grey pebbles.
"He said that to me once. I didn't bother explaining to him that purple often represented mysterious, therefore I sort of was acting to my hair colour."
The villainess turned slowly to look at Raven, reminding her empath of a startled Rabbit, or a deer caught in headlights. While she waited for a reply, she marvelled over how Jinx had managed to keep her hair in those immaculate horns, especially in spite of the wind. Raven's own hair was being blown all over the place, and her cloak with it. One or two times, her hood tried to pull itself up, and failed.
Pink energy suddenly collected in the palm of the meta-human's hand, her face contorting into a glare. "If you're planning on arresting me, you might-"
"Want to rethink that? Good, because I wasn't planning anything." Raven hadn't responded to the crackling energy, reinforcing her statement but she watched the girl carefully, half expecting – more than half expecting – Jinx to attack her.
"What do you want?"
Raven shrugged, diverting her gaze from Jinx and studding the waves, forcing more rebel strands of hair behind her ears. "I usually come here when I need to solitude. Of course, you seem to have beaten me here."
"Why are you talking to me? I don't remover inviting you over her." Her tone was hostile, but that pink energy had disappeared from her hand, and she let the limb drop to her side.
"You didn't need to; this is a free country after all."
"You never talk to anyone." Jinx accused. "I don't know what you're trying to do but-"
"I could feel your emotions." Her voice was strangely bland, like she was simply reading off a shopping list. "It was... different, these emotions coming off you. Unwarranted, almost. Why did you go back to the bad side?"
She snorted, and followed Raven's gaze out over the waves. "You need to ask?"
"Maybe. For a year, you had it sorted. You were fighting alongside Kid Flash; you were doing fine."
"Kid Flash is the problem." She almost spat his name, and Raven felt a lash of hatred emit from the meta-human.
"He dumped you?"
"For the next pretty girl with moral issues to come along? Yeah. It was great an' all, having that place up there with you guys, but it doesn' last, and they don' give any second chances."
Raven winced, thinking about her own fall a few years previous, of how her team had still looked for her afterwards. And then when they'd first seen Jinx back with the Hive Five. Robin hadn't even hesitated before attacking the girl and no one had discussed the issue back at the tower. It was like they had all been waiting for it. And they had. "They do give second chances." She finally muttered, glancing at Jinx who was still watching the waves.
"Only if you're Robin, or you kill yourself to save somethin'." Jinx replied, that hatred back, though not as strong. "I heard about what happened to that Terra girl."
"Actually, not everyone forgave her; not really."
Jinx cocked her head to the side a moment, before looking at Raven, "But you guys all did that big thing in her memory and shit."
Raven nodded in acknowledgment. "Organised by the team. I kept out of organising the even however, and only showed to keep up appearances."
"You didn't forgive her?"
"No. Part of me wanted to, don't get me wrong. After all, in the end it was hypocritical of me."
"So she died to save all of our butts from some volcano, and you still held a grudge?"
"Not because of how she died, don't get me wrong. She just... always took the easy way out during her life, accepting Slade's offer and destroying thousands of lives, the constant running...
"We had something in common with our powers. Geomancers are rare for a reason; because they're so powerful. They only exist at certain times, in certain numbers, in order to maintain the balance of the universe. I shouldn't exist at all. I break almost every rule of the universe – this universe. In order for us to control our powers... it takes a constant battle. That is and was true for both of us, to different levels. I'd spent my whole life fighting to keep control – and I'll spend the rest of it doing the same. Terra wouldn't have had to fight to keep control, but it would have needed a lot of concentration.
"She first ran away because she didn't have this control, and when she came back less than a year later claiming she had total control of them... I wasn't happy, and it wasn't exactly truthful of her either." Raven didn't quite know why she was telling her enemy this, but she hadn't been able to confide in any of her friends. All the titans regarded Terra as a hero now, and she feared they would think less of her for the grudges she still held, all these years later.
"And... you said you're being hypocritical – why in hell are you bein' hypocritical?" Jinx frowned, truly interested. The one titan she'd never really gotten to know during her time on the honorary team was Raven. She knew more about Robin, and he'd been suspicious of her playing out some grand plan the whole time.
"I too, have been given a second chance by the team; and a third chance. And my sin was much greater than Terra's. To then not forgive Terra is hypocritical." Which also fuelled her desire to not let her friends know she'd never truly forgiven the geomancer. "I gave up."
"You left the team for a while?" Jinx frowned. "What? How is that worse, and when was this? I don't remember you ever-"
"I gave up with the fight against my powers; I gave up with my control over them." Raven shook her head
"And that was a bad thing?"
"Yes. And it still is, even if He doesn't have the energy to pass through right now, others do."
"Pass through what? Girl, you make no sense." Though Jinx already wasn't feeling too hot about the topic. It wasn't Raven's words that gave her the chills; it was the tone of her voice. It managed to sound blank of emotion yet fearful at the same time. The meta-human thought she'd make a great actress in horror films.
Raven ignored her. "If they forgave me for that, and that was only the first time they forgave me, they can forgive you. If you wanted to try the hero route again."
"Why would I? Only reason I did it was for Wally." Her voice was sour again, her curiosity about Raven all but gone.
"Jinx, that wasn't the only reason, and you know it."
"Why would I tell you, miss I've-got-such-caring-friends?" Her anger was directed at Raven. The empath found it slightly amusing at how quickly she could change focus.
"Because I on some levels can... sympathise with your struggle. It's pretty obvious why you keep going back to villainy."
Jinx fell silent, and almost jerked her head back around to look at the waves, and the sky that was slowly darkening, the grey clouds holding tints of red and yellow from the hidden sunset. Raven let that silence sit for a few moments, before asking, "A penny for your thoughts?"
"What?" Jinx frowned.
Raven smiled slightly, amused at the girl's confusion. "It's an old English saying."
"Well it's stupid. Why would I want a penny?"
The empath shrugged. "I don't know."
"Well you can keep your damn penny."
"What if it was a lucky penny?" Raven asked, "Would you want it then?"
"Girl, I am bad luck, remember? I don't do lucky, and I don't do good."
"Don't you? Jinx, your powers are no more destructive than Cyborg's sonic cannon, or Starfire's star bolts. You just need to know how to use them for good." She paused, before adding quietly, "We could teach you."
"What was the third chance for?" The pink haired girl suddenly asked.
Raven frowned. "You could say I got caught up in the wrong crowd. A crowd of one. There was this... dragon trapped in one of my old books. He tricked me into thinking he was a sorcerer. He used me and when I released him, he showed his true self. I put him back in the end, but he'd taught me all sorts of dark magic I had promised my mentors long ago I would never touch."
"Hah, that's like me an' Wally." Jinx snorted, and Raven smiled slightly.
"I guess it is, isn't it."
"Never had much luck with guys, to be honest." She shrugged, before laughing at herself. "Much luck? Hah. That's typical."
"I've never really had a proper boy friend." Raven shrugged. "And I don't intend on getting one."
"Trying to be one of the good guys wouldn't do anything." Jinx suddenly muttering, making Raven think the only person the girl was trying to convince was herself. "I mean, like I said, I'm back luck. Supernatural forces are piled up against me."
"Jinx, you don't just work bad luck. You work probability."
"Seriously, what did the Hive Acadamy teach you? Jinx, Bad luck is probability. Take for example crossing a quite, country lane. What's the probability that you're going to get hit by a car?"
"Well, practically nothin'." The meta-human frowned.
"Good. Now, you're walking down an old sidewalk. It's heavily cracked. What's the probability that the average person is going to trip at some point."
"Well, since you didn't give me a time limit, I'd say very likely."
"And what do you do when we're fighting on said sidewalk? You hit the path with one of your hexes, making that crack ridiculously big meaning there's about a ninety-five percent chance one of us five are going to trip over it. You increase the probability of us tripping."
"That in no way what so ever means that can be used for good."
Raven nodded. "Maybe. Okay, let's look at me-"
"But you're one of the good guys!"
"- I take the defensive position during fights. If we have the advantage in numbers, I play backup, making sure no one sustains a serious injury and using my shields to keep your attacks at bay – I'm sure you've noticed that."
"But we fight plenty of times."
"Hand to hand combat."
"Our abilities are too dangerous close quarters."
"Yours are." Raven shook her head. "But I have a few other abilities I could use during close combat. But I don't, because it wouldn't be right of me to use them. They are abilities no hero would ever use."
"No; abilities I was born with. Jinx, I was born to destroy. While I can use my telekinesis and shielding for other things, they're only the tip of what I could do. And yet I'm still playing hero. I'm going against the probability set for me, and sure I've had the odd... failure, I keep trying. We can help you be something more Jinx, and we will support you for as long as you need it, and longer."
"So why don't you just give up and take it the easy way?" The meta-human frowned.
"Because you wouldn't be here if I did. None of you would. The whole dimension would be in ruins and under the control of other creatures."
"Other creatures?" Jinx frowned. "You know what? Let's just leave that conversation topic alone. I don't think I wanna know."
The empath smiled slightly, then pulled up her hood at the first spots of rain started falling. Jinx took her hair out of the two horns she was known for, but otherwise ignored the cold water.
"Why what?" Raven asked.
"Why do you care what path I take? I mean, I could understand if it was Cyborg tellin' me this, but you? You don't talk to no one but the titans, you're meant to be really cold and-"
"I'm not going to let you finished that sentence for your own safely." Raven muttered, before speaking up, "Well, for starters, it's removing one more villain from the streets. That's got to be a good thing. But...You have the capability to be good. I know you do. And I hate it when I see people do the easy thing, especially when the easy thing is being a villain. Why should I have to work so hard, when humanity seems hell bent on corrupting itself anyway?"
"Because you're a good guy. That's what you do? If you guys gave up, everyone would."
"From what I can see, everyone already has." Raven was only trying to get something from the girl to prove that she did care, but Raven couldn't help feeling that what she was saying was what she truly believed.
"Girl, if everyon' had given up, you wouldn't have the police on your side. Or the mayor. Or your fans."
"The mayor on our side? You do realise, he only calls Cyborg and Robin to his meetings, right? And the head of Jump City Police is hardly any better."
"Yeah, well, that's just discrimination-"
"-and racism. Fools. That's not gonna change in you just give up, is it?"
"And it's not gonna change while there are super-villains."
"If we're not allowed to give up, why are you?"
"Why don't you just leave me alone and go meditate or somethin', alright? No one on the titans even likes me. How am I meant to fight with you guys?"
"Cyborg likes you. Beast Boy gets along with you. So does Starfire."
"But I'm not with you guys, am I? The Honorary titans all think I'm scum. An' they're right."
Raven sat down on the sand, tucking her cloak underneath her, and pulled her knees to her chest, resting her chin on them as she watched the waves darken to reflect the sky, each wave baring the smaller waves of ripples from the rain which was still steadily falling. "And I thought I had self confidence issues."
Jinx was silent for a moment, before she tilted her head. "Wanna go for a swim?"
"I don't have a costume." Raven shook her head.
"You don't need one – your costume practically is a swimmin' suit." The meta-human grinned, and Raven could feel the negative emotions that had been haunting the girl drain away to be replaced by her usually happiness. Raven didn't reply, and Jinx's smile just grew. "Come on, we're getting wet in the rain anyway."
The empath frowned at Jinx's logic, before unclasping the broach that held her cloak together, and slipped off her boots. Without a word she walked off towards the waves. Raven couldn't quite understand why she was doing this. Even if the sea was warm – which it wouldn't be – the cold air would practically freeze her when she decided she'd had enough of swimming. And Raven was more sensitive to the cold than she was to heat. It came with having a father who lived in dimensions that were often a lot hotter than forty degrees Celsius. She didn't get as cold as quickly as normal humans, and she'd never found the threat of frostbite to be a problem, but she felt the cold more than a meta-human would.
Jinx ran past her, laughing, her shorts and t-shirt gone, so the meta-human was wearing a black string bikini. Watching Jinx's reaction as her legs hit the water, Raven was glad her costume would at least act like a wetsuit. After having one or two missions involving cold water and almost drowning, Robin had ordered that they all modify their costumes. Gone was the thin, stereotypical spandex. The material was still similar, and still flexible, but thicker. Starfire hadn't changed hers, and Cyborg had just increased how waterproof his bionic replacements were.
Raven stopped millimetres shy of the surf, watching Jinx as she stopped waist high in the water and turn to face the hero. She had rested her hands on top of the water, and they moved with the waves. Raven had to admit the girl was attractive. She didn't admit to herself that she was finding the girl distracting.
"You comin' in or what?"
Raven regarded the girl as she decided, trying to follow up the fact she never went swimming unless the water was at a comfortable temperature, or the air at least. That she usually did so on her own late at night when she wouldn't be seen, and that she usually only tested the waters around the island Titans Tower was built on. She especially didn't go swimming with villains.
Jinx seemed to decide the girl had wasted enough time thinking, and aimed a small hex bolt at the water in front of her. It rushed forward, rising into a wave large enough to saturate Raven as it hit her, the peak of the wave going inches over her head.
"Oops." Jinx smiled sweetly as she watched Raven spit out salt water, her eyes almost wide with shock. "Well, you might as well come in now, eh?"
"That was cheating." Raven grumbled, wiping water out of her eyes as she started walking into the waves.
"What, so there are rules regarding how to go into the sea?" Jinx asked, her voice sceptic, but her face amused.
"Yes." Raven answered seriously, before using her telekinetic powers to dunk the meta-human fully under the water.
"Shit!" Jinx almost screeched as she resurfaced. "Cold! That was cold."
"I can hardly see my hand in front of my face." Jinx paced up and down the sand, wishing she would dry off quicker so she could dress.
Raven watched her with her amusement, her own night vision giving her an almost perfect greyscale picture of everything. "That, Jinx, is because it's ten to one."
"Huh? How'd you know that?"
Raven hit the button on her communicator so it lit up, the small panel on the front acting like a clock.
"Oh, yeah. That would make sense."
"You know, if you want to change your mind, you can just walk up to the tower."
"Thanks for the offer, but I don't think I will." She started pulling on her shorts. "I'm not exactly the hero type."
Raven froze, and then frowned. "Where did you get that from?"
"What from?" Jinx looked up, trying to find Raven's form in the darkness, and failing. "And why the hell can't I even see your outline?"
"That thing. The last thing you said."
"About not bein' hero material? Nowhere. Off top of my head. Why?"
"That's what..." Raven paused. "Never mind. You wouldn't be coming here for thinking again, would you?"
"I dunno." Jinx smiled, not aware Raven could see it. "Maybe. Why?"
"I need to know if I can still consider this part of the beach a place or solitude." Raven shrugged. "After all, running into you here again would be..."
"Unfortunate? And so not planned."
Raven suppressed a small laugh. "Exactly."
Jinx pulled on her top after carefully checking for the label to make sure it was the right way round. "You teleportin' back to your tower?"
Raven nodded, and then realised Jinx couldn't see it. "Yes."
"Righty then. See yah on the battlefield, Rae. Giz said something about a jewellery shop. You never know, I might find a nice little trinket for myself."
"You might." Raven nodded. "But you might end up having to give it back to. Please don't just throw that chance away Jinx." She only waited a second before wrapping herself up in her obsidian black energy and sinking into the sand.
The black energy startled Jinx slightly, and she didn't understand why she could see that, and yet hadn't been able to see Raven. That energy was darker than the black of night that surrounded everything. Much darker. She shivered and picked up her shoes, before making her way back along the coast line to the main beach.
Two Years Later
Robin stormed into the common room, lucking anything but happy. "Where's Jinx? I told her to meet me in the training room today. And has any one seen Raven? She was meant to check in with me half an hour ago before her patrol."
Starfire looked round from her place on the sofa watching Cyborg and Beast Boy playing one of their many video games. "They said something about the beach, and a date of anniversary."
Robin's frown deepened. "What? Why the hell would they be going to the beach now? It's March, and not to mention cold."
"Cold for California." Beast Boy shrugged. "But yeah, it's like not their datin' anniversary, but like somethin' to do with the start of all that. I wasn't really listening."
Cyborg sighed. "Two years today was when Raven first offered Jinx another chance, which was when they first started meetin' up regularly, which led to them dating."
"Gosh Cy, he didn't ask for their life history." Beast Boy frowned.
"Well, if yah listened every once in a while, I wouldn'ta needed to tell yah that."
"I didn't give them time off to-"
"Please Robin, do not be mad. If it wasn't for Raven's random disappearing, we would not have Jinx on our team. I think it is most sweet of them."
"I'm kinda surprised Rae agreed with it, I mean, isn't she kinda anti-celebration?" Beast Boy asked.
"It was Rae's idea." Cyborg corrected him. "Not Jinx's."
"What? You're lying."
"They could have at least told me. Beast Boy, you're going t have to take Rae's patrol."
"What? Why me? It's not my fault they disobeyed you! Punish them, not me!"
"Get going Beast Boy. You should have started half an hour ago."
The changeling dropped his remote control and moved towards the common room doors, dragging his feet on the floor with every step. "This is so not cool."
A/N: okay, so first of all, I don't know whether 'breaker' is the right word for the wooden structures often found on British coast line. It stops the sand from moving down the beach. I think you know what I'm referring to.
My inspiration for this piece, naturally, came from the beach (which is only a 3 minute walk from the cottage we stayed in). It also came from my need for solitude. The cottage is only very small, and it's almost impossible to have any time on your own, therefore after almost a week stuck with people, I almost snapped in the middle of a cafe and left my insulted family to their own devices while I disappeared up the beach until I found a nice, empty, quiet stretch. Also, we only had one nice day of sunshine, so yes it was cold and kept raining. Out of seven days the weather was only suitable for swimming once! (I then wrote this when I stayed inside the nice cottage while my family took the car elsewhere)
Originally there was going to be no cheesy ending, but it just had to go in there. These kinda things, I don't plan much, just let the writing flow.
One final thing... I think this is the first fanfic in which I have mentioned Kid Flash (maybe second) with having anything to do with Jinx. I think this is because, at heart, I am a comic girl (though more for the 1980s comics than the newer ones. Mainly because I LOVE raven in them. Demonic Rae is sooo kick ass) But yeah, in the comics, Kid Flash (Wally West) dated Raven. Raven! And he left her. And she tried to trick him into loving her to keep him on the team when he tried to leave because his super-speed was slowing down. But yeah, there's this awesome bit in the Terror of Trigon series where Demonic Raven is in bed with a demonic Kid flash, and the real kid flash is looking on like 0_o (she was trying to seduce the titan to the dark side, which didn't work. And torment his soul which kinda did work) Annwayyy in mind, it just makes me feel really weird writing Jinx with Kid Flash. Especially since the comics came first. I also dislike Wally, cause when Rae did go all demonic and vanished, the titans went to him to ask for his help, and he was just like 'fuck no, I want nothing to do with her' I was just like 'you bastard'. (okay, stop obessing now. They don't want to know and they're probably not even reading this)
Second final thing... Reviews please :) I solemnly swear I will reply to you. Cause I'm that nice.