A/N: Hey guys, this is a short chapter (sorry!) and probably should have gone on the end of the previous one. Between volunteering at the local dolphin research centre and working at the weekends, it feels like doing a full time job (without the weekend break) so I'm sorry about any slow updates.
Concolor44: Glad you liked it :)
No, Jinx didn't freak out too bad (thank god) but still... only time will tell how happy she is with this new news.
I do like J'onn in the comics, so I'm glad you liked how I wrote him (very glad!) As for Flash... I haven't actually read that many comics with any of the major Flashes in them so... I hope he was okay. Yes, lets not forget Mark. I think what he's all about will be coming into light soon...
Thankyou :) The move went well, and I must say I am LOVING Australia. Only seen one snake so far - a Dugout or something... And we don't get the common brown where I'm living! Yay! That's one less thing to look out for!
Guest: Hmm... perhaps. Just try to think how you might have reacted in that situation. Me? I'd be too shocked that Raven had done that to have an outburst or something. Yes, Star is - she's always someone you can count on. Ah, comic cannon. Manhunter is an extremely well recognised and popular superhero in South America in the comics, compared to people like Superman and Batman.
Korraganitar the NightShadow: Ahah she might. You never know :p If you do, let me know - I'd like to read that! Glad you liked it, and sorry for the delay in updates.
Spikesagitta: I don't think it's the fact Raven stole that's bothered them so much as the question of 'what if'. What if it had something to do with her demonic side raising it's head? They all know she's a demon halfling. They don't know how to explain this apparently random act of thievery (no one said they knew Raven had been dating Jinx undercover)
I'm a Lover not a Hater: Ahah of course :) I haven't forgotten about her.
Juniper Night: Glad you liked it haha.
discb: A nice flight? Uncomfortable might describe it better :P
nada129: I'm glad it made you laugh. Sorry about the delayed update.
Silently Watches: She does have a valid reason. Yeah, if the titans were constantly bugging them, things might go from rocky to worse between Jinx and Raven. Nothing like stress to elevate a reaction. Could she take out J'onn? Hmm... that's one to think about.
Dawsen: Glad you liked.
Stormplains: About just as wrong as is could, I think. Yes, well done Star! Thanks to that little nudge from Raven before her disappearance of course.
XxRin-sanxX: It freaked me out writing it! Sorry I couldn't get the next chapter out quickly - been as busy as hell over the past few weeks.
Dak Hamee: RUN FOREST RUN! Glad you liked it :)
Taeniaea: Glad you liked.
Zaan299: J'onn is very cool and collected - at least that's how I've seen him to be from the comics. And also quite caring. After he lost his wife and kid to that virus his brother started, I'd think he'd view Raven's actions more empathically. Flash definitely has a good heart - I think he'd understand too...but yes, a demon going on rampage is one thing, a rogue hero another - they have better things to do that chase Raven about.
She is dedicated. She wouldn't be Raven if she wasn't! I wonder too. Maybe we'll find out?
Wallflower013: It does suck. Ah, you know Robin's issues with criminals... and Raven's now a criminal. I think deep down he's upset in a more... compassionate way, but he's just afraid to show it.
Keep Moving Onwards: Glad you're enjoying it :P
Sonicthehedgewolf: Update AND finish? I'm planning to make this thing at least... say 25 chapters? Might take me a while.
Jinx looked up as Raven appeared in the room, her blue cloak gone and an almost confused expression creasing her face.
"Rae? You okay? I mean, did you get away okay?" She watched the woman turn to look at her, but didn't receive an answer. The thief glanced down at the tub of ice cream she'd been sat with, before holding it out towards the empath. "Chocolate ice cream solves everything. You'd think I'd way a ton from how much I eat."
She continued to stare at Jinx a moment, before the confusion faded from her face, replaced by her usual stern and stoic mask. "We need to go somewhere else. Now. Robin knows where the apartment is. No doubt they're already on their way here."
"Way ahead of you. I popped out and fetched your modified holo ring and new ID, courtesy of Giz. Also booked for a night at a nearby hotel. So long as you're not gonna have some breakdown, we should be able to get ready and be there within the hour, we just need to get you changed into some normal clothes, give you a haircut and get gone. I've brought ice cream and stuff to take with us."
"Hair cut?" Raven frowned.
"Sorry Rae, but your team mates are gonna be looking for you and sooner or later they're gonna figure out you still have your holo ring. Purple or not, your hair cut it kinda one of a kind, and it's so short at the back... there's not really much else to do but cut it. I'm just trying to increase your chances of goin' unrecognised."
"Can't we just ... leave it for now?" Raven asked quietly. She figured she'd have to deal with enough change over the next few hours and days without having to lose the familiarity of her hair as well. She wouldn't have thought anything of it, if she hadn't suddenly remembered the time she and Starfire had swapped bodies thanks to the 'help' of one of Jump's criminals. While she'd complained about the princess's long hair, she didn't think she'd like it being much shorter than its current state either.
"Fine, but you'll have to do something with it sooner or later, and that doesn't include hairdressers. The ends of your hair would turn purple the moment it was cut."
Raven nodded. "I'd figured out that."
"Your bag's in the bedroom. I put your new drivers licence and stuff in the front compartment, and the holo ring on the bedside table." Jinx informed, before asking. "... What are the chances of Flash and the Martian showing up?"
The empath shrugged. "I'd like to say there's no chance, but I don't know. Though I'd think Flash would have already arrived by now, had they been after me."
"Let's take that as a good sign then. What did you say to get them to leave you alone? The way you talked about them this morning, you made it sound like they'd go through hell to make sure you were ... detained."
"I said nothing. I let J'onn read my intensions by giving him a few minutes access to my mind. He's a reasonable man, who isn't prone to rash decisions or wasting his time unnecessarily. I had hoped that would work in my favour, and apparently it did. He's a highly respected member of the Justice League, and if he says they need not bother with me, they will listen to him. More importantly, I hope it showed the Titans I'm not a threat to them. Or anyone else."
Jinx nodded before motioning towards the bedroom. "Get changed. If you're right and Robin decides to drop by, we need to be gone."
"Blonde?" Raven asked as she looked at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. "You made me blonde?"
"We were trying to think of something we - or the Titans - wouldn't expect you to choose." Jinx shrugged, watching her from the door, before she added. "I think you make a good blonde. You can definitely be oblivious enough."
Raven frowned at Jinx's reflection in the mirror before going back to studying her own. In truth, her hair didn't lookthatblonde. Nothing like Terra's had. Instead it was more of a mousy colour, somewhere between the colour of old straw and a washed out brown. All the better for blending in. It complimented the murky hazel of her eyes, her pale skin covered in a dusting of freckles. Gizmo had really outdone himself as far as detail was concerned. Raven couldn't understand why Jinx thought a hair cut would be necessary. She barely recognised herself.
"You checked your ID yet?"
The empath shook her head. "No."
"We just picked a random name, so for gods' sake try and remember it. We'll be using it at the hotel."
Raven pulled the holo ring off and slipped it into the pocket of her jeans as she moved to leave the bathroom. "Won't the people at the hotel recognise you?"
"Nope. Gizmo's been very busy over the past few weeks, and I owe himbigtime, which I don't like at all. He copied the design of your ring and made me one, which I'll be wearing until we're in the safety of the hotel room." She followed Raven over to where she'd left the back pack and watched her search through the front compartment, before asking, "So, if you're a demon, what's with the semi-ordinary name?"
She shrugged before answering. "It's ... a mockery of sorts. All higher demons have their familiars, and my father's favourites are his spies, that take the form of ravens."
"Ouch. Who named you that? Daddy?"
Raven shook her head. "I think it was just a nickname from the Monks that stuck. I don't remember my mother making a point about naming me."
"No one does, stupid."
"I'm half demon, Jinx. I was born sentient." She turned round and showed a small plastic card to Jinx. "Is this a credit card?"
"You were what?"
"My mind had fully developed upon birth, and I was conscious of everything going on around me. Exactly how did you get this card?"
"Don't worry. I didn't steal it. It's forged." Jinx answered.
"Then where's the money coming from?"
"... I don't think you'll like that answer. But don't complain – I'm still not happy with you."
Raven sighed and turned back to the bag.
"So if you were born with like, self-awareness and all that crap, does that mean you could walk and talk and stuff from the word go?"
"Not exactly. Does a new born baby look like something that could walk? For starters its form doesn't have the right balance in weight. Their heads are far too heavy compared to their muscle strength and body size. My body developed perhaps ... six weeks ahead of an ordinary child. Eight weeks at most, which delayed me as far as walking was concerned. Of course, I still had more movement than your average new born. I could drag myself if there was something for me to grip, for example." Finding the driver's license, she read the name printed on it and frowned again. "Bethany?"
"Non-descript and definitely not linked to Raven or Roth. Isn't that like, weird, being able to remember shit from that long ago?"
Raven shrugged. "Not really. I've never known any different. So, what am I calling you? Jenny again?"
"No chance. No doubt you told the Titans that one. I'm using one of my other identities."
"Other identities? How many do you have?"
"Enough." She smiled. "This one's called Jean."
"Do they all begin with 'J'?"
"Nope. I have an Amy and a Sophie too. You ready to go?"
She glanced at Jinx, before looking back at the small bag of everything she'd brought with her - her meditation mirror, her Book of Azar, and a change of clothes. She tucked her new driver's licence back into the front compartment and did the zip up. "I suppose so."
"Then I'll call a taxi."
Jinx moved off to the main room of the apartment and Raven sat down on the edge of the bed, trying to not think too hard. She knew she owed Jinx more than a few answers, so she wasn't complaining, but thinking about that was the last thing she wanted to do. All it made her do was worry about how her friends now considered her, and she didn't want to think about that either. The empath could hear Jinx on the phone, giving the person on the other end an address she didn't recognise, before thanking them and hanging up. She looked up as Jinx popped her head back around the bedroom door.
"We've got to walk a block to get the taxi."
Raven frowned at her. "Why?"
"Because if we used this address, and the Titans figured out a taxi had pulled up recently, all they need to do is call around until they find whoever it was and BAM, they have a nice shiny trail that'll lead 'em straight to us. And who we're pretending to be. Talk about wasting weeks' worth of work!"
She watched as Raven took that in, almost scolding herself as she muttered, "Of course."
"Just leave the details to me, and we'll be 'kay. Thank god I've got more curiosity than sense and didn't leave your ass this morning. I thought Demons are meant to be scheming, plotting, masters of evil and deception."
"Not the powerful ones. They tend to just kill anyone who interferes, or 'gets in the way'."
"You a powerful one?"
Jinx decided not to comment and picked up her already packed satchel, before putting her holo ring on, turning her hair a light ginger and her skin ever so slightly darker so it didn't look quite so unnatural, her pupils filling out and the bright pink of her irises turning to a washed out blue colour. She waited for Raven to put her ring on, before leading the way out, only pausing to grab a bag from the kitchen counter.
"You still planning to keep tabs on this guy from the prison?"
"Of course. Hopefully I pulled him into Starfire's attention before dealing with the Justice League, but I'm not sure they'll pay any attention to him over these next few weeks, and I'm afraid it could prove to be a dangerous mistake."
Jinx led her to the building's stair case, having a thing about lifts. "Dangerous how? So maybe he frees a few more goons from the prison. Isn't nothing the Titans can't deal with."
"I don't know. He just ... It's like when you forget a word, or a name of something. I know I should know why I don't like him, but it's just not coming to me."
"You know, I've always found the internet helpful at times like that. I might help you look while we're at the hotel, if I feel like it. Oh, and just so you know, you're sleeping on the sofa."
"You could have booked a room with two beds."
"Well would you look at that! You made tonight's headlines. That didn't take 'em long."
Raven glanced over at the TV, before frowning and muting it, starting to get up to move into another room when she realised there wasn't one. Jinx hadn't been lying about the room not being cheap - at least it didn'tlookcheap - but it still only left them with two rooms. The bathroom, and the 'main room' which held both the bedroom furniture and a small lounge area.
"I'm trying to listen to that." Jinx picked up the remote and put the sound back on. "You're gonna want to listen to it too. Least then you'll know what they're looking for. The media is a thief's best friend."
The empath, now on her feet, turned and walked into the bathroom, closing and locking the door behind her.
"If it's any consolation, they've just labelled you as missing." She called out, eyes still on the TV. "Probably didn't want a mass panic or somethin'. Can't say it's something I'd want to publicize in their position. No doubt the cops know the truth though." Jinx flinched slightly as the TV screen cracked and turned black, the sound of the news reporter's voice still coming through the speakers. "There goes the deposit."
She switched the TV off and turned in her seat to look at the bathroom door, sighing to herself before standing up and walking over, leaning against the edge of the door frame.
"I've turned the TV off ... since you broke it anyway." Jinx spoke, before pausing, listening for any movement behind the door. "If you've teleported somewhere and I'm just talking to the door like an idiot I'm not gonna be happy."
Jinx stepped back as the door swung open, Raven pushing past the thief and grabbing her holo ring off the small coffee table in the room, putting it on.
"I'm going out."
"Wait, don't you think you should let things calm down first? Everyone's gonna be on red alert looking for you." Jinx hurried after the empath.
"I'm not going to sit around here all night doing nothing when I could be doing something productive."
"Productive? I'd say keeping a low profile is pretty damn productive right now."
Raven paused with her hand on the door handle. "No one's going to see me. That's the point."
Jinx's face hardened and she grabbed the woman's arm, pulling her away from the door, before pointing towards the sofa. "You're gonna sit down and stay there. I have not gone through all the trouble with Giz to get all this shit sorted for you to blow it all with whatever the fuck you're planning to do. If you're bored, fine, I'll ask more questions. Or I can shut up and we can ignore each other as best as this room allows, but you are not going outside for any extended length of time. Not today, perhaps not even tomorrow. I'm trying to do you a favour here."
Raven watched Jinx for a moment, mildly surprised by the meta-human's outburst, before walking over to the sofa and sitting down. "Then ask your questions, because I will not sit here and do nothing."