Maddielove95: I love this soooooooo much... It's def going on my faves and follow list!
Glad you do!
MyAngelsHalo: Yay! New chapter! I can't wait until they meet again. I hope this turns into a long story.
I hope this turns into a long story too.
Discb: Mkay, sounds like fun. How's Aussie treating you? Always wanted to go there.
Aussie's treating me good. Mostly. I am enjoying it, but at the same time I'm kinda missing the English weather, floods and all.
Concolor44: Regarding Part I: I don't see Robin as normally that conflicted over his identity. But then, Batman never asked that of him before, did he? And you gotta love Raven's answers (non-answers?).
Regarding Part II: A judicious use of the rumors that abound concerning Raven seems to be an effective weapon. I like that. Seeing Red-X in the installment-loan business was a surprise, though. How does he have enough cash on hand himself to float loans to other criminals ... especially given that a lot of them (his loan to Adonis being an example) are going to be defaulted?
Regarding your A/N: I understand. Completely.
He never did. I think he actually became Nightwing in the comics before the introduction of Jason… Wouldn't no though, I haven't got any of those Batman comics. He doesn't pass on loans so much as 'sell' stolen materials he 'finds', he just lets them pay him back in instalment. As you might see this chapter.
The-Lithe: A-mazing story so far! I love the interactions between the characters. Please update soon, I am very impatient lol
Glad you like it!
Guest: :except not accept
Let me guess, typo in my author's note? Yeah, my Beta Concolor44 doesn't go through them.
Guest: Awesoome. Update soon!
Glad you like :)
desireewu2001: wow! good job! i haven't read a good RaexRed X story in a long time!
Glad you like, and I hope you continue to.
The tracker having worked like a charm, Red X had spent the last few nights scouting the edge of the property he'd been led to, trying to get an idea on who and what his target was, and what kind of organisation he was dealing with. He knew they had money, for one thing. The building – what appeared to be an old factory of some sort – had a 'sold' sign out on the front gates. The perimeters had a well maintained and secure fence that would keep out any opportunistic thieves or daring teenagers, and there was no shortage of men entering and leaving the building. Getting in would have been easy enough, had it not been for the man sat in the main security hut, checking the ID of everyone who entered the building.
Of course such a small gesture of security wasn't too big an issue for Red X. It was what they were possibly hiding inside that made him wary.
Moving from his perch on the roof of the building next door, he climbed up the tall industrial chimney, getting comfortable just as someone exited the building and made his way into the main guard hut. Knowing he only had a max of three minutes before they changed shifts and the current guard would move to enter the building, Red X quickly tapped the co-ordinates into his suit and leapt off the chimney before pushing the 'X' on his belt buckle, firing up the suit's xenothium core and making it across the small distance unseen.
He reappeared inches from the factory door and quickly ducked inside, placing his back against the wall alongside the door as he surveyed the corridor in front of him. He needed somewhere he could gain access to the rest of the building unseen, and that meant the main corridor was way out. Hearing the door open next to him, Red X cringed and tried to make himself as flat against the wall as he could, ignoring the small voice that told him to take out the man now, before he was seen.
The man moved forward, letting the door swing shut behind him by itself. The thief let out a breath he hadn't known he'd been holding when he realised the man hadn't seen him. Smiling slightly and making a small toast to the man's obliviousness, he went back to searching for his route through the building, his eyes landing on a very convenient air vent half way up the wall next to him.
The cover quickly dropped down thanks to the assistance of an adhesive string of red material that vaguely resembled an 'X'. Red X caught the vent cover so it didn't make any noise, before carefully placing it on the floor in the corner, out of immediate notice. He checked the corridor once more before walking backwards until he was against the opposite wall. Once there, he ran forward and jumped, catching the edge of the vent with his right hand.
He pulled himself up and quietly started crawling, taking every corner he thought would lead him deeper into the building, pausing at every vent cover in the hopes he might overhear something of interest.
Red X had been crawling for almost fifteen minutes when he leaned over the hundredth or so vent cover and overheard something he could use to help him find out who he was up against.
Someone laughed, and there was the sound of wood breaking. Red X tried to see between the slats in the vent cover, but saw nothing more than lines of colour; red, silver, grey and pale brown.
"Did you hear about what happened to Anthony?"
The anti-hero's brow furrowed as he leaned back, trying to remove the cover, only to find it securely in place.
"What happened? All I've heard is the boss ain't happy with him."
"Got himself caught, didn't he? By someone else who had their eye on these crates. As if that wasn't enough, apparently he came back here with a tracker on him!"
Red X smiled to himself as he looked up the vent, eyes searching for another cover that might prove easier to remove.
"Yeah. I'd say he's gonna be the first one in here once it's built, and the guy who stuck the tracker on him second."
"Aren't they worried about 'im turning up?"
"All us against one guy? He'd be stupid, or suicidal, to even try. An' whatever weapon he uses, Anthony says it ain't a firearm."
"What if he's working for her? The boss said if her or her friends find out we're here, we'll be heading for the same path as Blood."
Red X's eyes narrowed as he stilled, one question on his mind. 'Who's 'her'?'
"She ain't gonna find out; not until it's too late anyway."
"But this guy-"
"A local criminal. Not the sort to share tales with her."
Back in the air vents, the thief decided to take the risk of being seen, sticking a stretchy, putty-like 'X' on one side of the grilled cover, overhanging onto the vent tunnel itself, before he placed one foot on the cover and slowly added his weight, wincing every time the metal dented and made a noise.
"How do we know she don't hang out with the local criminals in her free time?"
"For starters, she ain't stupid enough to give someone an opportunity to rat her out. I'm sure the press would eat that up."
There was the sound of another crate being cracked open, and Red X used the noise for cover as he kicked down, the metal warping until the screws could no longer hold it in place, only the sticky red 'X' stopping the cover from falling off completely.
Red X took in as much of the room as he could. They had knocked down a few walls to create a larger space, judging from the broken bricks littering the floor. They'd also removed a large chunk of flooring and the foundations underneath, and someone had been digging, a large crater of raw earth sitting in the middle of the room. He saw the crates next, stacked against the far wall, and then the two men who he'd been listening to, both dressed in some sort of dark green uniform, semi-automatics swinging on straps over their shoulders. Inside the crates sat large sheets of steel, and within seconds Red X had mentally listed several local criminals that would have bought a couple of sheets off him had he gotten to the crates first.
"So what's he tellin' all these hired guns anyway?" One of the men asked as they moved to open another crate.
"Hell knows. That it's need to know, and they don't. No doubt a lot of them will end up in the pit shortly after it's built. Need to start the pool somehow."
Red X frowned to himself as he tried to figure out what in hell the men were talking about.
"It won't be enough; it'll just clot and dry on the bottom." The other man answered the thief's question, and he felt himself take a nauseous turn. "I don't see why we can't just kick Blood out'a the place in Gotham and use the one there. That's been going for centuries."
"Do you even know how heavily guarded that place is? And not just by the church either. No." The man shook his head. "Maybe after the rise of our true leader, but not before."
One of the men shrugged, moving over to the next crate, saying something, but Red X barely heard him, a red flag having gone up at the mention of Gotham. He racked his brain trying to think of something, anything, about this Blood character, certain he should have come across someone like that, or a pit like that during the time he spent in that city. Shaking his head, he turned his attention back onto the men, frowning unhappily as he realised they'd changed the conversation to last week's cricket match.
He was eighty percent sure the 'her' they had talked about referred to one of the female titans. After all, one of them had made it clear that she – whoever she was – wouldn't be caught dead socialising with criminals. If he could just figure out who Blood was, he might have his clue to which Titan they'd been talking about, AND what kind of thing he might be dealing with. But that would require access to a database like the one in Titan's Tower. He nodded to himself, happy he'd made a good start before he awkwardly turned in the small tunnel and made his way back. He wouldn't collect any more information from those two workers now, and he had an appointment to keep anyway.
The figure slumped slightly against the wall behind him as he stopped trying to fight against the smoky restraints that kept his hands bound by his side, his feet to the ground and his tongue stilled, barely noticeable in the light given off by the half moon. Four shadows waited patiently from their positions on surrounding rooftops as a green bat – grey and black in the lack of light – circled the building endlessly, its movements almost too fast to follow.
The seventh man to join their company strode confidently out of the alleyway towards Adonis, oblivious to the shadows around them.
"Good; you're here. Though the lack of suit doesn't bode well. You better have my money, or you know how this goes, Adam. I can take exactly what I need from your current apartment, and don't think I don't know where you live."
Red X frowned as he finally saw Adam's eyes, wide as saucers as they kept flickering to look at something above the thief's right shoulder, as though he was trying to warn him of something.
The dark, smoky tendril appeared literally from thin air, and Red X only just managed to avoid it by falling to the ground as fast as he could and rolling out of reach. He'd started to push himself to his feet when the second black rope grabbed him by the ankle, hoisting him up into the air. The anti-hero cursed as Robin's boots landed within his eyesight, shouting out to the empath who was yet to show herself.
"Come on, Sunshine. This is hardly fair."
"Consider it payback."
Red X flinched; he hadn't heard her voice with his ears.
"You're under arrest for aiding known criminals and, if we can prove it, the selling of stolen items. You will also be called to pay time for your list of past offences." Robin told him.
Red X strained his neck to see the leader of the titans smile as he reached for the set of handcuffs hanging from his utility belt. "You know, this would have probably been your quickest arrest yet." Red X started, watching Robin's smile falter. "Had you thought to restrain my hands first."
The xenothium powered 'X' took Robin by surprise, turning into a net milliseconds before it reached the hero, knocking him off his feet and securing itself to the ground. Beast Boy was there next, running towards the thief and leaping, transforming into a boa constrictor as he moved through the air towards him, but another 'X' took him out, this one carrying him back until he stuck to the wall next to Adonis, the changeling just managing to shift back into his human form before the unforgiving material took too much of a hold.
Red X heard the heavy footsteps of Cyborg rushing towards him from behind, and tensed the muscles in his trapped leg before using his stomach muscles to get himself into a sitting position. Cyborg closed his arms around where the anti-hero should have been, grabbing nothing but air. Red X's hands shot down and two small 'X's attached themselves to Cyborg's back before sending a current though him, temporarily putting him down.
The thief was suddenly moving as the restraint around his ankle threw him to the side and back again, disorienting him slightly.
"I'm actually pretty happy I ran into you guys. I've got a little problem myself. Any chance I can borrow that fancy computer of yours?"
"Starfire, help Raven restrain Red X!" Robin ordered, his eyes fixed somewhere behind the thief.
"What's up Sunshine? Got more men than you can handle?" Red X taunted, cringing when the rope of dark energy around his ankle tightened, almost cutting off the blood circulation to his foot.
"Secure Adonis, then free Robin and Beast Boy. I can deal with Red X."
Starfire looked between her leader and Raven, trying to decide the best course of action before flying over to where Robin was trapped, reaching through the net for the handcuffs. Red X tried to throw some sort of 'X' at her, but Raven blocked it with a shield of dark energy, the projectile landing harmlessly on the ground. The dark energy dissipated, before the rope holding his ankle began to grow, twisting round his leg, until it reached his hips, moving to cover the teleportation device on his waist.
"Can't you at least attempt to make it seem like I have a chance?" The thief complained, helplessly watching Starfire cuff Adonis onto the drainpipe running down the wall.
As the dark energy disappeared from Adam, the frostbitten rope started to extend again, up his torso. He attempted to rip it away with his hands, his mind trying to figure out how to get Raven to move within his sight. He couldn't disrupt her concentration if he couldn't see her.
"I never took you for a coward Raven. You finally admitted you'll never be able to best me in a fair fight?"
Adonis secured, Starfire moved back to Robin, blasting one of the hooks holding the net to the ground with a starbolt, shattering the metal and freeing one corner of the net.
"Nice try, but I'm not so unsure of myself that I feel the need to prove otherwise." The obsidian rope reached his collar bone and split in two, working its way over his shoulders and slowly down his arms, pulling his arms in close to his side.
"Next time I'll leave you stuck on the wall." Red X muttered quietly, not sure if Raven could hear him or not, but certain no one else had.
A frown worked its way onto the empath's face and she took a hesitant step forward, out of the shadows she'd hidden herself since coming down from the rooftop. "Fine. But then I owe you nothing."She could feel Red X's slow smile, even though she couldn't see it. "But don't think I'm going to make it easy for you. If you can't hit me before your hands are fully bound, too bad."
She walked further out and over to Robin, ignoring Red X as she helped Starfire pull two of the net's pegs out of the ground. She saw the first 'X' travelling towards her and side stepped it, turning to grin smugly at the thief when the second one, having been fired moments after the first, hit her face, covering her eyes. Her surprise snapped the rope of dark energy, and she heard the sound Red X made as he hit the floor. Starfire cried out a moment later. Raven tried to peel the 'X' from her face, hearing Robin shout at the anti-hero as he scrambled out from under the net and onto his feet. She heard him take off after the thief, leaving Starfire, Beast Boy and herself to try and free themselves.
"Yo, Raven. A little help?" Beast Boy called out, and she turned to the sound of his voice, irritated and pointing at what she thought to be the 'X' covering her eyes.
"I would, could I but see you."
"I'll direct you. Come on; like ten steps forward."
Raven tried to frown and sighed before taking ten hesitant steps forward, her hands held out in front of her, warding off any objects that might have been there for her to walk into.
"Great! Now take another ten. No, eleven." Beast Boy watched her shuffle forward. "Now, the thing starts a few inches from your right and stops a few inches from your left. Use your powers to-"
"Accidently skin you while I attempt to free you?" She deadpanned, "Please just try to think."
Raven slowly walked forward, hands still in front of her, cringing when her fingers brushed the wall, thankful it hadn't been the changeling. She felt along until her hands found the strange, smooth texture of the 'X', following it down to one point before trying to pry it free from the wall, thanking Azar when the point peeled back, making it easier for her to get a grip and pull, letting her dark energy leak down her arms and over the material, pulling back with her mind, the strength of her energy working better than the strength of her arms would have.
"Yeah! Go Raven!"
After the first couple of inches, the material eased away from the wall, and Raven stopped pulling as she heard her team mate hit the ground.
"Great, now how about you move this from my eyes." She stood waiting, her hands on her hips.
"Maybe I should help Starfire then let her do this. Or I could reset Cyborg and he could do it. It's gonna hurt."
"I know it's going to hurt." Raven rolled her eyes even though he couldn't see it. "And I am not waiting. Just rip it off – I won't let my powers lash out at you." She could feel his scepticism and sighed before adding. "Promise."
"Well … okay."
She heard him move towards her, cringing when she felt his hand on her face, gripping the edge of the 'X' that rested on her cheek, holding in her breath.
"Okay. 3… 2… 1!" He yanked back, Raven holding in a yelp as the material tried to stick to her skin, almost feeling like it was ripping her face off. She heard something explode, but it hadn't been Garfield.
She kept her eyes shut a few seconds after the 'X' had been removed, before opening them and looking at Beast Boy. "Ow." She touched the tender skin around her eyes.
"Come on, let's help Star and Cy, then find Robin. Hopefully he's caught up with X."