The rain saturated the window pane. Outside, the desolate view of equally desolate apartment building was a watercolour of greys in the dim, evening light, and Jinx sighed, pulling the dark purple curtains closed. The room was incredibly dark without the streetlight, and she clicked the table lamp on, throwing herself on the old sofa. Her booted feet were crossed on the coffee table, and she flicked the news on, picking up her collection of Poe's works and flicking it to the marked page. Her light pink eyes scanned the page, and then she shut the book with a huff.
It wasn't that long ago that on Friday nights she'd be doing something worthwhile. Now, most days, she just hid in her one bedroom, dingy, low rent apartment and pretended she was normal, out of eyesight of the normal. She regretted her past actions, now, but Jump City didn't quit get the idea of reformed criminals becoming the good guys. They didn't want them to get free passes. She understood, she guessed...but still. Now what would she do?
She spent the rest of the evening in her depressing monotony; microwave pizza. News. Prime time TV. Then she decided to start watching some kind of crappy sci-fi film, before quickly growing annoyed and snappily turning the television off. She considered just going to sleep, but it was only nine thirty and she didn't want to further depress herself.
"Come on Jinx. Snap out of it," she muttered to herself, handwashing the dishes if only for something to do. There was a rapid knock on the door, and she frowned, pulling the rubber gloves from her hands and crossing the small space. She hesitantly opened the door, before pulling it open abruptly. Her mouth dropped open, and her stomach flipped in an uneasy motion.
She knew the red hair anywhere; the green eyes and outfit as familiar as her dingy apartment. She blinked rapidly, before almost slamming the door in his face.
"Stop. Wait," Kid Flash gasped, and Jinx immediately realised he needed her help. He barely had enough strength to say that, before collapsing. She barely caught him, pulling him inside and slamming the door. She hated him, but not that much.
His red hair was sodden, clinging to his masked face, and his breathing was rapid. He looked overly tired, and there was an unfamiliar stain of red on the torso of his costume.
"Damn it, Wally," she muttered, rooting around her apartment for the special, Jinx-style first aid kit she kept; she knew how to fix these things. You tended to learn them when you couldn't exactly go to the officials for health care. She crossed back over to him, opening the costume and finding the wound, which was a lot deeper than she had previously expected. She began to patch him up, slowly but surely, never panicking. That was just her, wasn't it? She never let her panic show.
She was bandaging him up as she realised what she was doing, and she fought back the contemptuous look that tried to cross her face. Why was she doing this to herself? He'd left her. Two years ago, he'd just left her. Disappeared. Not a word. And now he was here again, because he needed her help, and like a sucker, she'd helped him. How many girls had done the same thing?
She wrapped the bandage perhaps a bit angrily, slamming some painkillers and a glass of water on the coffee table next to him. She couldn't help herself, looking at the small patches of pale skin that were shown on his face; Wally, not Kid Flash.
She shook her head quickly, pushing herself up from her knees roughly and sitting with her back against the door and her book in her lap. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't. So why was she microwaving a pizza for him, why was she looking after him, why wasn't she throwing him out?
She was not still in love with Wally West. She was not. She refused to even admit to herself that she ever had been, because that was a flood of hurt that she'd dammed up and left to never touch.
She'd finished her book, and it was almost dawn before Wally stirred. He blinked blearily, and she refused to let herself run to his side. He looked around, and found the pain killers. She doubted they'd work much, assuming his body would burn them off too quickly.
He then found the pizza, devouring it quickly, barely even taking time to chew. She would not smile in relief. She wouldn't.
He then remembered where he was, turning to look at her. He smiled. She would not smile back. She wouldn't.
"Hey," he murmured, groggily. "Rough night."
"When will you leave?" she asked, bluntly. He stood slowly, holding his side.
"Jinx, I'm sorry, I – "
"I don't care, Wally," she said. "You've got balls though, just upping and leaving and never even calling to tell me why, and then turning up here because you got yourself in a shitty situation," she stated, and he looked genuinely hurt. Well, besides the obvious physical wound.
"Jinx...God, I fucked this up big time."
She rolled her eyes, getting to her feet and gesturing to his wound. "Who did it? I want to send them flowers."
Wally winced again. "I don't know. I was running too fast. God, Jinx, I'm sorry. I really am," he stated, stepping closer to her. She sighed, before calming down.
"Before you get out, can you tell me why?" she asked, and his green eyes looked lost under his mask. It was silent, a foot between them. Then he spoke.
"To protect you."
It was silent for a heartbeat, before she slapped him.
"I deserved that," he muttered, and she glared. She shook her head.
"At least grace me with the truth. God damn it, Wally, I can't believe you'd give me that shit. What the hell would you try and protect me from? The bad guys? Been there, done that. God, Wally, you're a piece of work, you know that?" she stated, reiterating her point by jabbing him in the chest with a slender finger.
Kid Flash shook his head. "I mean it. I just wanted to protect you. I know you don't need protecting, but damn it, I have enemies. I just...God, Jinx. I felt – I feel – I don't know how to say it. But what I felt, I didn't want to see you get hurt. So I left. It's the truth. Believe me or don't. But when have I ever lied to you?"
Jinx folded her arms. "Did you ever think how I felt? Did you ever once tell me any of this? It wouldn't have been hard to just...leave me a note," she said, her throat balling up and her voice breaking on the last note. She wouldn't let herself cry. She wouldn't.
Wally crossed the foot between them, taking off his mask.
"You know everything about me, Jinx. And I knew what you were like. I thought about you every single day. I wasn't even...I was in Jump to come see you, and then...God, Jinx, I'm terrified of you. I think, damn it, I think I love you, but you terrify me."
Jinx bit her lip, fighting for control. Her resolve was dissolving, but she didn't want to be weak. She couldn't.
"Two years..." she murmured, but she could tell by the look on his face that she'd given herself away. He was so good at reading people; he held her gaze, and she knew he meant it, she just knew. And she hated herself for it, damn it, she'd been so good, up until now. But his lips were just so warm, and his touch was so right. Her hand moved its way into his hair, and his hands were on her waist. They were back like this again, and he knew he was forgiven, and she couldn't hate herself for that. She broke away for a few seconds, her lips millimetres from his.
"Don't do this if you're going to leave," she warned. He responded with a deeper kiss this time, more urgent. This was both familiar and new, comfortable and urgent. It felt good to feel his body against hers again, the pain from his wound momentarily forgotten as he pulled her to the couch. She settled herself gingerly on his lap, watching the wound in his side as she carefully straddled the speedster, his lips on her neck, her collarbone, her lips again as she arched her neck back. Her fingers curled around the back of the sofa as Wally's hands found the buttons on her dress and the cold air hit bare skin.
She'd missed him; how he knew exactly what to do, how he knew her so well, how she knew him so well.
Even after they finished, she found solace that some things didn't change; Wally's skin was warm next to her, and he drifted off to sleep as the sun rose. She checked his wound again; it would be fine, and she drifted off to sleep next to him with a smile on her face.