As most of you know, I am not American. This chapter includes the mention of various USA government branches. I don't know if I got it right! I did how ever research it as best I could in the time I had. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
A/N: When I left for the month long holiday, I thought to myself "I'm sure to get a few chapters written for Nightmare and Friday 13th!" – HAH! I was getting LOADS of inspiration from the camping trip, honest. It's just all gone into the 'middle' few chpts of Nightmare, and we're not quite there yet! I did, however, manage to write this chpt while I was away :) (I'm back, btw :P)
Deathnoteuser: Ahah, Robin's alive! I didn't notice until just now, but it seems that I unintentionally rhymed last review. Anyway, good chapter though there are a lot of spelling/grammar/word use errors BUT you were in a hurry and it was rather late in Aussie, no? Raven can't heal breaks fully, but she can't set her ribs either? Also, Jinx seemed a bit too...calm after her breakdown, maybe it's just me but that's how I feel. I've always wondered why Raven doesn't teleport more often in the cartoon.
Yeah, I was in a rush – I've had plenty of time to re-read this chapter though (though that's not me saying it's perfect. I bet you'll still find a few typos) Ahah it's hard enough to set ribs as it is (as in near impossible unless you're lucky with the break) if she can't fully heal a break I don't see why (or how) she'd be able to set AND heal her own ribs. Hmm no I was wondering about that too…. But I mean when you think about Jinx, and you think about her freaking out? She's got a pretty level head in MY mind. So do I. I've come up with several possible theories (mainly about the lines of interdimension travel (mentioned in the comics) and how else her teleportation abilities might work.
Dawsen: Cool chapter! Sorry about the cold though. Where I live it can be above 35 Celcius for months at a time. I dislike extremes.
Glad you liked. Ahah it's 'kay – just came back from a holiday up north Aussie and it was 40-45 degrees. The cold is now a welcome break xD
Djedefre: A bit short, but worth the wait. Have a good holiday. Djedefre
I am trying to get the chapters for this as long as possible, but I didn't want to leave for a month without giving you guys something to read! (this chapter's kinda short too, BUT the content's pretty good. I hope you'll agree)
Discb: Have fun
Raven's gonna be a carry during the recovery at the end of this fic assuming it ends that way.
A carry? (I did have fun. LOTS OF IT! – Three words. 'Whale Sharks' and 'Diving' – Thanks!)
TyrionGreywind: A whole month?! Ah, I guess I'll live... And kudos to Beast Boy for knowing Jinx's scent... I find it a little odd that he'd remember, but you never know
Think yourself lucky. You went a whole month without updates, I went a whole month sleeping on the floor (seriously) You never know, but I figured he's fought her enough for it to be like recognising his team mates (only not as certain)
Chaosrin: Those news about the demon spread how would they suppress it? I mean in this digital day and age of twitter and facebook the news would have been viral already and I sort of take that DC universe would have a more advanced tech Infrastructure than ours like the Justice League Watchtower and Lexcorp and alien goodies. People would want the tech to spread around. Still kind of weird how there's no sense of action over what happening over 'those… things from over east' feel's a bit muted.
Anyway do update
It is the modern day, BUT the guys behind the animation did say Jump was based in an alternate 60s/70s (inspired by the Superman series they based in the 50s). In other words, Facebook? What's facebook. Indeed the media still has a part to play, but you'll see over the chapters as I bring in more flashbacks how things were done to keep everything low key – as far as the technology goes 1), it'd be REALLY expensive, hence why it's only your big players that seem to have it in the comics and 2) these is demons. Until Cyborg put Raven's DNA into the systems along with WHAT it means, only people like herself and Dr Midnite were really qualified to know what it was they were looking at. I'm going on the same sorta basis, and JL rarely deal with demons (ignoring Jason Blood) :)
"I'm not sure. It…" He crinkled his nose and frowned slightly. "It smells like Jinx."
"Are you sure, B?" Cyborg asked, the left side of his face – the organic side – creasing with his scepticism as his brow pulled down.
"Not a hundred percent, no. I don't know her scent that well, but…" He fell silent, his ears dropping slightly as he concentrated on something, an old memory perhaps. "I'm animal enough that I remember scents much better than your average guy, and I'm pretty sure it's Jinx."
"So Raven went to our right, where she found Jinx, then came back this way?" Starfire asked, and Beast Boy shook his head.
"She teleported here with Jinx. There's no trail back here."
"Rae's probably looking for us," Cyborg noted. "We'll follow the path she took with Jinx – it'll be the most recent one out of the two. If luck's on our side, they won't be too far ahead of us."
Beast Boy nodded before he shifted into a bloodhound and began walking, his nose to the ground.
"She is probably following the route down the main road," Starfire offered. "It would make the most sense, no? As far as our friend is concerned, that's where we last were."
"You'd think so," Cyborg nodded, frowning when Beast Boy lead them slightly off from the main road. "But apparently not. I'm sure Rae knows what she's doing. Even if we don't."
They followed the changeling into a large apartment complex, where they climbed several sets of stairs before starting out along a corridor that had probably seen better days, the white walls stained and linoleum flooring scuffed in several places. More than weary of every door they passed, they travelled in silence until Beast Boy came to a stop outside a closed door, shifting back into his human form.
"They went in here," he frowned. "Am I the only one wondering what they were doing here?"
"Nope." Cyborg shook his head. "I'll guess we'll find out."
He stepped around the changeling and towards the door, left hand transforming itself into his sonic cannon as he grabbed the door handle with his right. He turned the handle, his cannon aimed at the centre of the doorway as he shoved it open, half expecting to have encountered some means of a barricade. Stepping inside, he did a quick sweep of the room before lowering his arm.
"I think we're good."
The two titans followed him in, taking in the small living area. It was obvious someone had been here. Cupboard doors had been left open, and a towel was sitting on the floor by what they assumed to be the bathroom.
"They must have been here for a good hour, if not more." Beast Boy moved round the room, heading for the kitchen as Starfire closed the front door behind them. "The place stinks of them." In the kitchen, he picked up a mug on the bench top, waving at Cyborg and Starfire. "They even had time for tea."
"It was probably a rest point of sorts." Cyborg pointed out. "I mean, it's pretty safe for Raven to keep on the move. Maybe not so much now she's got Jinx, if they come across a large group of the things, but… They make a trail out of here?"
The changeling nodded. "Leading further into the apartment block."
"We could look, but perhaps Raven has a destination in mind." Starfire gestured to the open cupboards "The city was left in a rush; no doubt quite a few things would have been left behind yet Raven and Jinx seem to have done a good job of clearing the place. It is a lot of things to carry, no? Suppose they have a base of sorts? I doubt they would linger somewhere like here."
Cyborg shrugged. "Well right now it's all we got, so we might as well follow it."
The two titans nodded, Beast Boy shifting back into a blood hound as they left the apartment, closing the door behind them. They checked out two more apartments next door to each other, all with their cupboards open, before they lost the empath's trail. Beast Boy regained his human form, looking glum as he announced, "Lost them. Rae probably teleported."
"As I suggested, Raven has probably set up a camp somewhere else. Somewhere she feels safe." Starfire spoke up.
Beast Boy grinned. "Great! So now we just need to figure out what Rae would consider a good base, and we've found them!"
"Easier said than done." Cyborg muttered, and the Tameranian nodded.
"As much as we like to think we do, we do not know Raven all that well. To narrow where she might set up base down to a few places…. It will not be easy, and we could completely miss some locations off our list."
"Well, we know she'll want to be somewhere where she doesn't feel cornered in, but is still protected, which kinda cuts out any place small."
"We do?" Cyborg asked.
"Think about it dude. I mean, that's where I'd want to be, and we both have the whole not-totally-human instincts thing going on."
"But we do not know how a demon thinks. Perhaps they are not like your animals."
"The lesser demons we've seen all pretty much acted like animals. Just wild ones. That were REALLY hungry. Like starved." Beast Boy frowned as he thought more on it.
"Well, it's the best start we have." Cyborg shrugged. "So we pretty much know we wont find them camping out in apartments, houses or anything with lots of small, enclosed spaces. Where does that leave?"
"The mall of shopping. The town hall. The public library, Titans Tower… oh, and perhaps the old rooms under the library, though I would never like to see them again, and I am sure I'm not the only one."
"Yeah, I can't exactly see Rae camping out in the mall." The changeling smiled.
Starfire shrugged. "It was a suggestion. If you think you know better…"
"I'd say the creepy place under the old library is a pretty good suggestion." He replied, and seeing their faces, quickly added, "Well she's the only person who can get in and out of the place. I'd say that stands for these things too."
Cyborg looked at Starfire, who nodded, and shrugged. "It's worth a look."
Jinx left Raven to bar the door behind them, finding a notepad on one of the shelves and tearing the packaging off before searching the small shop for a pen, announcing loudly, "I think we should make a list of everything we want. You know, so we know what we're looking for and so we can cross off stuff we already have."
"Well food and drinkable water would be a good start." Jinx heard Raven mutter somewhat sarcastically.
"Plates, knives, forks, spoons, a pair of scissors, a tea towel, a kettle – preferably a stove kettle, something we don't need a plug socket for - tea, coffee, sugar-"
"Don't you think that's a little… extravagant?" Raven interrupted as he appeared within sight of the thief. "I mean what are you trying to do? Kit out a house?"
"Just because the world's going to shit, doesn't mean we have to." Jinx replied, reaching the front counter, smiling as her eyes landed on a biro. Leaning on the counter she began to write in the notepad.
Camping stove (gas)
Changes of clothes
Diesel (for Gen.)
Something to sleep on!
She tapped the pen on the counter a few times before looking back to Raven, who was stacking several crates of water bottles off the shelves and onto the floor beside her feet. "Any input? Because if you don't speak up, you won't get it."
The empath rolled her eyes, deciding not to reply as, finishing with the water, she began to search the other shelves for anything useful, finding several packs of matches that she quickly shoved into her backpack.
"I'm being serious." Jinx said when she realised she wasn't going to get an answer.
"No. Nothing. I can suffice just fine with what we already have, thank you."
"Suit yourself, but while it's still here, we might as well use it. I know you said you were gonna fix the world and all that superhero shit, but to me it looks like we might be going quite a while without things like, I dunno, the comfort of civilisation."
"We'll figure something out." Raven replied, her tone sharp.
"You don't even know what the hell these things are."
"I told you, they're demons. I'm just unsure as to where they're from."
"You're still going with that?" Jinx asked, watching Raven with something akin to disbelief. "You know, I didn't take you for the religious type."
"I'm not." The empath stressed through gritted teeth, her patience just about gone. "Jinx you've seen them, what else could they possibly be?"
"Aliens? Humans mutated by some lab-grown disease?" The thief shrugged. Seeing Raven wasn't convinced, she stopped and frowned. It was true, the titan had a reputation for being unfailingly serious, even if she'd already pulled a few joking remarks from the girl. But there were joking remarks, and there was this. "Seriously, stop with the bullshit." She didn't sound as convicted, uncertainty creeping into her lilted voice.
"Believe what you want." Raven muttered as she made her way back to the shelf of water. "Just do something useful and see if you can find anything else of use in this place." She looked around at the shelves and the meagre amount of stock left.
Jinx started moving, giving shelves half a glance, but she didn't let the conversation drop. "Okay, so say they are demons. What could you possibly know about them that I don't?"
"Call it my area of speciality. Cyborg does mechanics, Robin leads, I… do the magic and…" Her face creased into a frown as she tried to find the right words, eventually giving up and with a grimace going for Beast Boy's description, "'mystical weird stuff', to quote a team mate."
Jinx grinned. "I knew you were a witch."
"Technically, I'm not." Raven paused, taking a break as she focused on the conversation.
"Whatever. Great. But how do you know your sources of information are reliable?"
"In my dimension, nobody questions the existence of demons, and a fair few studies have been conducted and written about. I think you'd be surprised about the number of legit books that come from Earth, too."
"Your dimension?" Deciding that the shelves held nothing of particular worth, she began to make her way back towards the empath and seeing her shoving loose water bottles into her backpack, dropped her own next to the titan and quickly began to fill it.
"You're not from earth?"
"My mother is a legal American citizen, though she has not lived in this Dimension for close to twenty two years."
"She a witch too?"
"No. She's perfectly human."
"Which I'm going to take as meaning your Dad aint. So you're like what? Eighteen, nineteen? "Shit. I would have pegged you for bein' older than me."
"No. I'm not. Though my age is none of your damned business."
"Awh come on, don't be like that. I turned twenty last month. Damn. Twenty. Aint that a scary thought. I think I'm missing my youth already."
"You can't even legally drink yet." Raven pointed out, and she felt amusement pour off the woman.
"Yup. That'll be the fun gone from yet one more thing." Jinx straightened up, zipping her bag and grabbing it by the strap as she deemed it full, before looking at Raven, smiling. "Not that it means I won't drink."
"You drink any time during all this, and I'm leaving you on the side of the road."
"Well, that's not very nice. Lucky for me, I know when to drink, and right now? No thanks. I'd like to see what's attacking before it attacks me. I'd also like to be able to aim straight. Dunno about you, but my hexes tend to get somewhat explosive and…. Random when I'm drunk. And that's when I'm trying to use them. You should see the passive damage they do to electronics."
"I don't drink." She turned back to her bag. "But I understand the electronics thing."
"You too? I don't even want to count how many microwaves we get through in a year. I wouldn't mind, but I don't even know I'm doin' it. An' it's a good job we don't have anything like your T-Car or we'd need new tires every month. Rubber hates me. For some reason it degrades hell fast. Though I guess we won't have to worry much about that for a wh-FUCK!"
Raven turned to look at Jinx, confused by her outburst. Two things happened simultaneously. Raven, seeing Jinx had her gaze fixed firmly on something, followed it until she found herself looking at the front of the shop, while outside shapes flooded the pavement - having picked up Jinx's scent - the first one bringing its doughy fists down on the glass pane in the door, sending a dull 'thud' through the shop. They'd been found.
The empath didn't even bother trying to count how many there were, more joining the first in its assault of the store front. The pair had thought to bar the door but weren't sure it would hold for very long, able to see the door move with each fist that found it, while others threw themselves against the front windows, their mutated lips pulled back in a snarl that revealed yellowed and broken teeth.
"We running out the back?" Jinx asked, though she had already started backing up towards the fire escape.
"Two minutes. I don't want to waste a trip." Raven replied as she quickly ripped the plastic packaging from another carton of spring water and began to shove bottles into her backpack.
"Two more minutes and they'll be in here!"
She looked at Raven with wide eyes, frustration intermingling with her fear, turning it into something close to panic. "Then how can you be so bloody calm?!"
A bang came from the back of the shop, and both women froze, trying to listen for any more movement. They heard the skittish sound of nails clipping on tiles, and Jinx stumbled back until she was beside Raven, her heart hammering against her ribs like a trapped humming bird.
"Grab one of the cartons."
She heard Raven, but didn't really understand the words, Jinx's eyes being drawn back to the front of the shop where she noticed a crack on one of the windows. She felt true panic then and in a moment of complete abandonment, convinced they were done for, she turned and crushed her lips against Raven's in a bruising kiss, her free arm throwing itself around the woman's shoulders.
Raven almost dropped her backpack, the insistent press of Jinx's soft lips against hers and the warmth of her body preceding the immediate threat in her thoughts. In a moment of amnesia, forgetting both who she was and where they were, Raven had started to kiss Jinx back when one of the windows, finally giving up to the mass of bodies pressing against it, grabbed her attention and pulled her back down to reality. She jerked back but kept the woman's arm around her shoulders she muttered her mantra, the first demon only inches away from them when they were swallowed by the empath's soul self.
Jinx's cheeks were pink by the time the dark energy had receded, and in the dull light of the cavernous rooms that had become their base, she saw Raven's brow rise, not able to tell if it was a display of amusement, distain, or simply a silent question.
Grinning sheepishly, she said, "Oh, yeah. I forgot you could do that." She didn't really wait for Raven to comment as she dropped her backpack and snaked that arm around the titan's neck to complete the embrace, leaving Raven frozen in place, too shocked and bewildered to think of stepping back out of the woman's reach. "Although since that's the case…"
She kissed the empath again, slower this time and, 'impossibly' Raven thought, softer. She didn't know what to do, thinking she should pull back but finding that she enjoyed the feeling of being kissed, and of the gentle warmth, barely there really, that had kindled low in her stomach.
She didn't pull back, but she didn't really respond either other than to drop her backpack, letting it hit the floor with a dull 'thud' and slosh of water. Jinx pulled back smiling and studied the empath for a moment before she de-tangled her arms from around Raven's neck and picked up both of the backpacks, walking over to where they'd started stacking everything in piles dictated by content.
Raven watched her, almost a minute passing by in silence before she asked, "What was that?"
"Well the first time I forgot you could teleport and yeah, I thought we were done for. You know, a spur of the moment 'shit I'm gonna die let's do something crazy' thing. The second time?" She shrugged. "I wanted to." The look of disbelief and confusion on Raven's face made her laugh. "You're not much of a spur of the moment kinda girl, are you?"
"Is it that obvious?" Raven asked dryly, bringing another chuckle from Jinx, who went back to sorting through their backpacks.
"If it helps you any, you can pretend it was me thanking you for saving my ass."
The titan moved over to help, only pausing to frown, "We left two crates of water behind."
"Wow Rae. Ain't like you to get distracted."
"Shut up." Raven muttered, but her small smile didn't go unnoticed.
"All air-traffic's been grounded in the western states now, and pretty much every country's threatened to sink any Canadian, North American or South American vessel seen sailing within sight of their maritime borders." Robin's noticeably unhappy voice penetrated the silence in the common room, announcing his and Raven's appearance, back from the security meeting at the town hall.
It hadn't been Robin's idea for them to attend – Robin wouldn't have even known about it if it hadn't been for the Police Commissioner – and sat at the large and well polished conference table, a large projected screen displaying the conference rooms of another dozen town halls along with the representative for the DHS and two leading war generals, it was clear not everyone wanted them there. Even the commissioner seemed to have second thoughts upon seeing the team's empath with Robin instead of Cyborg, the titan's usual companion to meetings with the council.
"Well if you ask me it was just a matter of time before they cut off the air traffic this side of the country too." Cyborg shrugged. "The states over east have been grounded for over a week now. And I can't say the last bit surprises me either. It's a smart move, so long as the damned things don't learn how to swim."
"The government's decided to evacuate the camps FEMA set up," Robin continued, "And they've chosen cities along the coast to receive the refugees. We're one of them. Apparently we'll be receiving a couple hundred people within the next week alone."
Both Beast Boy's and Cyborg's faces were the very picture of alarm, the changeling exclaiming, "The city isn't big enough!"
"It doesn't matter. We won't receive that many people." Raven's calm and certain tone caught the attention of her team mates, and their eyes followed her almost wearily as she moved further into the room and took a seat on the sofa next to Starfire. "They'll lose too many people trying to evacuate them. The highways are at a standstill there's that many cars on them, and the front line is advancing forward over more land with every day. They'll never reach the city before the demons catch up with them. They'd save more people keeping them in the camps, where they're not so open to attack and already have soldiers positioned."
"Well did you tell them that?" Cyborg asked.
"After telling two generals and the rep. for the DHS that they should abandon the fight on the front line and disperse their troops out across the FEMA camps. Needless to say they didn't like that." Robin told them.
"The latest reports from over east stated demons were still exiting the rift in high numbers. For every one someone kills, five more replace it. I don't need to be a general to know that trying to fight off the front is a waste of time and lives, and isn't pro-active in the least, at least not until we –or someone else – has closed the rift."
"I know who I'd be listening too." Beast Boy muttered, offering Raven a smile.
"Indeed, I agree with Raven, but you have to see it from their point of view. They are receiving contradicting advice, one from a group of people used to fighting mass numbers of enemies, and the other from someone who is generally known for being in single combat." Starfire pointed out. "I also know, from experience, that generals on my planet do not like to take advice from those younger and less experienced than themselves unless they have proven themselves in battle, whether their advice makes sense or not."
"What are the Justice League doing?" Cyborg asked his leader.
"Last I heard, Batman had made it onto their moon base, and Wonder Woman, Superman and Green Lantern had been sent to help the soldiers fighting the front, which last I heard was approaching Colorado fast. A few other members have been sent to the busier camps to help out both now and when the demons reach them. I'm hoping to get a call from Batman later today."
"At least we've still managed to avoid a mass panic." Cyborg tried to throw in enthusiastically. "Everything still going to be kept quiet regarding, you know, what they are?"
"Apart from the religious nuts who're convinced this is Judgement Day, because we can't really do much about them." Robin nodded. "I think the 'rumours' various branches of the Government have spread about viruses and radiation is the best thing they've done during this whole crisis. It seems to be occupying most people, anyway." He took a seat on the sofa, leaning against the back and letting his eyes close. "One day. That's all I'm asking for. One day without meetings, or villains or… anything."
"You know we've had it rough when Robin starts complaining." Beast Boy grinned.
As soon as the changeling had finished speaking, as though on cue, the klaxons sounded, alerting them to an emergency. A chorus of sighs erupted from the sofa, Raven the only one who moved to the computer, typing in her pass-code and reading the information the crime scanner gave her before glancing back at the rest of the team still sat on the sofa and telling them unhappily, "The H.I.V.E Five."
"Some things never change." Robin muttered as he got to his feet. "Okay team, let's make this quick."
A/N: It wasn't that long, but hopefully the content made up for it haha. See you next chapter!