"If I never knew you, if i never felt this love I would have no inkling of how precious life can be."
Of all the people Cyborg thought he would be left alone with, Jinx wasn't on his list. Most of the time, she and Kid Flash were practically attached at the hip, more by his infliction than her own, of course. But, regardless, they were a team, almost always going on missions alone.
So, when they had visited per request of the yearly evaluation and Jinx had gotten sick mysteriously, more than likely from the rain, she was stuck at the tower while the rest of the team was off handling a call.
Cyborg, having had some of his circuits fried recently from said rain was also left behind to work upon them.
And thus, the two were stuck together in the same room.
She sneezed from the sofa, huddling her blanket closer to her body as she blankly watched the TV show. Wally, now just going by Flash had propped her up on too many pillows, three or so blankets surrounding her like a fortress. She looked like a cat stuck in an overly stuffed box.
But a content cat, nonetheless.
A content, tired, dark circles under the eyes, eyeing the rose on the table with a mixture of disdain and absolute affection, cat.
Cyborg snorted, calling the girl's attention. She raised a nonexistent eyebrow at him before she sniffled.
"What are YOU laughing at?" she asked through her stuffed nose, looking like someone rubbed her fur the wrong way.
He chuckled more. "Man, the way you're eyein' that rose. It's funny" he said plainly, his laughter dying down.
She scowled, muttering under her breath, barely audible. "Stupid Wally and his stupid "Dance in the rain, it'll be romantic" idea."
"S'that why you're sick?"
The air grew awkward once more.
It was the first time the two of them were in the same room, alone, ever since the "Stone" incident. To be honest, he doesn't think she'll really ever forgive him, not that she needs to. In a fight, she trusted him enough to have her back.
Rather, she trusted in his skills enough.
Jinx was one of the toughest people he had ever met, after all. To worm your way into her heart was a feat indeed, like climbing a mountain with nothing but a hook and some floss. She was one tough customer.
Which was why he didn't really blame her.
After all, he had made her trust him, used that to his advantage, and betrayed her. Forgetting the fact that it was his assignment, it was still a bit of a rough thing to do. They had been standoffish ever since, especially when Kid Flash brought her to the tower, outright demanding that she be given a second chance, fighting with Robin from halfway across the room, unconsciously standing in front of the pinkette as if his body could protect her from the verbal lashing the Boy Wonder was delivering.
Cyborg had vouched for her credibility, avoiding her feline eyes as he did so, joining Kid Flash, Raven, and Starfire in the vote that made the slim ex-villainess an honorary Titan.
But since then, they had avoided each other. No words exchanged, nothing but silence. He had moved on, of course, as she had. It had been 5 years since their stint, after all. She was older now, less guarded yet still brash and vivacious, dishing out her sarcasm for any poor fool caught in her bad mood.
The air was stale and stilted, as if the years between them had settled dust between their verbal communication. She sniffled once more from the couch, he picked up his wrench, the metallic clicking punctuating the silence before he listened in to the rustle of the blankets, looking up and meeting her dry gaze.
"You have something you want to say" she commented, looking him up and down as if he were transparent.
God, how Wally could not only live with, but tolerate and even LIKE that kind of look was beyond him.
It struck him as eerie to be read so well.
He shrugged. "Just thinking."
She rolled her eyes. "Yeah. And it's all sunshine and rainbows outside. Just spit it out", she demanded, taking no nonsense.
He snorted. "Are you like that with Flash?"
He didn't miss the affectionate gleam in her eyes. "All the time", she said simply, looking almost amused. "Is that what you're thinking of?"
"Then amuse me. This TV show sure as hell isn't" she replied, rolling her eyes once more as she fell back against the pillows.
He let the silence stretch for as long as he could before he looked her over critically. Her skin had taken to the sun more, having been allowed out of the hiding she had to do as a villainess. Not only that, but even with the sickness, she looked healthier, having gained several pounds from actually having the option of eating properly.
Well, from having actually had the option of eating in the first place.
Her slenderness was more natural looking now, her irises less full of anger and contempt, her shoulders less stiff. Everything about her was almost softer, in a way. But not in a forced, false way either. In a way that meant that she finally reveled in comfort, in trust, in being able to relax.
She looked much better than when he first met her.
And suddenly, the question spilled out of him.
"Why him?" he asked.
Her gaze could have located a speck of dust, it was so pinpointing. But there was no bitterness in his question, only curiosity.
It wasn't followed with "Why not me?", after all.
Truly, he thought it was better this way. But the what if was still rummaging around like a hyperactive toddler. When she saw there was no contempt in the inquiry, she shrugged.
Cyborg laughed. "Wally? You two are so different though."
She cracked a smirk. "Nah. We're both scrawny little white boys deep down inside", she joked back, her own chuckle deadpan. Cyborg shook his head in amusement. Wally hadn't been scrawny or little for at least two years running, having finally finished his growth spurt to even out at 6 feet and 180 pounds. Still not Cyborg size, but definitely more impressive than before.
"For real though?" he asked.
She leaned back against the many pillows. "He understood", she repeated. "He knew what it was like to not have people believe in you. So he believed in me, even if it was backasswards and irrational as all crap. He knew what it was like to always be missing something. Never full. Always hungry for what you can't have."
Cyborg tilted his head to the side as he set his tools down, the metaphorical not lost on him. "That's all it took?"
She shrugged. "The tabloids like to think he was my hero or something." This time, SHE snorted. "He was never the hero, never the savior. I never needed saving. He was always the catalyst. He believed in me, made me think, and I moved on from that life."
"What, you mean you two WEREN'T Romeo and Juliet?" he responded sarcastically.
Despite the fact that he took no romantic pleasure in it, it was still nice to know that the bad blood between them was thin enough to be smoothed over by a giggle.
"Please, don't. Wally went around quoting "Billy Shakes" for a good month after that article came out", she replied, amused. For a minute, Cyborg let the air settle around that.
"Do you think it could have been anybody else?" he asked, and this time, there was an underlying cloth. A tightrope question with a net of woven shadows beneath it. She eyed him for a moment before she smiled.
He could hear the "No" ringing out like a bell.
He smiled as well.
"You could have been a lot of things, Jinx", he said.
She smirked. "Yeah, well, glad I picked this one to be."
He nodded and turned back to his machinery same as she looked back to her show. When the team returned, from the corner of his eye, Cyborg watched the red head bound up to his long time girlfriend, watched as he sidled up to her, body pressing against her own, watched her half hearted protests spill out, swallowed by his cheer.
He slid his arm around her, and the woman smacked at his bicep before she settled into the embrace as if they were puzzle pieces.
It was the way she softened around him, visible all those years ago, the way she could be at ease. It was the light behind his eyes growing sharper, more pronounced, the way their hands, despite the size difference, the way their BODIES, despite the size difference seemed to settle within the spaces they didn't know they had, filling them completely, with just enough wiggle room. There was something to be said about their dynamic, something that, of course, no one would say.
It would forever be locked beneath their skin like secrets, settled snug against their pores.
When the speedster had tucked a lock of her unruly hair out of the way, and ignored her red nose, and kissed her regardless, Cyborg turned away, lending them a thin veil of privacy before he heard the rustle of the sheets as the Fastest Man Alive picked her and her mass of pillows up to retire to the guest bedroom they were sharing for the trip.
She was right.
It couldn't have possibly been anyone else.
And despite the past, and the odds, and the cobwebs stranding through his mind of what could have been, he didn't mind.
Things like that had a funny way of turning out just how they really had to, after all.
"If I never held you, I would never have a clue how at last I'd find in you the missing part of me."