AN: I know, betrayed by my own Muse. Just so you know, I still dislike Kid Flash. Influenced somewhat by The Killers song 'When you were young', a coach trip, and my sudden status change from 'unemployed' to employed. Enjoy.
Jinx no longer knew what city she was in; they'd all started to look the same by the end of the second week, and she supposed it didn't really matter so long as it wasn't Jump City. Since she'd stood up to Madame Rouge and released Kid Flash from the level four containment field she'd had Gizmo build, she'd felt a strange sort of restlessness and a need to reflect on what the speedster had said. She couldn't do that in the city without her team getting in the way.
Travelling had been the easy bit, hitch hiking when she hadn't sneaked into the back of someone's truck. Feeding herself on the other hand wasn't so easy, so Jinx hadn't managed to stop stealing, even if she'd reduced herself to the simple but artful ways of picking pockets and shop lifting. While she'd left the H.I.V.E Five with a positive mind set, determined that even she - the Mistress of bad luck - could change, the nights of sleeping rough and going hungry were beginning to wear down on her mind and make room for old doubts to resurface.
What had Kid Flash even meant when he'd told her she was 'better than this'? Life had never gone her way or given her a break before, why should it start now? And the question that both angered Jinx and ate her up inside; had she left the best thing she'd ever had – and ever would have – on a whim and a few words from a boy? What in Vishnu's name had she been trying to prove?
Recognising she wasn't going to get the answer to those questions that night, she settled down into the first suitable doorway she came across, the deep alcove protecting Jinx from the worst of the bitter wind that chilled her even through the thick jacket she'd found during her travels, carelessly left over the back of a chair in a bus station. Her knees tucked up to her chest she drew the jacket closer around her and rested her head against the brickwork at her back.
Despite how tired the thief felt, weak from malnourishment and lack of sleep, the girl's paranoia – or 'survival instincts' as she preferred to call it – kept her from falling asleep, her body jerking her into a state of alertness every time she drifted off. Instead Jinx studied the building opposite. A hardware store of some sort, her eyes moved from the door to the posters on the windows, squinting to read them in the poor streetlight in the hopes of straining her eyes into closing themselves.
It wasn't until she'd almost found sleep that she realised the shop's door handle had been hanging funny.
Sleep became a distant dream as adrenaline flooded through the thief's body and she jumped to her feet, quietly crossing the dark road in order to get a better look. Whoever had broken into the store hadn't had much luck with lock picking, or hadn't even tried. It looked like Mammoth had tried to open the door during one of his foul moods and had accidently broken the handle, the wood warped around it and the metal bent away from the door completely at the top, the tips of twisted screws hanging on to air.
She pressed her ear to the gap between the door and its frame and listened, hearing the unmistakable sound of footsteps. Her first instinct was to forget she'd seen anything and move on – it wasn't her turf – but something told her that wasn't the 'better' Kid Flash had been talking about. Her next thought was to call the cops but she'd gotten rid of her H.I.V.E communicator a while back and didn't have a phone, stolen or otherwise.
Jinx moved away from the door as she tried to decide what to do. The thief in the shop made up the girl's mind for her. The door swung open and a man stepped out, a ski-mask covering his face. Despite the cold weather he was dressed in nothing more than a tank-top and jeans, showing off arms as thick as tree trunks. Mammoth still made him look small. At first the man did nothing but stare at the meta human in shock, but then he dropped the burlap sack he'd been holding and reached down to his waistband and Jinx didn't have to think twice about releasing a hex-bolt.
The pink energy hit the centre of the man's chest, the force of the blast knocking him off his feet and sending him flying backwards. He almost cleared the doorway back into the shop, 'almost' being the key word. His legs caught the frame and there was a sickening 'snap' and a horrible wail of pain that Jinx never wanted to hear again. She did her best to push her feelings of guilt to the back of her mind as she ran up to the man and took the gun he'd had tucked into the waistband of his jeans. The burglar was in too much pain to protest, quietly moaning in agony as he studied his legs. Jinx let her eyes wander to the red mess and at first didn't comprehend what she was seeing until she realised the white she was looking at was bone, his femur having splintered and torn through his flesh. She would have apologised had his shout not gained attention, but the sounds of swearing as someone else moved towards the door were more important to her in that moment.
Directing her hex energy through the hand holding the gun she slowly released it, the pink sparks absorbing into the cool metal of the weapon and breaking it into several pieces which Jinx dropped as she scooted back away from the door.
Two more men left the shop, both of them with their guns already drawn, and glanced at their fallen comrade before turning their attention onto the ex-leader of the H.I.V.E Five. Unlike her fights with the Teen Titans there was no witty repertoire of jibes or words of assumed victory as they aimed their guns. A dozen different courses of action flashed through her head but before she could release another hex bolt or dive into an evasive cartwheel a familiar red and yellow blur shot past them and the two thieves were suddenly staring down at their empty hands. Another blur and they were both on their asses, handcuffed and dazed. Jinx adopted her best unimpressed stance as Kid Flash 'appeared' next to the thieves, her brow raised and a hand on one bony hip.
The young hero smiled at her. "Thought you could use an extra hand."
"I was dealing with it just fine on my own," Jinx quickly scowled in reply. The thief hadn't seen anything of him since leaving Jump, and while she was secretly somewhat pleased to see him she didn't let it show.
"A simple 'thanks' would have been nice…"
"Well I didn't need your help. I can handle myself – and anything else thrown my way – just fine on my own, thanks. Why are you even here? Don't you know what happened to the last person who stalked me?"
"I was just making sure you weren't in any trouble," The speedster raised his hands in a gesture of peace. "When I heard you'd left the H.I.V.E Five I thought the Brotherhood of Evil might have decided to target you too. If it's any consolation, you're a hard girl to find, my timing just happens to be excellent."
Catching one of the thieves attempting to stand, Jinx threw a small hex bolt his way, cracking the pavement beneath him and making him face plant as he tripped, the man releasing a muffled noise of pain.
"I can handle Rouge – anyone else that stupid Brain sends at me."
"I know, you saved me remember?" The girl didn't reply, so the speedster continued, "I thought we made a pretty good team, even if you are a slowpoke."
"What did you just call me?" Jinx asked before she quickly released a hex bolt, planning to show him just how quick she could be, but he was gone before the pink energy could hit him and she was left staring at the space where he'd been stood.
"Nice try." His voice came from right behind Jinx, startling her.
She spun round to face Kid Flash and found him holding a red rose that he offered her.
"For you," He said, and when Jinx didn't move to take it, scowling at him instead, he pushed it into her hand. "So I've alerted the cops and they're on their way here to take care of those guys," He pointed over his shoulder at the robbers. "Once they're taken care of how 'bout you come back to mine? You can grab a shower 'cause you kind of need it, and I bet a meal wouldn't go amiss."
Jinx felt insulted, hungry and suspicious all at once. She couldn't do anything to stop her stomach rumbling at the mention of food, but she could control her tongue and after a quick decision on which feeling she should address Jinx told him, "Sorry, Mom warned me against following strange boys home."
"Even one of the good boys?"
"Well, someone has a large ego," She replied, unable to hide her smile as the hero's cheeks turned as red as his hair and he stumbled over his words.
"T-that's not… I mean…"
"Relax," Jinx smirked, "I'm just messin' with you." The smile slipped from her face as her eyes dropped to the rose in her hand before she glanced back at the thieves, still able to hear the quiet moans of the man with the shattered leg. "Thanks, really, but maybe when I can stop tearing people to shreds. I'm not sure I'd be able to qualify as one of the good guys right now."
"You don't have to do it alone, you know."
The boy frowned at his shoes, before looking up at her and offering, "Well, right now if things continue the way they are with the Brotherhood it looks like there's gonna be a big show down. You up for it?"
She looked back at him and nodded, a strange smile crossing her lips. "It's a date." Jinx walked up to the speedster and went on her tiptoes, planting a quick kiss on the boy's cheek before she turned to walk off, the rose still clutched in her hand. "See you around, Kid Flash."
The hero watched her leave, a stupid grin on his face, until one of the thieves spoke up angrily, "Jim's bleedin' to death over 'ere! You getting 'im to a hospital or what? What kind of fucked up heroes are you?"
"The kind really hoping for a fight with the Brotherhood." He replied as he skipped towards the man with the broken leg, asking cheerily, "Come on, what do you think the chances of Boy Wonder calling an all out war are?" Getting a proper look at the injury he whistled, "Wow. She really pulled a number on you, huh?"
For those unfamiliar with my writing, 'Vishnu' is a main Hindu god. Jinx, in the comics, is from India and I continue that cannon in my writing. Deal.
Flash fondly calls Jinx 'Slowpoke' in the Teen Titans Go! comics. Despite disliking KF and not being a Flinx shipper, I thought it was kinda cute. Hence the reference here.
I clearly remember in 'Titans Together' KF saying, "Sorry I'm late; I had to pick up a friend.' In other words? They probably didn't get together before the fight with the Brotherhood.
I DON'T OWN TEEN TITANS. The franchise belongs to DC Comics, Warner Brothers Entertainment and the other people under the licence. Everyone but me.
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