Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from Teen Titans. I'm just playing in DC's sandbox.

AN: Whee! Welcome back, everybody! Enjoy this next installment.

Thanks go to Le Bibliothecaire and Red Lasbelin for beta-reading, and to SushiChica for pointing out a couple of typos I missed the first time around.


Fool Me Once...
Chapter 3


The next time Kid Flash gets himself caught, he can stay that way. Jinx shifted in her seat, holding on to the steering wheel with one hand. She'd been driving for four hours and was beginning to wonder if she'd made the right decision. If I wasn't almost there, I think I'd turn around.

She didn't really mean it. Turning around would be tantamount to letting Madame Rouge win—and that just wasn't an option. Not when she'd used Jinx to further her plan.

The Brotherhood of Evil's headquarters were in the middle of nowhere, and from what Jinx remembered hearing, they had rather extensive security measures guarding their perimeters. This would call for a bit of finesse. Not to mention, she though wryly, as she parked the car behind a clump of overgrown bushes, a nice little walk.

There were no lights twinkling in this valley; she was met with complete darkness. The only things visible anywhere were thousands of stars studding the velvety night sky. Jinx smiled. She'd always been blessed with excellent night vision. This should be a piece of cake.

It was just under a half a mile to the imposing fortress embedded in the side of a mountain. The trip was arduous, but the ground was flatter than it looked and she evaded the security measures with little difficulty. The tricky part was leaving them intact so their destruction didn't set off alarms, but she managed.

A snap of her fingers, the brief pink glow of a hex bolt, and she was through the front door. Jinx pressed herself up against the cold stone wall, hidden deep within the shadows cast by the dim lighting, and scanned the hall for any signs of life. Oddly—and most disappointingly—enough, the place looked like it had the same level of security the Hive Five building possessed. She resisted the urge to bury her face in her hands. And I actually looked up to these people?

Two seconds later, it hit her how hard it was going to be to locate Kid Flash in this base. It was huge. She craned her neck, staring up at the stone ceiling, which stretched a good fifteen feet above the floor.

Okay, Jinx, think. If you had Kid Flash in your power, where would you put him? Her pink eyes narrowed in concentration. The dungeon, of course, or at least the closest thing to it. Madame Rouge might be vindictive enough to want him within sight at all times, but she rather doubted it. She wouldn't put him where anyone could wander in and talk to him.

Slinking from shadow to shadow, constantly on the lookout for security cameras, Jinx made her way into the lower levels of the base. She could hear raucous laughter emanating from a hall—and presumably room of some sort—off to her right, but chose to ignore it. If they were all in there having a grand old time, so much the better.

The base, as it turned out, did have a dungeon. Row after row of cells lined several halls, each complete with a thick metal door and lock pad. She stopped short.

I don't have time to search this whole place, she thought with growing irritation. Her eyes flashed and one of the locks burst into sparks. Oops. Just to make sure, she peered into the cell before passing on.

It was empty.

Come on. If I was Madame Rouge, where would I put him? He can't escape, nobody knows I've got him, and we're in my top secret base. A smirk slid over her face. He's gotta be close.

After a few minutes of dashing from cell to cell, peering into the tiny windows, she found him. The containment field flickered brightly, but the body within was still. Jinx felt an invisible fist close around her heart. I better not have come all this way for nothing.

She snapped her fingers and the lock on the door broke. Sparking slightly, it released the door, which Jinx slowly pushed open. Kid Flash was flat on the floor, obviously unconscious. She refused to consider the alternative.

"Kid Flash, can you hear me?" She circled around his outstretched body and knelt beside his head. "Kid Flash? I'm gonna get you out of here, don't worry."

Jinx sat back on her heels and considered the field thoughtfully. Madame Rouge probably had the controller glued to her body, which meant her chances of getting him out by destroying the controller were nil. She'd never actually tried to hex a containment field before. The fact that she was outside of it would help, but still….

She frowned, her eyes running over Kid Flash's pale face. His red hair hung limply over his forehead, and his eyes were closed. She leaned closer, her face dangerously near to the field, checking to make sure he was breathing. The barest movement of his chest informed her that he was. So far, so good. I just hope this doesn't kill him.

At any rate, it was worth a try. Jinx couldn't see any reason why her powers wouldn't work on it. Sure, it was a power-negating containment field, but she was outside it—and her powers had never exactly been conventional anyway. "You'd better not die on me," she threatened, just for good measure.

Kid Flash remained unmoving.

Jinx didn't bother talking to him anymore. It was so oddly…disappointing that he couldn't hear any of her threats, couldn't grin cockily and attempt to charmingly disarm her, or even make some pithy—and strangely insightful—comeback.

Her eyes flashed pink.

Nothing happened.

She tried again. Still, nothing.

Irritated, Jinx stared at the containment field. I'm bad luck, she thought rebelliously. I'm the sort of luck that causes containment fields to mysteriously disintegrate.

Closing her eyes, she pictured Kid Flash and the sparking field around him in her mind. She imagined pink tendrils of her power snaking towards it and weaving a glowing pink net. Reaching out one pale, slim hand, she made a convulsive squeezing motion. The pink net contracted around the containment field and the molecules comprising it were torn apart. The room went completely dark as the field died.

Jinx's cat-like eyes adjusted quickly, but she was already reaching for Kid Flash. Her fingers brushed his wavy hair before ghosting over the clammy skin of his face as she felt for his neck to make sure he had a pulse. It was weak, but it was there. A tiny thrill of exhilaration rushed through her.

He's still alive.

A few seconds later, her eyes sufficiently adjusted to the dark, she saw the outline of his body and grabbed him by the arms. "I'm gonna get you out of here. And," she added darkly as an afterthought, "you owe me."

It was slow going. Kid Flash weighed less than she would have expected, given that he seemed to be pure muscle, but the boy wasn't exactly light. Jinx was just happy she was in fairly good physical condition. Otherwise, they would have never made it out of the base. As it was, they had a few close calls.

Madame Rouge herself passed them at one point, and Jinx just barely managed to drag Kid Flash's legs around the corner in time. Once she was convinced the coast was clear, Jinx gritted her teeth and continued to haul his unconscious body towards the door. She ignored the fine sheen of sweat coating her forehead.

Yeah, she thought grumpily, this is turning into a lot more work than I bargained for, but I can't leave him—I mean, she corrected herself hastily, I can't let Madame Rouge win.

Jinx almost gave up when she looked out at the dark expanse of land she'd have to drag him across before they reached her vehicle. For a heartbeat, she considered leaving him under a tree to wonder how he got out when he woke up, but she dismissed the idea immediately. There was no guarantee Madame Rouge and her cohorts wouldn't stumble across him once they realized his cell was empty. True, they'd probably think he'd just zipped off, but they'd run a perimeter check just in case. If he didn't wake up in time, all her efforts would be in vain.

She switched her grasp to his ankles and resumed dragging him along. It was back-breaking work and her muscles were already burning from hauling him out of the base, but she persisted. All the same, she took a perverse joy in all the bumps and bruises he was going to have as souveigners of this little adventure.

Jinx was three-quarters of the way to her car when she became aware of a commotion going on behind them. Casting a glance over her shoulder, she was not terribly surprised to see the base exploding with activity. The knowledge sent a fresh wave of adrenaline through her body and spurred her onward. I stole him right out from under their noses!

Getting Kid Flash's inert form into the passenger seat proved to be even more difficult than getting him up the stairs in the base. Her tired, aching muscles protested loudly, but she ignored them. After a few minutes of struggling, she managed to get him into the car and slammed the door gratefully.

All things considered, this was probably her very best heist. I stole Kid Flash! The thought filled her with an almost hysterical glee and she was cackling to herself as she started the car and drove back to the main highway.

Despite herself, Jinx found herself glancing over at Kid Flash frequently. He slept through the first and second hours of their trip back to Jump City without moving. His breathing, however, was almost back to normal.

Halfway through the third hour, it occurred to her that he was really going to need something to eat when he woke. Her money supply wasn't much at the moment, but—and the thought amused her greatly—being a superhero, he'd probably insist on reimbursing her. Jinx had to fight a giddy smile.

She stopped at a Wal-Mart with a gas station and filled up before driving over to the parking lot. She turned the engine off, pocketed the keys, and unbuckled her seat belt. Her hand was on the door handle when she hesitated. Almost of their own accord, her eyes turned to Kid Flash, who was still asleep, his red hair plastered to the passenger window. "After all the trouble I've been through," she warned his unconscious figure, "You better be here when I get back."

A soft snore was her only answer.

This early in the morning, the store was mostly empty. As much as she wanted to dash through and grab everything she thought they'd need, the cautious part of her knew it was a good way to draw attention to herself. Her pink hair and eyes drew enough attention as it was, though, oddly enough, she seemed to fit right in with the eclectic bunch currently wandering the aisles.

The cashier who checked her items out was barely awake. His eyes were so heavy Jinx doubted he could see her at all—which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, she reminded herself. The temptation to just grab her things and walk right past him became stronger, but she pushed it away. It wouldn't do to cause a ruckus right after spiriting Kid Flash out of Madame Rouge's clutches. Dead giveaway, that.

As she pushed the cart through the automatic doors, Jinx contemplated ditching it and carrying everything to the car by herself. The cart was in dire need of a little TLC. Each wheel scraped the ground, protesting vociferously about being forced to move. The sound echoed through the silent parking lot and set her teeth on edge. She persisted, well aware that if for some reason she was jumped, it would be easier to fight without carrying half the grocery store in her arms.

The hair on the back of her neck was pricking uncomfortably by the time she reached the car. Hastily, she stowed the bags in the back seat. Kid Flash, she noticed with a feeling of relief, was still there. Still sound asleep.

On the heels of her relief came a wave of irritation and she huffed. "Just how long is he going to sleep anyway? Ugh!" Slightly disgruntled, she climbed back into the car and started the engine. Before she pulled out of the parking lot, however, she glanced over her shoulder into the backseat, a thoughtful expression on her face.

Three minutes later, they were cruising down the highway and she was happily munching on a Hostess cupcake. She'd stuck the box on the dashboard, clearly on her side of the car, just in case Kid Flash woke up and saw them before he found out there was more food. Reaching for another, she undid the wrapping, eyes flicking back and forth from the road. She was just about to take a bite when a low, slightly groggy voice interrupted her concentration.

"Jinx?"


:munches happily on brain food: I really hope y'all enjoyed-I had so much fun writing this chapter. Don't forget to review!