|Masks: What if?
Author: Kryalla Orchid PM
A simple twist in fate, a changed path, the 'what if' which changed the course of destiny. From my story "Masks". Complete.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Starfire & Robin - Chapters: 25 - Words: 120,412 - Reviews: 352 - Favs: 90 - Follows: 24 - Updated: 12-17-11 - Published: 11-15-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7554604
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Weapons clanged together, metal scraped and blade caught the dying sunlight.
"Good," Galfore said, giving Nightwing a sage nod, even as Nightwing's soral spun away. "You have improved greatly."
Nightwing panted and his hands on his knees. "It doesn't feel like it."
Galfore retrieved Nightwing's soral and returned it to him. "You have done well. You have mastered the technique I have shown you with the quickness I would expect from a Tamaranian warrior with twice the years experience. It is a pleasure teaching one who observes and understands weapons well as you do."
Nightwing stared at him, then used the soral as support. "But I didn't disarm you."
"Nor did I expect that you would. My strength is far superior."
Nightwing lifted the soral, his arms quivering with strain. "Again."
"I can take it."
"Of that, I have no doubt. You need rest, young one."
Galfore considered Nightwing. "Your willpower is most impressive. I have seen hardened warriors admit defeat faster than you have."
"Again," Nightwing said.
"I will teach you no more today."
"I need to do it again until I can disarm you."
"There is no logic behind that," Galfore said, shaking his head. "You have mastered the technique. Not being able to disarm me is not a failure." Galfore reached forward and deprived Nightwing of his weapon. "I appreciate how hard you try, but yours is a burden you cannot overcome. You are simply not strong enough to disarm me using this technique."
"Then why teach me at all?" he asked, seemingly caught between anger and disbelief.
"So you may adapt. I will not presume to know all the fighting techniques you do, nor believe I can master them all. I am aware that my size limits my dexterity, I cannot possibly mount the noska as you do and nimbly run up the beast's back to deliver the final blow. That takes finesse that I do not possess. I taught you this so you may find a way to change it to suit your need. That is the real victory."
Galfore left Nightwing standing there and considering his words and lumbered over to me. He cupped my chin, lifted my face so I would meet his eyes and smiled. "He is a good man. A fine warrior."
I smiled. "Thank you."
Galfore glanced over his shoulder. "If stubborn. Nightwing, come. I wish to hear more of your battles with this Slade while we partake in nourishment. Des'lat would have our next meal ready."
Standing, I went to Nightwing who smiled at me. "Hey," he said, slinging his arm over my shoulder.
"You are doing well," I said, supporting his weight a little as we headed back toward the camp. We had made our fire on the cliff near where the T-Ship was parked, it was a most defensible position, and we could access our gear in the T-Ship.
"Thanks. I'm going to feel it in the morning."
"Tomorrow, Galfore wishes to take you on a marakanut hunt."
"Marakanut?" he asked.
"Sounds fun. Are you being bait again?"
"Oh. No. It is just you and Galfore."
Nightwing lifted his head in surprise. "Oh?"
"Why just us?"
I shrugged, even though I knew full well it was because Galfore wished to get to know Nightwing better and in truth, I was looking forward to learning about Des'lat.
Over our meal, Galfore regaled us with tales of his warring days. I giggled at his embellishments which seem to get bigger every time he tells them while Nightwing listened with rapt wonder. I had no idea how much I missed hear Galfore's stories, he tells them so well.
Currently, the story was how he got the scar on his face.
"It was the great soralfang nuttledor," Galfore explained. "A huge beast, tusks that stretched twelve lengths of simple noska. Bony spines and eyes larger than my belly."
I told Nightwing, "Think... the strength of an elephant, crossed with an.. armadillo in reptilian form and teeth like a lion."
"Ouch," Nightwing said, cringing in sympathy.
"Clever beasts, the nuttledor, superior hunters. I tracked this one through the Astner planes. Nightwing, the planes are perpetually dark, the air is most frigid with cold. Not a place a Tamaranian wishes to tarry for long."
"Or at all," Des'lat said. "But not all of us have your body hair to keep us warm."
"Hush, woman, or you will not recieve some of this prime Tamaranian bull later," Galfore said sternly.
Des'lat raised her eyebrows and cupped both her breasts. "These say I will."
Galfore narrowed his eye at her, while Nightwing turned his head toward me and looked embarrassed. "You wish to start something with me, woman? I am more than a match for your feminine cunning."
Des'lat winked at me. "Continue, you old glorg. The young one awaits your tale."
Galfore made a gruff noise, then turned back to Nightwing. "All I had was my soral and a small amount of food. The planet has two moons which provide a little reflected light, but it is only enough to see scattered shapes in the dark. And I was determined to kill the beast."
"Why go to all that trouble?" Nightwing asked.
"The tusks," he explained. "The rights of bravado. Why else would we kill such a troublesome creature. It is a brave warrior than can track them. I chased the one I had chosen for three moon rise, lurking in the dark and following his footprints. For three moon rises, the beast evaded me, slinking away. I was tired and hungry and low on sunlight and ready for my quarry but it turned out, the beast was tracking me. He attacked whilst I slept. One moment I was dreaming of bountiful breasted women, the next I was staring into it's vicious fangs. The slash that took my sight was the first and only wound the beast gave me. The battle was most fierce, young warrior, the ground shook with each of the nuttledor's thumping step. It uses its tail to strike. I was younger then, much more agile than I am now, but he pushed me to my limits."
"You won," Nightwing said.
Galfore was deflated for a moment. "Well, obviously, or I would not be sitting here telling you this tale, but it was the battle of a lifetime. I took my soral and struck a great blow to the beast's neck, cleaved it straight through. It was a glorious moment for me. My first hunt too!"
Smiling, I watched Nightwing's awe. "Straight through?"
Galfore grinned. "Indeed."
"Tell us, young one," Des'lat said, looking interested. "Your first hunt?"
Nightwing shifted uncomfortably. "Oh. Um... well... it's not really a grand tale like Galfore's. We don't have gigantic beasts on Earth like the noska or nuttledor. My first hunt... well..." he looked at me. "It was a rabbit."
"A rabbit?" I asked. "A cute bunny?"
"Yeah." He scratched the back of his neck and held out his hands. "They're about this big, hop around and do nothing but breed and eat. My family was in Europe visiting and Purodad, my grandfather, decided he was going to teach me how to trap. I had to cut the poor things throat so we could stew it."
"How old were you?" Galfore asked.
He scrunched up his face. "Maybe... five. The noska we killed is the biggest thing I've ever hunted."
Galfore planted his hand on Nightwing's shoulder. "Then it is a good thing we hunt the marakanut tomorrow. You will most enjoy that battle!"
Nightwing flashed a daring smile. "Awesome."
"The meat is not good, but the pelt is a trophy worth mounting. It would look very fine in your Tower."
Nightwing's smile faded. "Ahh-"
"Galfore, you remember our friend Beast Boy?" I asked.
Galfore nodded. "The green one who found me amusing."
"He can transform into any animal he sees. Out of respect for him, we would not take the skin of a creature we have killed home."
Galfore nodded. "I see. It is good that you respect him so."
"You have a human that can become an animal?" Des'lat asked. "How has he not been hunted?"
"He remains sentient in animal form and can change at will," I explained. "It is unwise to hunt the bretilebook when it can become a nuttledor."
Des'lat nodded. "Most unwise. Such skill, he must be most fierce."
Nightwing nodded. "He can be." He took a bite out of the noska flesh then turned to me. "You know, this is very much like cow. It'd make great burgers."
I nodded. "With mustard."
After dinner was complete and we had finished listening to Galfore's stories, Nightwing and I snuggled up in the same sleeping bag, while Galfore and Des'lat shared some furs on the other side of the fire. The fire itself would protect us throughout the night from predators and herds.
"They're not going to... you know..." Nightwing whispered to me as he snuggled into my back. We could both hear the somewhat muffled but not very well sound of Galfore talking and I think Nightwing would have been most thankful not to speak Tamaranian.
"Even though we're here?"
"Mmm-hmm," I crooned tiredly.
"Doesn't that... make you uncomfortable?"
"It is just sex. Alfred said you used to catch Bruce all the time."
"Doesn't mean I wanted to catch him."
"Then I suggest you go to sleep most quickly so you will not be disturbed."
"Right... does he expect us too?"
I snuggled my back against him, so very sleepy. "No. Not unless you wish to."
"Not... really... um..."
"You do not wish for an audience?"
"No. I'd like to keep it private. Unless... you don't want to, do you?"
Even if I had never heard a leading question before, I would not have missed that signal. The temptation to tease was outweighed by the pathetic way he sounded and the need to reassure him. "No."
"Right... night beautiful."
One of the incredible things about Nightwing is his capacity to fall directly asleep. He has told me he trained himself to do that, because there were times in Gotham where he would get little sleep and had to catch snatches in the Batmobile, or between crimes. Which was good, because I did not want to stay awake with him so he would not feel uncomfortable.
Galfore rose early in the morning and he is not a quiet waker. He yawned, stretched, scratched himself loudly, then bellowed to Des'lat to rise and fetch him breakfast. To which she responded to do it himself, so Galfore started breaking up wood to stoke the fire. Loudly.
Nightwing groaned and buried his face in my hair, clutching at me tightly as he tried to catch a few more minutes sleep.
"Good!" Galfore bellowed. "You are awake. The marakanut will be waiting. We can eat on the way. Up, boy!"
"Don't wanna," he mumbled.
I lifted my arm back so I could touch his neck. "The sooner you rise, the sooner I can get back to sleep."
Nightwing chuckled at me, raised his head long enough so he could kiss my cheek. "Suffer. I need morning snuggles."
A log landed on us, Nightwing jerking and I grumbled. "Up!" Galfore demanded.
"Okay, okay!" Nightwing complained and crawled from the sleeping bag. "Bye, Star."
"Have fun!" I said, rolling onto my back to tease him. I mock yawned and snuggled deeper.
"Tease," he said and pecked my forehead.
"I'm coming!" he yelled back, sitting near my head to pull on his boots and then I heard him thumping away, muttering to himself.
I smiled and allowed myself to drift off to sleep again.
Later, Des'lat and I went hunting for the gelatinous fruits of the bindleberry tree. She is a most efficient warrior, collecting the fruits with ease. We talked little, I discovered she had several brothers and a sister who were also in the royal guard. She spoke of it as though she enjoyed her work and the way she spoke about Galfore set my mind at ease. She respected him as Grand Ruler and as a man and she enjoyed the prosperity he was bringing to Tamaran.
"Do think you shall return to Tamaran, my princess?"
"For the visit or for good?"
"You are the last of your father's children. Your strength would be worthy to pass on."
"I imagine it would," I said. "But I have no intention of leaving Earth soon."
"It is serious between you and the boy?"
I glanced at her and picked another fruit for the basket, wondering at an appropriate, Tamaranian response. If we were on Earth, I would have said exactly how I felt about him, but the politics on Tamaran are intricate, I had no idea who my words could be heard by. It would be a mistake to relay my love for him. "We are enjoying each other. There is much pleasure he can give and he is a good warrior."
"He is worthy of respect. For a human. He will make a good playmate until you are ready to breed strong warriors."
I frowned and decided to let that go. There was no point being riled at a woman who I may only meet once or twice.
When Nightwing and Galfore returned to the camp that night, Nightwing was most giddy, grinning and smiling. He picked me up, spun me in a circle and hugged me tight. I glanced over his shoulder to see Galfore hoisting two marakanuts off his shoulders. He nodded and smiled at me. "He did well, Koriand'r."
Nightwing grinned at Galfore as he placed me back on the ground. "Star, it was incredible. Seriously, Galfore wrestled with a damn alligator beast and he hasn't got a scratch on him. Hunting's so physical here. You against the beast, one slip you're dead."
I nodded, smiling.
"Such an adrenaline rush. I didn't have a hope of catching one of them, but Galfore taught me how to track them in the water and lay a trap and then helped me defeat it. God, when it came surging out of the water, I thought I was going to have a heart attack."
"Good hunt," Des'lat said, admiring the beasts. "Fine pelts."
"Good. Start skinning them, woman," Galfore announced.
"You killed it, you skin it."
I giggled at the resulting argument between Galfore and Des'lat while Nightwing continued to hug me tightly.
"Are you okay?" I asked, curious as to why he had not released me.
"Yeah," he said. "Just... it's an eyeopener, that's all."
"What is?" I asked, curious.
"Nightwing, come learn how to skin!" Galfore called.
Nightwing flashed me a grin, gave me a smacking kiss and practically darted to Galfore's side as eager as a puppy.
It was curious, I had never seen Nightwing this excited to learn. But I was most glad to see him relaxing and enjoying himself. I watched him interact with Galfore, most pleased that they seemed to be taken with each other. They talked and chatted and discussed techniques, all the while skinning the marakanut.
Three more days of hunting. Three more days of noska meat and collecting the gelatine fruits and swimming in the crystal waters of the nekanak lakes, each night spent snuggled up in the same sleeping bag. Three more days of immersion into my culture, Nightwing embracing every moment of it. Three more days of Galfore's version of loving care and battle advice, of laughter over the fire and weapons discussions, of Tamaranian proverbs and sly Galfore remarks about our sex life. Three more days of Des'lat's cooking and her snarky remarks at Galfore and his beard, ones she would never dream of doing on Tamaran. I knew Galfore felt something for her when he just smiled and laughed. Galfore's beard is his most prized possession.
I had missed my dear k'norkfa.
I stared into the fire, watching Des'lat roast a hindquarter of one of the noska. We would be leaving in the morning and it was too soon for me. I could easily spend another week here.
Galfore took my chin and angled my face up so I would meet his gaze. "So melancholy, my little one. Are you not excited to go home to your Earth?"
"I am," I said. "I just did not expect the kyet-nar to be over so quickly."
"All good things must come to an end."
Galfore traced my nose with his finger and smiled at me. "You have grown into a fine warrior and have chosen your path well. I am most proud of you."
Beside me, Nightwing's expression became a little strained and a little sad. He poked at the fire with a stick and I wondered at that.
"Smile for your old k'norfka, little one."
I beamed and embraced him, hugging him tightly.
When he broke away, Galfore turned to Des'lat. "Prepare yourself woman, the Grand Ruler is feeling salacious."
Nightwing reached out and gripped my hand. "That's our cue," he said, pulling me off toward the cliffs.
"It seems I am not the only one feeling salacious!" Galfore bellowed after us. "Use him well!"
Nightwing groaned. "Geez."
"My apologies," I said. We did not go far, just enough to be out of earshot, since it was dangerous on this planet after dark. I knew Nightwing would not be interested in a rendezvous of our own, he still was uncomfortable regarding sex when he thought it was public, despite the after kill sex we had already engaged in a few days ago. He had made no advances toward me during the whole time of the hunt and that was okay because he was still affectionate. Just a little embarrassed about Galfore knowing, I guess.
Nightwing chuckled and released my hand. "It's fine. I think I'm getting used to it now." He walked a few steps away from me and then sat down with his legs dangling over the edge of the cliff. "Home tomorrow."
I nodded. "I am looking forward to returning to normality."
Nightwing smiled at me. "Me too." He patted the space beside him. "Come and tell me the names of the stars."
I beamed, went to sit at his side with my head on his shoulder and pointed at the stars to tell him the names. We sat there for some time, talking and whispering together, as we would on Earth when we went stargazing, only it was my turn to teach him of the sky. Since Tamaran was so close, it shared the same sky and I was able to tell Nightwing of the many legends my people have given the stars, just like the stories of the constellations on Earth. We stayed up very late, watching the stars, returning to the fire only when Galfore's rumbling snores reached us on the cliff face.
Of course, I had not quite expected to be kissed awake before the sun had risen properly. Or the hands which were slowly roaming beneath the sleeping bag, arousing me so much that my dreams changed, becoming sensual and indulgent and filled with love and lust. I ached in my sleep and ache followed me into the waking world.
I fluttered open my eyes, to view Dick's eyelashes as he kissed me, and as I responded to his kiss, he became more daring and deliberate in his touch and his kiss. Lips against my neck, jaw, lips, hands which coaxed my leg over his hip as he slid in closer.
I could still hear Galfore's rumbling snore. Even still, it was daring of Dick and most thrilling, especially when he entered me slowly. It was a slow joining, sensual and sexy, he was most content to kiss and touch me and play as we lay side by side and keep his movements easy but constant enough to keep me wishing for more.
I was most anxious and was quite pleased when he finally rolled onto my back so he could penetrate more deeply. I wrapped my arms and leg around him and held him tight, only just remembering to release him as my climax approached. I bit my lip to keep from crying out as my energy flooded me and caused me to glow in passion.
Dick kissed me hard, swallowing the little noises of pleasure I allowed myself, groaning into my mouth as he orgasmed too.
Panting, he rested his head in the curve of my neck, then slipped down so he could use my breast as a pillow.
"What did the bringing of that on?" I whispered as I ran my hands through his hair.
"Only so much I can take," he murmured in reply. "Sexy dreams, had to wake you. Sorry."
"Anytime. Please. That was most enjoyable."
He kissed my nipple through the cloth, then gently pried it up so he could do so against my flesh. "Glad you thought so."
I giggled. "So, do we have to name them?"
"My breasts, since you often sleep on them."
Dick chuckled. "No. Yes... I don't know, isn't that silly?"
I giggled again. "Possibly. But I do not think that should stop us."
"Sophia and Gertrude?"
I giggled. "I do not wish to name them after actual pillows."
"B1 and B2? Blouse muffins? Fun bubbles?"
"Are those not just slang which means breast anyway?"
"I'm not good with names, Star," he said and snuggled closer. He cupped my other breast and traced his fingers around my nipple.
"We still have an hour or two before we rise, we should try and get more rest," I whispered, closing my eyes.
"Yeah," Dick murmured, nuzzling me.
Galfore was most sad to see us leave when the time came. He held me close and I could see he struggled with himself, not wishing to let me go. He wished me well, even flying me up to my seat in the T-Ship. "I was most glad to see your Nightwing is no longer as restrained as he once was," he told me with a wink.
My eyes widened. "You saw?"
"An old k'norfka will never tell. Take care of yourself, little one." Galfore turned to Nightwing and bowed. "It was a pleasure."
"Likewise," Nightwing said with a nod. "Ready, Star?"
"Yes," I said.
I waved out of the pod window long after Galfore disappeared into the vastness of the jungle as the T-Ship sped into orbit.
We knew we were coming back to a Titan get together, Nightwing had sent out invitations before we had left. He wanted to make a few announcements, specifically his change in costume and the new Robin, Jason had been sent an invite too and I do believe that Babs may be joining us. Nightwing planned to shower, shave and head off in the T-Ship to get them, so we parked on the roof, so he would not have to get the T-Ship out of the garage again. The other Titans met us there, Cyborg to check on his flying baby, Raven to check on emotions and Beast Boy to exclaim loudly at the scent of blood and the dishevelled look of us and "Oh my gawd, dudes, you're practically naked!"
Nightwing did not even bat an eyelid at this.
I was most ready for some girl talk with Raven while we conducted party preparations, after a shower of course, but as I arrived back in my room there was a large box situated on my bed.
Silkie had eaten the corner of the box already, which was hardly surprising, so I could see what was inside. With a smile I opened it to view my new uniforms and a small note from Alfred at the top.
Your designs are a true delight to complete, I wish Batman had your skill and eye for colour. There are a few hidden compartments for you in the breastplate, similar to your Kory outfit and the gem on neck-plate contains a homing device.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for Master Bruce's behaviour toward you. It is most unbecoming of him to treat such a wonderful lady as such and I have reprimanded him as best I can. Whether my words will have an effect, I cannot say but please be aware I extend you all the welcome I can in visiting the Manor in the future.
Smiling to myself, I made a space in my wardrobe for my new clothes, allowing Silkie to eat a pair of my old boots, then grabbed a change of clothes and headed for the bathroom.
It was occupied, no surprise there. As I was fairly certain it was my boyfriend I considered the door and then knocked.
"Occupied!" his voice bellowed.
"It is me."
There were a few muffled noises from inside, before the lock clicked open. Of course, Beast Boy was wandering down the hallway as I slipped into the bathroom, his eyes widening with surprise but I flashed him a smile and relocked the door.
"Hey," Dick said, his hair all bubbly with shampoo.
"May I join you?" I asked, placing my clothes on the bench beside his and quickly stripped my ritual hunting cloth. "I did not wish to stand in the hallway smelling of dried blood much longer."
He chuckled and held the curtain open for me. "Yeah, I know how that is. Cyborg's already complaining of the detailing he'll have to do on the T-Ship to get rid of the smell."
I ducked into the shower, stealing the spray of water from him to rinse myself. "It is always a sign of a good hunt to return smelling of the beast."
"It was a good hunt," he said, offering me the soap before we switched places. "I don't think I've thanked you for taking me there."
"It was my pleasure," I said, scrubbing the dried oosadah blood from my arms.
Dick rested his hands on my hips. "No. Really."
There was something in his voice and I stopped my scrubbing to look at him.
"I... feel different now," he said. "Stronger. More sure of myself. Galfore, he accepted me exactly the way I was, human, weak and mostly inferior, and still wanted to spend time getting to know me and improving my skills. The only concession he gave me was to reduce his own strength, everything else, he expected my best but he was happy to help me be that best. He didn't have to, he wanted to."
"Bruce always said I could do it better. That was it. 'Do it better'. Galfore took the time to show me how. You wouldn't believe how envious I am of you right now."
Something pivotal was happening with him, I was certain.
"He's so proud of you, Star. And its not because you're an amazing warrior or an incredible person, which you are. He just is. He's watched you grow from the time you were little until now and he's proud he was a part of that. You never felt like you had to earn his love, you got it whole heartedly. I wanted that from Bruce. And I'm never going to get it."
I was pained for him. "Dick-"
"And I don't need it. You taking me there, showing me who you were, what your culture was and your personality didn't change from what I knew of you on Earth... it reminded me that I have people who love me for who I am. People who don't need me to change myself to conform, who only want to help me be the best I can be. People who are proud of me and everything that I've become." He chuckled. "It only took us being halfway across the galaxy for me to realise that." He lifted his hand to cup my neck. "I can't express it any better than that. But thank you, Star."
I did not know what to say, so I just smiled at him.
He cleared his throat and dropped his hand. "Sorry, I'm sap."
I giggled. "I love you."
He grinned. "Love you too. Can we make hunting an annual thing? I'd really like to go again."
Dick smiled and leant in to kiss me.
Music pounded, the party was in full swing by the time Nightwing returned from Gotham.
I busied myself with dancing with Kid Flash. Well, if I was being completely honest, I was just dancing, swaying to the beat of the music and Kid Flash decided to join in. I did not allow him to touch me, although he tried. I simply smiled and said, "Dick will not be happy," and it was enough to keep him from continuing. I did not think Jinx would be too happy with him if he kept it up anyway.
Beast Boy was riveted to the spot when I danced over and collected Raven, who came willing with me out into the middle of the common room to dance. He watched her slack jawed until I danced over to collect him too and deposited him beside his girlfriend, who instantly focussed on him, her body swaying against his. He grinned toothily and place his hands on her hips so they could dance together. It was so very cute.
By that stage Jinx and Kid Flash were dancing together (I believe she was a little jealous), as were Bumblebee and Herald, Argent and Hotspot and Pantha and Aqualad. Watching Pantha and Aqualad dance was incredibly funny, not that any of us were daring enough to laugh. I imagine he would be procuring Raven's healing powers before the night was out, the amount of times Pantha stepped on his feet.
I danced with Cyborg. We jiggled and jived and he lifted me into the air to spin me around. "I don't know what's gotten into you, girl," he told me as we clasped hands to dance with me. "But keep at it. It's awesome."
"It is the music," I said, placing my hands on his shoulders as he lifted me up again. "Oh, Cyborg, it is wondrous to be home."
"Place wasn't the same without you."
"I did the missing of you as well, dear friend."
"Must be my turn!" Beast Boy announced, spinning me away from Cyborg's hands. "Get your Raven dance while it's hot."
"It's aways hot, BB! Haven't you learnt that?" Cyborg said, picking Raven up and spinning her around.
Beast Boy is a most lively dancer, lots of jiggles and hip bumps and laughter. He knows to keep his hands to himself and still have fun with me. I giggled as he did a funny kicking and limbs-everywhere dance.
"Star," Kid Flash said to me as he and Jinx did that serpent dance. "These parties are so much cooler without the boss around. Where is he anyway?"
"Standing right behind you."
I flicked my head over from Beast Boy and fluttered my eyes at Nightwing. Of course, my sudden sultry dancing would possibly have explained how his hands clenched and he got this dopey smile on his face. "Dance with me," I crooned at him.
"Love to," he said. "But we have some announcements first. After."
"Dude!" Kid Flash exclaimed, excited now. "You switched!"
"That means..." Kid Flash peered over Nightwing's shoulder. "Bro! Welcome to the Titans."
"Only visiting, KF," Robin drawled. "Looking hot there Star. Love the new look."
By now, we had most of the attention in the room. Robin who was not Robin and old Robin in a different costume, I could hear the whispers and rumours surging around, people wanting to know what was occurring and making up their own minds. At least Nightwing had not yet changed his hairstyle, he was still quite recognisable.
"Thank you," I said, drifting to Nightwing's side. I gave him a concerned look, most worried about his trip and whether or not he had spoken to Batman.
He slung his arm around my waist. "I'm fine," he said, then nodded to Cyborg. "Music, please."
"Sure thing, man."
Nightwing pulled me toward the windows which edged the common room, with Robin trailing behind while Cyborg made the music stop. "Hey guys," Nightwing called so that he had everyone's attention.
"Dude! Sweet!" Hotspot called out.
"Dig the threads," Speedy said.
"Looking hot," Bumblebee called and I could see her eyes stroking my boyfriend's form. "Girl appreciates a hot ass."
"Black suits you. Very striking," Kid Flash said. "Love the emblem."
"Are those finger stripes?" Aqualad asked.
"So, what do we call you now?" Speedy asked.
"Mr Starfire," Hotspot said, with a roll of his eyes. "Obviously."
"It's Nightwing," Nightwing said. He gave me a one handed squeeze, then stepped away. "Anyway, reason for the get together was to announce the new me," he gestured out at Robin, "As well as introduce my brother who will be taking over as Robin in Gotham. He'll be staying here a few days to learn the Titan ropes before heading back, please make him feel welcome."
Attention shifted to Robin, who stared back resolutely.
"He's really your brother?" Hotspot asked, curiously.
"Yup. Paperwork to prove it," Nightwing said. "But he's not officially part of the Titans. I'm still the leader, if anyone's curious, but Robin might drop around a bit."
"Younger or older?" Aqualad asked.
"Younger," Nightwing said, then looked up at me, smiling. "Although apparently, I'm short."
There was a general sound of laughter.
"Anyway, go back to dancing, I'll come introduce him personally." He turned to me and took my hand briefly. "Gotta do my brotherly duty."
I smiled. "I know. No Babs?" I asked, a little upset she had not come.
He gave me a sympathetic look. "College, unfortunetly. She said next time, for sure. But, you get to beat the crap out of Robin tomorrow, that's a good thing."
"She what?" Robin blurted.
"Training," Nightwing said with a grin. "Starts tomorrow. Be ready."
"Not a holiday, bro."
"And afterward, Beast Boy and Cyborg get to kick your butt on the game console."
"Haha, they can try! Bring it on, ass-"
Robin looked taken aback for a moment before he became sly. "Can't hack it-'
"And show some respect," Nightwing snapped, sounding a little like Galfore. "This isn't Gotham."
Robin blinked and shut his mouth.
"Save me a dance, beautiful," Nightwing said, giving me a quick kiss, only to be interrupted by the Titans alarm.
Nightwing grinned at me, his big debut. Turning to the rest of the Titans, who were suddenly all business, he nodded at Herald. "Titans, go!"
Well, that What if? is over, it been a fun ride. Thanks everyone for sticking around. No plans at this stage for any sequels or different stories or anything like that, but then, you know me and I can't seem to break the Titan habit. I think I'd better go into rehab with Faith to help her kick the habit too.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and safe holidays and a fantastic new year!