This is a little something I wrote out in my head during my AP Biology exam the other day. Literally. Just goes to show you how boring these tests can be.
Normally, I stay away from the OC fics, but I'd like to think (hope) this one is different from the usual Mary Sue. Again, this is little more than me playing around with characterization and showing off my writing skills. Given that I was simultaneously trying to distinguish between plant hormones, however, I ask forgiveness for any minor discrepancies.
I wish I could say it was my jaw-dropping good looks or charming personality that first drew his attention my way. Unfortunately, I don't have either; the only reason I even registered as a blip on his radar was because I was in danger. A damsel in distress, if you want to be cliché about it.
Everything happened so fast. One minute, I was cashing a check my aunt sent for my Sweet Sixteen (which had been the previous week) on the sixth floor of the local Jump City bank. Completely minding my own business, of course. Next thing I know, a group of kids in Halloween costumes calling themselves the hide, or something like that, come crashing in and I somehow get thrown through a window. Lucky me.
You know, whoever came up with that whole life-flashing-before-your-eyes story was probably lying, because all I saw was a big slab of cement coming straight at me. With seconds to spare before I became street pizza, however, I felt a sharp tug at my waist. Suddenly, I find myself hanging by a thin cable, safely in the arms of none other than the Boy Wonder himself.
Considering the fact that I was in a skirt at the time, I might have felt slightly more embarrassed had my brain been able to keep up with everything that was happening at the time. He had, after all—quite literally, and in every sense of the phrase—taken my breath away.
I know it sounds corny, but he was unbelievably sweet. Careful not to hurt me, he swung us to an open window on the second floor. Kinda reminded me of Spider Man; he even had the spandex…but let's not go there. I was okay enough to stand, so he placed me back on my feet once there was solid ground to place me on. Before leaving to rejoin the others, he paused to make sure I was all right. A quick, boyish grin, and he disappeared out the window.
In spite of everything, I couldn't help a grin of my own. Definitely Batman's protégé.
Even now, the memory replays in my mind as fresh as if it just happened. You could say I fell in love at first sight, like in those cheesy, fairytale romance novels. I know better than that, of course. First of all, I hate romance novels. Second, I wasn't really in love; fascinated, maybe, but certainly not in love. It didn't mean I couldn't dream, though….
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not what you would consider "overly-obsessive." I never once stalked the Titans in vain hopes of catching a glimpse, or at least a Polaroid. Hours have not been wasted searching for collectables on e-bay. There are no shrines on my walls or secretly hidden in the back of my closet for me to pay homage to and worship. Just a simple scrapbook with newspaper clippings I'd managed to gather and all the Titans' victories and accomplishments.
And if you think that's bad, I can rattle off more than half a dozen names off the top of my head of kids from school who are ten times worse. Three guys from my math class, in particular, who get googly-eyed at the mere mentioning of Starfire and/or Raven. It's pathetic, really.
There's also a slight ulterior motive to my scrapbook, however, though there are probably a few who would argue. You see, I've had a passion for the field of journalism for as long as I can remember. Way before my infatuation with Robin ever began. I swear. Something about seeking out the truth and having the power to display it to the public always seemed the ultimate thrill. And, as any of my friends could tell you, I live for the challenge.
Unfortunately, my inability to resist said challenge was what brought me to my current predicament.
The assignment was supposed to be simple enough: interview an important citizen of the city and write a brief article about him or her. Easy, right? Most of the other kids went for members of the local police force, business managers, and a few brownnosers headed straight for their favorite teachers. One girl was even brave enough to take on the Mayor. But me? Oh, no…I just had to use the opportunity of a lifetime to go visit Titans' Tower.
I never said I was smart.
While I waited for the ferry boat to arrive at the small island, I absently pulled out a compact. Having come straight from school that afternoon, I was still in uniform: knee-length gray skirt, white button-up shirt, royal purple vest with the school emblem stitched onto the left breast pocket, and black loafers.
…did I mention how much I hate going to private school? When a five-year-old goes parading around in a school jumper, it's cute. At sixteen…not so cute.
Anyways, back to my reflection. My hair cascaded down my back, reaching to my elbows. The light-brown locks were slightly crimped because I had been wearing pigtails for most of the day. (I had gym 8th period—let's see YOU deal with mile-long hair flying in every direction.) I ran my fingers through it a few times, trying to smooth out some of the knots. Even if makeup were allowed, I hardly ever wore the stuff. Why any girl would want to glop that crap all over her face day after day is beyond me.
My skin was slightly tan from having been outside for much of the morning, a few freckles sparsely scattered across my pinkened cheeks and nose. Aside from the faint bags under my eyes from such a strenuous day, I considered my appearance adequate enough. Hey, I'm on my way to meet my idol here. A brief mirror-check is allowed.
Before I knew it, I was standing at the door. Pulling my knapsack over one shoulder, I took a deep breath and knocked. I could hear the sound echo through what no doubt was the main hallway.
Part of me hoped Robin would answer.
Part of me hoped I wouldn't faint if he did.
The large doors creaked open, and I found myself staring into a pair of curious, emerald-colored eyes. And I don't just mean the iris; I mean the entire eye was one giant sea of green. "Hello, there. May I be of some assistance to you?"
"Hi," I smiled back, recognizing the girl as Starfire. "Is…Robin here?"
I held my breath.
"I am sorry. Robin is not here at the moment. He, Cyborg, and Beast Boy have ventured to the shop of repairs to fix his motorcyle."
There went my chance; inwardly, I gave a low groan of disappointment. I was just about to turn away in hopes of returning some other time when I remembered that I was on a schedule. Stupid deadlines. Stupid teachers for giving deadlines.
Then again, I never said which Titan I was planning to interview…
"Maybe you can help me, then." I turned back to the girl and introduced myself, "I was hoping to write a small article on one of the Titans for my Journalism class." Reaching into one of the side compartments in my bag, I pulled out one of my business cards.
Yes, I have a business card. Made them myself and everything.
Starfire took the tiny piece of paper from my hand and glanced over it. "You wish to…do an interview?" I nodded. She smiled and opened the door further. "Please, I welcome you inside."
Despite the broken English, I took that as my cue to enter the large building, eyes darting about the extremely large hallway I had suspected was there. I think part of me was still in shock at how easy that had been. Almost too easy. There had to be a catch…but I decided to worry about that later. Probably just a result of watching one too many suspense movies.
Starfire happily directed me to what I assumed was the den. If she hadn't been floating, I swear she would've skipped her way over to the large couch she motioned for me to sit on. Whatever she's on, I think my math teacher could definitely use some. Stupid old hag…
"Forgive me if I seem a bit uncertain," she spoke with a hint of embarrassment, "I fear I have never been interviewed before."
I smiled warmly at her as I took a seat on the plush cushions, mentally wondering where I could get a couch like that. "That's okay. There's really not much to it." I paused to take out my handy-dandy notebook. It was slightly larger than the size of my hand, jet-black with the words Just the Facts written on the leather cover in gold. Eat your hearts out, Steve and Joe. "You do know what an interview is, right?"
"You ask questions which I am to answer, correct?"
"Works for me."
Hey, who was I to argue? It's not often you come across a victim—I mean, interviewee—who isn't completely aware of their first amendment rights…or is it fifth? And, for that matter, are aliens even included under the Constitution?
I flipped open to somewhere in the middle of my pad, searching for fresh paper. "Let's start with the basics. Name, age, place of birth?"
"I was born on the planet Tameran in the star system of Vega about sixteen of your Earth years ago." Huh. So she's my age. That makes things slightly more interesting. "As you are aware, I am known here as Starfire, but the name given to me at birth is Koriand'r."
I hesitated for a moment at the name, debating on whether or not to ask her to spell it before wondering if it could even be spelt in Romanji. Eventually, I simply put my journalistic skills to work and sounded it out:
The next few minutes seemed to fly by as I tossed her the usual generic questions: How many siblings do you have? What's Tameran like? Do you miss it? How did you get here? What does it feel like to be a Titan? Is it difficult trying to adjust to life on Earth?
"Earth is a very different world from the one I am used to," she answered hesitantly, as if afraid I would be offended, "But Robin has been wonderful in explaining things whenever I ask." There was a subtle change in her voice that years of journalistic experience helped me pick up on. Almost…softer.
Well, the ice was broken. Since she had mentioned him first, there seemed no harm in asking the question I was dying to know. "Speaking of Robin…I've been following up on his recent brief crime spree. The police explained the circumstances to the general public, including his stunt as the infamous 'Red X.'"
There was a noticeable pause, and I looked up in fear that I had said something wrong. But instead, she shook her head as if to clear her thoughts and tried to feign a smile. "You wish to know how we felt about it?" I nodded. "Well, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven were mad at him for quite some time. There was much yelling, followed by a mutual treatment of silence."
Silent treatment, I mentally translated. "And what about you?"
"I was…confused." It was clear she was choosing her words extremely carefully. "And hurt…and betrayed."
Normally, I try not to let myself be surprised when questioning, but that last word definitely raised an eyebrow. "Why betrayed?"
"Because Robin used to tell me everything."
I froze at the sound of her voice. The melodious tone of happiness had all but vanished, replaced by a sadness I hadn't realized the cheerful girl was capable of possessing. The kind where something important has been lost. Or, rather, someone.
Pencil hovering inches from the pad, I slowly lifted my head. Starfire was no longer looking at me; her eyes were glazed over and looking off to the side, as if reliving a painful memory.
That's when it hit me. "You're in love with him, aren't you?"
The sound of my voice seemed to snap her out of her trance. I guessed she would never make much of a poker player. It was too easy to read the emotions welling inside simply by watching her facial features: surprise…a mixture of happiness and slight embarrassment…quickly followed by concern. I followed her gaze to the notebook in my hand.
The girl was obviously smarter than people gave her credit for—she knew anything I was writing down would most likely go into the article, and the repercussions such information could have.
I was torn. The journalist in my detested censorship of any kind. The FCC were right up there on my hit list, after my math teacher and before the manager of the local ice cream shop (long story). But, then again…I wrote news, not gossip columns.
Knowing very well I would probably regret it later on, I closed the notebook as a sign of unspoken confidentiality. And believe me, my word was stronger than any preist's. "Why don't you tell me a little more about Robin?" I asked her softly.
Did I mention I was a sucker for punishment?
An hour later, I heard the front door open and the distinctive sounds of three male voices permeated the air. Starfire's eyes lit up the second she saw them enter the room, arguing about something to do with the R-cycle. I'm not even going to pretend I knew what they were talking about; the only thing I know about that kind of stuff was to look out for any electric guitar-wielding psychos on yellow vespas.
Our interview was all but forgotten as Starfire flew over to greet her fellow teammates. Much as I hate to admit it, I froze at the sight of Robin. His hair was a complete mess and his face looked flushed with frustration, completely different from the cool-and-composed persona I had so long identified him with. But even more noticeable was the subtle sparkle in his eye when it came to rest on the Tamaranian girl.
If I wanted to be melodramatic, I'd tell you my heart broke at the sight. Fortunately for you, I'm not melodramatic.
Heaving a quiet sigh, I stood up and gathered my belongings. The others only seemed to notice me just then, Beast Boy and Cyborg simultaneously calling out to ask who I was and what I was doing there.
"She and I have been doing the interview," Starfire answered me, smiling proudly at the fact.
I nodded, desperately trying to look anywhere but at Robin. "I-it's for my Journalism class." Damnit, why am I stuttering? I never stutter! "Don't worry; it's just your basic run-of-the-mill interview article. Nothing confidential or anything you wouldn't want people to be reading…" For once, I was thankful for my facial sunburn; it saved me the embarrassment of having them know I was blushing madly.
While trying to maintain what little dignity I had left, I headed towards the door. It had just barely creaked open when I heard Robin's oh-so-smooth voice call out (nope, no bias here): "Wait! Haven't I seen you somewhere before?" I hesitated for a moment before turning to meet him directly in the eye with a faint smile.
"I doubt it."
Without another word between us, I pushed open the extremely large door and headed out into the early evening light. Just wait until the guys in Journalism class hear about this. Telling me I was too chicken to go through with it…
In fact, if I'm not mistaken, one of them now owes me twenty bucks.
I'm not like the rest,
I dont care if you're the best,
You see it, it's all the same to me ,
You just be who you want to be,
It's all the same to me.
-Zetta Bytes, Notice Me