Disclaimer: I do not own teen titans or the words to 'I Caught Fire' by The Used
Hand in Hand
Chapter Forty-Eight: I Caught Fire
December 21st 14:13 Titan's Tower
Starfire was confused.
Not that that was anything unusual, but this time she really couldn't understand what was going on, or maybe she did, but she didn't want to admit it. Maybe she didn't want to put into words what she was feeling at the moment. She pressed her hands against the cold glass of the Tower windows and stared down at the two figures sat on the rocky shore. She wanted to go down and sit with them, talk about what they were talking about, but something was stopping her and she didn't know what it was.
Things hadn't really been right since yesterday, she didn't think that everything would have gone back to normal but there was a certain amount of tension in the air that made everyone uncomfortable. Her thoughts flickered to the night before.
It seemed to stop my breath,
My head on your chest,
Waiting to cave in from the bottom of my…
"Robin?" she asked quietly as the leader of the titan's pushed open the door to Raven's room and carried the unconscious witch into the darkness that was her haven, "Is she okay?"
Robin didn't reply as he laid Raven down on the top of the bed and pulled the covers up to her shoulders, finally he straightened, his fingers brushing some of the purple hair from her sleeping face, "I think so. A good night's sleep should do her the world of good."
Starfire watched him smile down at Raven and her chest clenched painfully, she gave a small gasp at the sensation, what was it that she was feeling here?
"Are you okay?"
She plastered a grin on her face, "Oh, yes!" she said with fake cheer, "I am very much okay Robin!" her eyes slid to Raven, "I'm just worried about her." Her eyelids dropped slightly and she gave a mournful sigh, "At least it's getting better now."
Starfire laid her forehead against the window, her eyes watching the silent couple below. Most people thought that she was a ditz, an airhead and she admitted that when it came to things that revolved around earth like technology and food she did still have a lot to learn, but she could still see when there was something going on.
"Robin…" his name escaped her lips before she even realised that she was saying it. She cringed slightly, a strand of red hair dropping in front of her face. She didn't know what to do; there was something funny going on, something other than the whole 'Slade' thing.
She could hear Beast Boy and Cyborg in the other room playing on the game console, but even their laughter didn't ease her mood. She couldn't help it, she knew that something was going to happen soon, and she couldn't help but think that it wasn't going to be good. Robin already knew more than he was letting on, if this morning's fiasco had been anything to go by.
I hear your voice again,
Could we dim the sun?
And wonder where we've been,
Maybe you and me…
"Morning Raven!" called Beast Boy happily from over the top of the frying pan, a tofu omelette sizzling contentedly in its depths, regardless of the fact that Cyborg was poised right next to it with a spatula, ready to try and sabotage the dish as soon as the changeling wasn't looking.
Raven nodded slightly and then proceeded to walk straight past the table, and straight past Robin, causing the boy wonder to look up and frown, "Raven? Where are you going?"
Starfire watched from her vantage point behind the kettle as Raven turned to look at him, "I'm going out to see Claire; I'll be back before it gets dark."
Robin's expression became panicked for a moment and he jumped up, knocking his chair back several spaces in his panic, "NO!" at the raised eyebrows he received from the others in the room he smiled sheepishly and then rubbed the back of his neck, "I mean, are you sure that it's safe for you to go out so soon? I mean, you've been through a lot haven't you?" his words were being said so fast that nobody could understand him properly.
Starfire looked between the two of them, seeing Robin's worry and then Raven's blank stare, "Friends?" she ventured quietly.
The two didn't even turn to her as Raven spoke, "I'll be fine Robin, and if I get into trouble, which is unlikely, I have the T-communicator with me, and Claire's a friend. You know that."
Robin hesitated, "I don't…I don't think it's a good idea for you to go and see Claire." He said slowly, not taking his eyes off of her.
"Dude what?" asked Beast Boy as he smacked Cyborg's hand with his fork, "Claire's cool and you know it. Man, will you stop tryin' to ruin breakfast!" the green boy snapped snapping the fork onto his friend's hand again, smiling at the grunt of pain he received.
"You call that breakfast…" and on that argument went.
Starfire poured the hot water into her cup as she tried to drown out the bickering and focus on what was going on between her boyfriend and Raven.
"It's just that…what if Rage comes out? I mean…Claire isn't going to be able to…do anything." Even to Starfire Robin's words sounded flustered and rushed and she could tell by the narrowing of Raven's eyes that the other girl didn't believe a word of it.
"I'll be fine Robin, Rage won't bother me for a while, not after yesterday." She said stiffly, glaring at him, "It's my problem okay? You may be the leader of this team, but you can't control everything that I do. So stop trying." Her eyes narrowed further, daring him to argue.
"But…" his voice trailed off, Starfire expected him to start protesting again, but to her surprise he merely looked down at his feet and then shrugged, "Okay, you're right. I don't control you." Starfire's eyes widened, she had never heard Robin back down from an argument with the team before. "Just…be careful."
Raven nodded, "I will be." She looked across at Starfire who 'eeped' at the gaze that was suddenly turned her way and she pretended to be busy with the many functions of the kettle…really, 'boil' was a very interesting word… "Why don't you have some quality time with your girl friend over there?" Starfire blushed.
So kiss me like you did,
My heart stopped beating,
Such a softer sin
Why hadn't Robin wanted her going out? Sure, it was only the day after the Nevermore adventure, but they'd fought villains in worse conditions than that before.
Robin had been in an off mood ever since that moment at breakfast, he had seemed worried, agitated, and refused to settle in one place. He didn't want to train though, which confused her, he always wanted to train. Then they had gotten the call about the bank being robbed in the centre of the town.
The four of them decided that it was better if they just flew there, Starfire carrying Robin, and Beast Boy carrying Cyborg, to safe time instead of trying to find a way through the disastrous Christmas traffic that seemed to be blocking up the streets.
But even when they had got there…
"We're here…let's go, we don't know who could be in there…" said Robin to the three of them as they ran towards the bank building. People were gathering around it in curiosity instead of running or calling the police like they should have been.
Starfire turned her gaze to the left, "Hey, Robin! Isn't that friend Claire? That means that Raven is nearby."
Robin turned to follow her gaze, his eyes narrowing when he saw the girl that she had been pointing out. His hand tightened around his staff and for one brief moment he paused in the threshold of the bank.
Claire looked up and saw them. She gave a big grin and a thumbs up sign, "Raven's already in there!" she yelled before she pointed to the bank.
Robin scowled but nodded anyway.
Starfire looked back at Claire before she entered the building, why had Robin seemed so put out to see her? A flash of pink in front of jerked her back to reality as she saw Jinx vault back onto the top of a row of filing cabinets and give a cocky grin.
Never caught by breath,
Every second I'm without you,
I'm a mess
Starfire wondered when Jinx and the others would attack again. The two new villains were trouble, because they were dangerous and powerful, perhaps more so than anyone they had ever faced before. It scared her, and she wasn't ashamed to admit that.
The aftermath of the battle that morning had been more painful than the actual event, in Starfire's opinion, Beast Boy was going to have a limp for a good few days and Cyborg was going to be stiff. Even her muscles ached, which was something that hardly ever happened. But her main concern was for Raven and Robin. They were two of her best friends after all.
They were just acting oddly around each other, she had never seen the two of them act like that.
She turned her gaze to where they sat at the base of the tower and she smiled softly, at least they weren't arguing anymore. They looked so peaceful sat side by side on the rocks, watching the water lap against the slabs. It was a step up from the atmosphere that had hung over their heads when they had been returning.
They had decided to walk back, because in Beast Boy's state, he couldn't carry anyone back, and they had all been tired. It had been decided that it would be better for everyone all around if they just walked back on foot. That would give them time to think about what happened as well.
Ever know each other,
Trust these words are stone,
Why cuts aren't healing,
Learning how to love
"Dude, that guy was freaky." Declared Beast Boy as he limped beside Cyborg and Robin, "I've never seen anyone look that scary before."
Starfire saw Raven's smile at that remark, but she didn't stop to wonder about it. "I agree!" she said loudly, "He was very scary." She smiled at Robin, "What do you think?"
Robin scowled, "I think that he could be trouble, both of them could. We need to figure out what Slade's up to." He pursed his lips and drew his cloak tighter around his shoulders; Starfire could tell that he was still suffering the after effects of almost being trapped alive under a slab of ice, "At least next time we'll know what to expect."
"What did Jinx take though?" asked Cyborg, his stiff steps becoming slowly looser as they thawed, "It obviously wasn't money."
"I don't know." Said Robin, "It could have been anything, we'll have to get on to the owners of the bank when we get back, see if they can tell us." He reached down and flicked a shard of ice away from the clasp on his utility belt.
"No problem, I can do that as soon as." Offered Cyborg, "I'll be heading to the computer room anyway to see about an anti-ice upgrade. There's gotta be something that I can make that will let me be of more use."
"He knew about Rage." Said Raven suddenly.
Robin froze and Starfire floated uncertainly next to his shoulder, unable to read his emotions because of that mask, "What?" he asked quietly.
"You heard me." said Raven as she bit her lip and looked over her shoulder, "I suppose I should have expected it, but it still came as a surprise, every demon or magical being within this town should have felt the power that was coming out of nevermore." She didn't elaborate on that, and Starfire was glad, sometimes the things that went on in Raven's mind were confusing enough to put her in a coma. "It doesn't matter though."
"Slade's up to something." Growled Robin as he started walking again, his pace just that little bit faster.
"I think we've established that." Cut in Raven sarcastically and then she frowned again, "Did any of you see Claire after we left? I told her to wait outside."
Robin ignored the comment and picked up his pace again, "Let's just hurry and get back to the Tower, I'm freezing."
Starfire nodded happily, "Okay Robin!" she said with a big smile, "When we get back I shall make us all some delicious Tregnab snacks! That will warm us up!" she didn't see the looks on the faces of her comrades as she started to hum to herself as she flew after Robin.
I'm melting in your eyes,
I lost my place,
Could stay a while,
And I'm melting in your eyes,
Like my first time,
That I caught fire
Starfire looked over her shoulder to the discarded pan she had left on the cold stove, the mixture of Tabasco sauce and mustard congealing slightly at the base. She should get back to it…
She looked back out the window, down to Robin and Raven and where they sat. She wondered what Aqualad had had to say, she hoped that he and Robin hadn't started a fight, she hated it when her friends fought. It made her sad. She turned away from the window with a set expression.
She wasn't going to think about that anymore. She had food to make. Everything else could wait. She rolled up imaginary sleeves as she headed towards the cooker.
Stay with me,
Lay with me
She turned the cooker on to full heat and shoved a spoon around the pan, mixing what was in there up until it looked like orange goo. She grabbed the flour off the counter and dropped it into the sizzling mess. She stirred it for a minute, humming as she did so.
Reaching out she grabbed at the prawns that had been left on the side, and the bowl of breadcrumbs that she had put there earlier. She threw the breadcrumbs into the pan without a second thought and whisked it quickly with the fork in her left hand and then she dropped the prawns in one by one, watching the pink flesh get covered by the slightly orange breadcrumbs.
She breathed in the smell of her cooking and sighed.
"Hey something smells nice-" Robin's voice stopped suddenly.
Starfire looked over to him, surprised to see him frozen in the doorway, a shocked expression on his face as he looked at her and then at the pan, "Robin!" she grinned happily, "You like the smell of the Tregnab?" she mixed the prawns into the batter mix and then tipped the contents of that pan into the frying pan that was next to it, already filled with oil.
"Um…yeah…" Robin looked over his shoulder and Starfire saw why. Raven had com up behind him, a curious expression on her face, "It smells….nice."
Starfire grinned happily, not really caring that he seemed so shocked that something she had made smelled nice. He always complimented her cooking. "Glorious! Then you and friend Raven can be the first to try some!" she dumped the crackling covered prawns onto a big plate.
Raven's eyes widened slightly as she looked at what was coming towards her, she looked like she was about to make a run for it.
"We'd love that!" beamed Robin, falsely, "Wouldn't we Raven?"
Starfire grinned again and nodded as she floated back over to the draws to get out some clean forks, turning her back on the other two. It didn't occur to her that the gothic girl may not want to try her food. She heard the two of them mutter to each other as she grabbed the cutlery. "You'll have lots more to try later! Remember friend Claire is coming over to try some of my recipes!"
"Bastard." Hissed Raven.
Starfire didn't know what a bastard was; she'd have to ask Robin later. She turned back to see Robin grinning his head off; perhaps 'bastard' was a compliment then. She would have to start saying it often. She smiled brightly as she gave them each a fork. "They shall warm you up from the inside!" she said, watching as the two of them looked at each other and then speared a prawn on their forks.
You can stay and watch me fall,
And of course I'll ask for help,
We could take our heads off,
And make love that's all
Starfire clasped her hands together as her friend slowly tasted her food. She watched as they chewed for a moment, and then grew even more interested as their eyes started to water and their faces took on an odd shade of red. They swallowed with big gasps.
"Well?" she asked hopefully.
Robin set his fork down, "Um…delicious, Star." He said with a smile, "But I'm not really hungry now, we should save them for later."
"Thank you! I knew you'd like it bastard." Starfire said beaming at the two of them.
Robin choked on the air.
I'm melting in your eyes,
I lost my place,
Could stay a while,
And I'm melting in your eyes,
Like my first time,
That I caught fire
"So…it is not a compliment?" asked Starfire slowly, as she played with the fork that she held in her hand, pushing around the last of the prawns she had made around the plate, she had eaten most of them herself, to cover her embarrassment when Robin had suddenly started laughing hysterically at her comment. It had surprised her more than anything, but then the others had come running to see what the fuss was about and soon all three of the boys were smiling at her mistake.
"No." sighed Beast Boy wiping a tear from his eye, "Oh Star." He grinned and patted her on the shoulder, "You sure know how to make a guy's day!"
Starfire blushed again and looked across the table to Raven and Robin. Starfire wondered if her boyfriend realised that he kept sneaking quick glances at the gothic girl. She stabbed at the last prawn; there was nothing for her to get upset about. She told herself, he was probably only worried.
She looked at his smile, at least he was happy.
She was not jealous.
Stay with me now