Unseen Forces

Chapter One: Unbidden

Summary: It has finally happened. Robin and Starfire are dating, and Raven finds herself battling jealousy. When Robin becomes over-possessive of Starfire, is there anything Raven can do to help? Possible shoujo-ai.

Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans, there would be a way for Raven to force Trigon to leave her alone forever, Beast Boy would have a moped, Terra would be alive (but not paired off with Beast Boy), there would be more episodes with Blackfire in them, and Slade would NOT be working for Trigon. So needless to day, I don't own the show.

Pairings: RobStar, maybe RaeStar later

Author's Notes: You asked for it: another RaeStar fic. Maybe. We'll see. And no, I don't hate Robin, he just can go crazy sometimes and I made him even crazier than usual.

Starfire tossed her luscious fall of auburn hair and giggled happily. She'd been doing that more often than usual lately, for tonight she would have her first real date with Robin. She was currently watching TV, waiting impatiently for the time when she could begin the preparations for her date.

Across the room, Raven hovered cross-legged about two feet off the ground, reading. At the sound of Starfire's laugh, a familiar warmth swelled in the pit of her stomach. She forced it down, reminding herself that Starfire was laughing for Robin, and the particular emotion that caused the laugh would never be directed at anyone besides Robin. Raven closed her book and teleported back to her room, where her diary lay at the foot of her bed. She flipped to a fresh page and slipped a pen out of the clever pocket in the leather-bound book's spine. She dated the page and began to write. Her diary was entirely in Azarathean, just in case one of the other Titans (somehow) snooped.

It finally happened. Robin asked Starfire out. The boy has it so bad for her it's funny. And Starfire lives for him now.

If I allowed myself to feel, I'd be jealous. Not of Starfire. Of Robin. My stomach starts feeling incredibly odd—in a good way—whenever Starfire's around, and it's getting very irritating. These annoying feelings have been around for a while; they have to fade soon. This must be a phase, anyway. There is no such thing as love; "I love you" is a fancy, polite way of saying "I want to screw you."

It's a good thing I'm the empath, not Starfire. God knows how disgusted she'd be if she could sense these stupid emotions.

Raven closed her journal and replaced the pen. She folded her legs and rose into the air, beginning her mantra. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos…"

Raven's empathic abilities were heightened during meditation. Which was why she felt the light waves of eagerness and impatience rather than heard the knock at her door. She lowered herself to the bed, and got up to cross the room.

Starfire's golden-skinned face peered at her from the hallway. "Greetings, friend! Will you please assist me?"

"Depends on what."

"I need your help securing my hair into an acceptable style for my date with Robin." Her voice trailed off dreamily over the last word, and Raven restrained a grimace. But this was important to Starfire, and it would give Raven an excuse to play with her hair.

"All right, but I'm not promising anything," Raven said for the sake of appearances. She slid the door fully open and stepped outside.

Starfire looked gorgeous enough to hurt your eyes.

Her dress was a lush, vivid indigo, made of a silklike material that clung to her every curve and line. The hemline hung to a few inches above her knees, exposing the alien's long, shapely legs. The dress was a spaghetti-strap with a scoop neck, dipping almost daringly low. She sported sleek white sandals that accentuated the alluring color of her Tamaranian skin. But most attractive of all were Starfire's emerald eyes, which shone from within with every ounce of happiness and anticipation the young Titan was feeling.

In Azar's name, why does she torture me this way? Raven thought, lowering her gaze to her own thin white legs to prevent herself from staring at Starfire's beauty.

"Follow me!" Starfire skipped off, and Raven paced behind her. Starfire led Raven into her bedroom and then into her bathroom, where she stood in front of a mirror.

"Raven would you please arrange my hair in some attractive way?"

Raven buried her hands in the red-gold silk. "How do you want it?"

"Oh, whatever you think Robin would like."

Of course.

The hybrid selected a brush from Starfire's vanity. "I'm not sure how this will turn out, but you'll look pretty no matter what I do." She gently worked the brush through the few snarls in Starfire's mane. Then, clenching the brush handle between her teeth, she took a small section of hair from each of Starfire's temples and braided them one by one, joining the two plaits with a ribbon at the crown of the alien's head. She carefully wove the ribbon into a final braid that stemmed from the junction of the first two braids and reached all the way down Starfire's back. Raven secured the final plait with a violet hairtie.

Starfire examined the hairdo in the mirror. "A crown of braids! Glorious!" She squeezed Raven in a friendly hug. The violet-eyed girl had time to gently nuzzle the alien's shoulder before she let go. "Thank you, Raven." She smiled joyfully at her reflection. Raven made the mistake of looking into Starfire's mirror as well. Next to Starfire's golden/bronze-skinned, practically glowing face, Raven found her limp purple hair and ashen face almost unbearably hideous. She turned away from the mirror, surprised she hadn't cracked it, either from her powers or her ugliness.

Starfire beamed at her flawless reflection. "Do you think Robin believes me beautiful?"

"He'd be blind if he didn't think you were beautiful," the mage pointed out.

The taller girl didn't notice that the queen of sarcasm had paid her a sincere compliment. She giggled childishly, and took some clear lipgloss from her vanity and began to apply it to her already-perfect lips. (Raven had explained to her the ways of earthly makeup.)

Raven saw that Starfire had no further use for her, so she left. She remained in her room, reading and meditating, until Robin and Starfire had departed.

An hour or two later, Raven sensed Robin's aura and Starfire's aura enter the tower. But one of them was incredibly frustrated, and one was uneasy. Though Raven knew it was none of her business, she decided to check the situation out anyway.

When Raven walked into Central Operations, even she, the ice queen, had trouble not letting out a startled gasp.

Robin was gripping the front of Starfire's silk dress, speaking to her in a low voice—almost like a growl—that sounded patently furious. Starfire was reaching up, trying to calm Robin, to persuade him to let go of her. Her aura was tainted with waves of fear.

"Something wrong?" Raven queried, stating the obvious.

"Starfire and I need to talk," Robin replied woodenly. Starfire made a sound that might have been conjectured as a whimper.

"Maybe you should talk when you've calmed down a little bit," Raven fractionally raised an eyebrow. "You're scaring Starfire."

"How do you know?" Robin snapped.

In reply, Raven simply tapped one temple with a pair of fingers.

"Fine. We'll talk about this later," Robin said roughly, letting go of the front of Starfire's dress and stalking off.

Starfire leaned against the wall, trembling slightly, rearranging the mussed scoop neck of her dress. "Robin frightens me so when he's like this." She turned to the side, pressing her arms and her face to the cold white surface.

"You can hug me instead of the wall, if you want," Raven commented in her usual monotone.

Starfire obeyed, throwing her arms around the telepath hard enough to break ribs. Raven lightly ran a hand over the alien's shoulder blades, trying to soothe her.

"Robin's just in a bad mood," Raven informed Starfire matter-of-factly. "He'll come around." She hesitated. "He loves you." Her last words were said rather quietly.

"Are you sure?" Starfire inquired.

"Yes." Raven found herself unable to resist resting her head on the alien's shoulder. Starfire laid her cheek against the smaller girl's forehead, still shaking lightly.

"But Raven, Robin claimed I was 'flirting' with a waiter. I haven't seen him so angry since he believed Slade was attacking him. You don't believe…you don't believe Robin would hurt me, do you?"

"He might be angry for a little while, but once you explain…what did happen anyway?"

Raven felt Starfire shake her head. "I…I am not sure. The waiter set down the glasses of water and winked at me. I thought I should be friendly, so I smiled and waved back. For the rest of the dinner, Robin continued…questioning me…about it, and I thought I convinced him I was merely being gracious. But when we left, the waiter called me 'sweet stuff,' and I giggled, and Robin…Robin became very angry."

Raven sighed. "He's being even more touchy than usual. He'll come around."

Starfire exhaled gustily and let go of the empath. "Thank you, friend Raven. Of course, you're right." She gave Raven another quick hug. "You're such a wonderful friend!" she squealed, back to her old self again. Raven felt the soft warmth rise deep in her abdomen again at the sight of Starfire's smile. She glanced away.

"It's nothing. That's what friends are for." Raven knew she sounded flat and impersonal. It didn't matter, though; Starfire was already waltzing off. She had just needed Raven to convince her that everything would be just fine between her and Robin. Which, of course, it would be, and Raven would remain wallpaper as far as Starfire was concerned.

Starfire floated off to her room to change, leaving Raven standing alone in Ops.

Raven had come to hate the night.

The darkness used to be her companion; it had held her and kept her secrets and wasn't disgusted or frightened by her. But now the blackness of her room at night seemed distant, as if it didn't want to touch her.

At night, Raven felt very much alone.

When trying to fall asleep, Raven could wrap herself in six layers of blankets and still feel cold. The moon outside her window shone faintly, its lopsided face seeming to frown at her. If Raven closed her eyes, she could almost feel the darkness stalking her, like a friend turned enemy.

And all of this made it rather difficult to sleep.

But on this particular night, Raven's struggle to fall asleep was interrupted by a voice at her door.

"Friend Raven?"

Raven sat up blearily. Starfire was at her door—was this a dream?

"Are you awake?"

Raven stumbled out of bed. "No, I'm asleep," she commented sardonically. She staggered to the door and opened it. Starfire hovered in the doorway, wringing her hands.

"What's wrong, Star?" Raven queried, an edge of concern creeping into her voice.

Starfire gulped slightly. "I am worried. I confronted Robin earlier today and he said he would rather talk…somewhere 'private' later. The way he said it…frightened me…please, may I stay with you the rest of the night?"

"Why me?" Raven forced herself not to sound hopeful.

"You never allow anyone in your room…Robin would not think to look for me here."

Of course. It didn't matter that it was Raven that Starfire was asking for help; the alien just wanted a good place to hide.

"Raven, I know you dislike having others in your room, but I am afraid of what Robin will do to me since he is in this strange mood."

"He's smitten with you. He isn't going to hurt you. You'll be fine." Raven began to close the door.

"Raven, please!" Starfire begged, seizing Raven by the shoulders. "You did not see the look on Robin's face! I know you do not want me inside your room, but please!"

Raven hesitated. If this was a dream, then she might as well milk it. And it probably was a dream, because there was no way Robin could be so angry at Starfire that she had to resort to hiding in Raven's bedroom.

"You can stay."

"Thank you so much!" Starfire cried, floating into Raven's darkened room. "Raven, do you have an extra blanket I can use?"

"Aren't sheets enough?"

"I presumed I would be sleeping on the floor."

"I wouldn't ask you to sleep on the floor. You can sleep in my bed if you want."

"You would not mind?"

"We're friends." Raven replied simply.

"Thank you," the Tamaranian sighed. She twisted her hands again, seeming afraid, though she was safe for the time being.

"Starfire, do you want me to help you meditate? It might make you feel better."

The alien nodded. She sat, hovering in the air, and crossed her legs. Raven stood behind her. "Now, find your center." The empath lightly placed her fingertips at the base of Starfire's neck. Since she didn't have much experience with meditation, she would need help unwinding. "I'll manipulate your pressure points to help you relax and focus."

Starfire nodded once more.

"Let's try something different than last time. Do you know what a candle flame looks like? Yellow outside, mauve inside, with a black spot in the middle?"


"Good, now close your eyes and picture a candle flame. Focus on only the black spot in the center, until the blackness surrounds you."

"I will."

"Now, concentrate." Raven began kneading Starfire's pressure points. Starfire sighed and Raven felt the tension slowly seep from the alien's body. Something like fifteen minutes later, Starfire opened her eyes.


The taller girl nodded rather listlessly. She got up and stumbled; Raven caught her. "Maybe that's a little too relaxed." She helped the redheaded girl into bed and covered her with the sheets. "Are you okay?"

"I am well. Just tired."

Raven slipped under the covers. To her surprise, she felt Starfire's fingers wrap around her left hand.

Yep, this is definitely a dream.

"So I guess Tamaranians are pretty affectionate."

"You do not mind, do you?"

"No." Raven gently placed other her hand over Starfire's.

"Friend, I thought you were opposed to most forms of physical contact, even between companions."

"I'm making an exception."

"But why?"

I care about you. I want to be close to you. "Just making sure you're okay."

"I am all right now, thanks to you."


Starfire squeezed Raven's hand lightly in response. Raven closed her eyes in silent happiness, though still confused by the larger girl's affection. Of course, she still had a difficult time not destroying anything with her powers.

"Pleasant dreams, Raven."

I'm already dreaming. "You too, Star."