Last Lullaby Here
"Lights in the Sky"
-note- Well this story was inspired by multiple things. First and foremost is the story in the dedication, so look down there if you want. Second is the episode "mother mae-eye," and third is the fairy tale "sleeping beauty." Nothing more about that! I have a cold right now and my head is really stuffed up so I can't think of anything else to say. Enjoy your stay at the Illegal Day-Night Snapping Iguana hotel and I hope you come again!
-dedication- the reason I'm writing this is because I just (well when I wrote this part it was 'just') finished reading the latest chapter in Golden-Sama's story "Anything, Anytime, Anywhere for you" and I just had to write something, you know? So this first chapter's dedicated to him. Doesn't that make him feel oober special:-d
Every story begins with normality.
Those involved are always acting out their normal routines or doing something that at least seems to be regular. Tommy was playing inside with his trucks; Susanna was climbing the tree to read her book and escape from her parents' fighting. It is the remaining pages of the story which is used to transform those normal actions into things of the past – to make them into new people.
And, like every story, that is exactly how this one begins.
Snow fell in soft, uneven amounts on the sidewalks of the city. Most citizens walked as quickly as they could into the coffee shops and small stores to escape the cold weather and the only cars that were still driving were the taxis that got paid to do as much.
Yes, It would appear evident that Jump City was not used to such, however mild, wintery conditions. However, that is nothing to say about their protectors, who were walking along so nonchalantly that some people who saw them labeled the five friends as simply 'mad.'
Above the others' heads, Starfire giggled and flew in loops, entirely loving the sensations of catching the frozen snowflakes on her tongue and eyelashes. She swooped this way, and that, and attempted to persuade the others to join her in her glee. The others were content with their positions on the ground, though, and did not follow as she flew through the air.
Of the others, Beast Boy was probably closest to her excitement. When they had stopped in a little shop, unlike Raven, Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire, who had all gotten hot drinks to keep their insides from freezing, he had gotten an ice cream cone, resulting in more than one strange look from the girl behind the cash register. As they strolled along, he carried the chocolate delight in one hand and completely ignored that he had a brown stain around his mouth from the many times he had begun to laugh with the treat still close to his mouth; the shaking of his limbs resulting in a smudging of the sugary stuff on his lips and around them.
The green changeling was laughing once again, though now that his ice cream was mostly finished it didn't get onto his visage, at something Cyborg was saying about Mad Mod. It wasn't even something especially funny, but sugar tends to change the amount of humour needed to make someone crack up.
The half machine teenager known as Cyborg had only a scarf around his neck to protect himself against lesser temperatures. His artificial side had an automatic heating system, making his outdoor dress much easier to coordinate. Of all of the Teen Titans, he was the only one of them who actually enjoyed coffee, and the substance in his foam cup proved it. Black; no milk or other added crap, he guzzled it from the cup as if he were drinking soda pop from a can or bottle.
"And you remember that time when Slade got so hyper that he spent a whole day terrorizing Big Lots employees by moving around furniture and turning on and off electronics?" Raven added this with blunt sarcasm dripping like large drops of wax off her tongue.
Cyborg and Beast Boy looked at each other blankly for a moment, and then began to laugh so hard that they had to stop for a moment to catch their breaths. Even Robin, who was the most serious about their most persistent enemy yet, added in a little chuckle at Raven's joke.
The girl with hair the colour of irises smiled a little bit at their happiness, looking down at the top of her mug; the cup which had been filled with minty herbal tea. She had meant her monotonous joke to annoy the boys, but they had taken it fantastically – even laughed. Raven rolled her eyes and looked up at Starfire who was oblivious to her friends' laughter. The snow brought back memories to her; some good – Christmases in Titan's Tower and the horrible ugly snowmen she rolled her eyes at every year when they popped up all over the place – and some bad; memories she persistently ignored and pushed forcefully into the depths of her mind.
"Does anyone want some more pie?" Cyborg asked in a tempting tone, not caring that by making the comment he was actually making fun of himself, for it was he who had brought Mother Mae-Eye's pie into their house in the first place. Beast Boy pretended to be sick on the side of the road beside them, and Raven made a face that said, 'No, Cyborg. As kind and generous as your offer is, I would prefer it if you did not serve me any pie," in a Raven kind of way. Robin simply reached his hand up to the top of his head to be sure that his hair was still gelled into place.
Starfire flew down to a height that was about level with the other Titans.
"Friends," she exclaimed; her tone airy and full of rapture, "Please accompany me in the glorious flight through the frozen drops of water in the expanse of –"
Her invitation was cut off by Beast Boy. He shot up his hand to point up to the sky above them, saying excitedly, "Falling star! Wish on it!"
This turned all of the others' heads, even Starfire's, who didn't understand why she was supposed to wish on a piece of space rock falling into the atmosphere.
"Beast Boy," Raven said, a little hesitantly, but still without emotion as she watched the white star-like object cross the sky slowly, "It's cloudy out."
Sure enough, above their head was an immense blanket of dark grey.
He cocked his head at Raven, looking perplexed, "So? Why's it matter, Rae?"
Raven looked around at the faces of her teammates, seeing if anyone else was making the connection that she was. Robin's eyes seemed to be lighting up as he realized she was saying, Starfire's face had a similar look to Raven's, saying that she had been thinking a similar thought, and Cyborg wasn't far behind, but she explained anyway.
"You can't see shooting stars when it's cloudy out, Beast Boy," she told him exasperatedly. In silence, they returned to their stare at the object in the sky.
"Also," Starfire added a little more quietly than she had been when she had first come down to her friends, "It moves much too slowly to be a star that falls."
"Come on, team," Robin said after they had watched it for, in his mind, long enough, "We've been out sight-seeing long enough. Let's get back to the tower."
The masked leader punched his right fist into his left hand, his own signal which basically said to get going. Of all of the team, except maybe Raven, Robin was the first person to get down to it. The one who spent the most time in the training courses and working to find leads on the villains, it was no wonder that the previous apprentice to Batman was in charge of the superhero team.
The rest of the team dispersed. Beast Boy promptly transformed himself into a pterodactyl; an animal large enough to carry Cyborg, and picked up the half machine with his talons as he flew towards the T shaped building in the harbor. Robin activated his glider, and soon the five of them were racing through the air back to their home.
"Cyborg, see if you can get a scan on that thing," Robin called to Cyborg beside him as they flew. He immediately complied, pushing buttons in a complex pattern across his arm and pointing it up at the sky in the direction of the light.
After a few moments and a few more buttons being pushed, Robin could see Cyborg lift his arms in a shrug that showed that the object was either too far away or just couldn't be scanned.
They were at the tower, though, soon enough and no time was wasted in running to the common room to the controls and within moments, Robin and Cyborg typing away at them.
At first Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy just stood behind the two, waiting for orders and watching as images flashed up on the screens – some with understanding and others, namely Beast Boy, with almost none at all – but soon Raven, in the air, crossed her legs Indian style and began to chant, quietly, "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos," while she explored the sky with her mind and tried to figure out herself what this thing was.
She was broken out of her trance by a curse word being uttered under their leader's breath. He and Cyborg jumped out of their chairs and Robin immediately commanded, "It's headed for the tower! We have to intercept!"
Without even waiting for the other two in the room (who couldn't fly without assistance) to follow, Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire left the room at an alarming speed, heading up to the roof of the tower and jumping into the sky.
All of the Titans, throughout their pasts, seem to have had a bleak take on life. Normal children complain of the burden of going to school, yet most of the superhero teens do not even have living parents anymore. But, strangely, they seem to remain more optimistic than anyone else and, even when their home and lives are at stake they, or at least Beast Boy, continue to make jokes.
"What do you get when you cross a falling star and a house maid?" They were coming close to the bright object now and the green changeling had changed his bird head back into his own to begin the joke.
"Not now," Raven growled under her breath, trying to concentrate on the object only a few hundred feet ahead of them. In her mind she was trying to reach out to the – whatever it was – and what she found was not what she had expected to.
Her original thought was that it would be a missile – they'd have to blast it before it got too close to the city – but what she was finding as she reached out to it with her empathic mind was that it was a shuttle; an outer space postal carrier. It, obviously, carried a message, but she could not tell what it said with all of the encrypting codes placed on it.
Upon opening her eyes, Raven saw that Starfire was pulling up starbolts in her fists – likely ready to blast it.
"Wait – Starfire, don't," Raven exclaimed to the Tamaranian princess flying above her, but she did not hear. The violet haired girl did the first thing she could. "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos," she murmured, creating a shield around the shuttle, protecting it from the blasts Starfire did throw at it and stopping it in its path.
Beast Boy, who was a bit behind them, in the shape of a bird and not able to do much of anything, flew up towards it, past Starfire who was looking back at Raven with a confused face, and towards the still bright, but certainly small, pod of metal.
"It's a mail carrier," Raven began, but turned to see what Beast Boy was doing.
With his beak he pecked it a little bit; the shuttle which had been released from Raven's black energy, and was startled when it began to move again.
With this new information, Starfire was the one who seized the vessel this time. With her inhuman strength she was able to take hold of it in her muscular arms and stop it once again where it was. A piece of the metal rose from the top as she held it from the front and a recorded, robotic voice, said something in an alien language.
A squeal escaped the redhead's lips; understanding the words. She had heard them say that the message was for her, and, in response, she turned back to Raven and Beast Boy, who were looking at her curiously.
"It is a message from Venier!"
Without any more explanation from her, she flew back towards the tower, the shuttle still in her arms. The two left behind exchanged a strange look, both confused and questioning the strange behaviour of Starfire, but only moments behind they followed her.
Their flight took them back into the tower; onto the roof from where Cyborg and Robin were anxiously watching above them. Both of their faces asked for explanations and before their mouths could do the same, Starfire gave one of her trademark grins and answered their unasked questions.
"It is a message pod from the outer reaches of the galaxy on the planet of hazel skies and six moons called Venier!"
"And… what does it say?" Cyborg asked. He and the other three, though Beast Boy and Raven less than the two who had been left behind, were staring wide eyed at their alien teammate.
Still grinning, she replied, "I do not know! I have yet to activate it!"
Saying this, Starfire reached over to the piece of metal that had risen while she had held it and placed her hand on it, palm down. It was an identification plate. The pod hovered in front of her at a height about to her chest, and once she had placed her hand on the plate it had hummed to life and a small hologram popped up.
It was of what seemed to be a herald of some sort, though certainly he was not human, and neither was his language. The message was brief, and Starfire took it in as it was spoken, but before someone could ask what it said, it began to replay the message in one of the many languages it would; Earthan English.
"To the Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran; current residence – earth. From the King and Queen of Venier. You and a guest are cordially invited to partake with us in the naming ceremony of our beloved firstborn daughter. It will take place on the third rotation of Hexar at the seventh hour. Please send your response, yes or no, and the name of your guest as soon as possible in this postal carrier. Thank you."
-note- okay, so I'm a little bit annoyed at how this first chapter turned out, but I guess it could have been worse. Trust me, I have done worse. Now if y'all would review that would make your humble authoress a very happy person indeed. Tell me what's good, what's bad, whether or not I should continue (okay, so even if you tell me not to continue I probably will, but that isn't the point. :-p) and just let me get reviews because they really make me happy and they tend to make the updates come faster, even when the writer is sick and lazy and on a tight schedule. Oh yeah. And if you haven't read my other story, "It all started with the Playstation," go read it. It'll make me happy. :-d And that one actually has a set update day, so you'll know when new chapters'll come.
I lurv y'all,