Opening Notes: This is my newest chapter story... I'm officially off hiatus! I hope you enjoy reading as much as enjoy writing it. A few things you should know prior to reading I will not be updating every day. I will update ASAP and if you get them one a day then that is fine but I will not promise it. The reason for this is I am trying to lengthen my chapters a bit and this story's plot has a few things in it that I amstill working out. Please bare with me. I am going to try to answer as many reviews as I can but please do not feel offended if I am unable to mention you. I am also going to dedicate each chapter of the story to a reviewer. Thank you for taking the time to read this note.
Love, Princess Starfire of Tamaran
When the Angels Fell Silent
Disclaimer: Teen Titans is property of DC comics
Chapter 1: Hush
Chapter 1 dedicated to: xox.Annie Potter.xox
Above Jump City, storm clouds rolled in to cover the weak, winter afternoon sun. However, seeing as this was beautiful California, it didn't feel much like winter yet… The cold waiting to fly in at a later time. The clouds were thick and grey, heavily pregnant with rain, and they brought with them a strange, oppressive humidity that hung in the air and seemed to smother any of the city's residents that endeavored outdoors. At the corner of First Street and Park Avenue, a petite girl shrouded in a velvet cloak of darkest cerulean plowed back into a row of parked cars. She lay there, stunned for a moment. Around the corner, sounds of battle raged to the ears.
"Robin, look out!" a feminine voice yelped. Moments later an explosion rocked the street. The billowing smoke dissipated to reveal four strange teens and an even stranger woman facing them. One of the youths, Robin, was held about the waist by a girl with flaming scarlet hair who floated a few feet off of the pavement. The alien girl released her leader, and he dropped to the ground with catlike ease. Green skinned Beast Boy blinked sweat from his eyes and looked back and forth.
"Raven!" he called. The cloaked adolescent levitated back over, frighteningly dark energy crackling at her fingertips. Beast Boy seemed relieved, and quickly shifted forms into an emerald furred lion. Robin looked back.
"Raven, go!" he shouted. Raven rocketed towards the woman crouched in the center of the street, her mantra dancing at the edge of her lips. The woman sprang into the air, flipping over Raven and landing behind her. Raven turned quickly and jerked her hand up into the air, mentally summoning a light pole. It snapped at the base and flew over, hovering above her in a wreath of ebony power. She released it and jetted backwards, her cloak blustering about her with the harsh movement as the pole plummeted down onto the woman. She jumped lithely out of the way at the last moment, extending a set of claws that slashed deep gashes into the steel.
Raven pulled a mail box from the side of the street with her dark energy and blasted it towards the woman. It plowed into her middle and she flew back, crashing into the asphalt. She struggled from under it and swiped at Raven with her claws. She caught Raven by the cloak and managed to pitch her across the street. Cyborg narrowed his eye and charged, sonic cannon fizzing to life. A wide blue beam shot out, but the villainess deflected it with her claws, the beam bouncing back and slamming Cyborg into the ground.
Beast Boy roared and raced towards her, his own claws flexed as he pounced and tackled her. "Take this, Blade!" the changeling snarled between forms as he shifted from lion to gorilla and used a massive fist to knock her in the jaw. Blade's head flew back but she was not deterred, swiftly reaching behind and pulling a long sword from the sheath slung across her back. She snapped it down on Beast Boy's shoulder and he gave a bellow of pain, reeling back as crimson blood trickled out onto his fur.
"Starfire, let's go!" Robin snarled. On command, the extra-terrestrial beauty flew forward, matching the pace of her charging companion. Robin whipped out his bo-staff as they hurtled towards Blade who stood at ready with her sword. "Star, now!" he yelled. Starfire's hands were consumed with pulsating solar energy and soon several well-aimed star bolts were whizzing into the path of Robin's rapidly rotating bo-staff. They were deflected off the staff and sent spiraling at Blade. Blade charged and rushed at Robin, dodging the star bolts with swift flips and slides. She met Robin's staff blow for blow with her sword, the weapons clashing with metallic clangs.
Robin went down as the flat of Blade's sword slammed hard against his chest. "Robin!" Starfire yelled. Her eyes glowed brilliant emerald and she rushed at Blade with star bolts flaming on her fists. She squeezed her eyes shut and plowed into the villainess, knocked her to the ground. The two struggled with one another, Blade gripping Starfire's wrists hard and kneeing her in the gut. Star cried out and shot two beams of blistering hot energy from her eyes. Blade screamed and dragged her claws further along Star's wrists. Starfire's gloves slipped off in tatters, but she continued to burn her opponent with her eye beams, the two articles of clothing the very least of er worries. Raven struggled back onto her feet and rushed forward.
"Azerath, Metrion, Zinthos!" she snapped. Blade and Starfire were both consumed in a large ebony sphere and pulled apart with dark force. Raven released Star from her hold and she fell toward earth without a chance to recover and fly. She braced for impact that never came. Two strong arms caught her and cradled her protectively, holding her a moment and letting her regain her bearings. Robin set Star on the ground carefully and they darted forward again. Cyborg and Beast Boy picked themselves up from the ground and they ran after Robin and Starfire. They all came to crowd around Raven who had both hands out and her eyes squeezed shut as she concentrated on holding the struggling Blade under her control. Siren wails met their ears as the police squealed in from where they'd taken cover.
Raven dropped Blade hard into the ground and the villainess groaned as she fell unconscious. The police quickly carted her away, hoping to get her to her cell in Jump City jail before she woke up. Raven rested her hands on her knees and caught her breath, eyeing the long slash marks in her cloak irritably. Beast Boy touched his shoulder tentatively, wincing in pain. The empath looked over and pushed thoughts of her tattered cloak away, quickly moving to his side, her hands glowed white and she began to heal his injury. Starfire looked down at her wrists. Several slashes had been dug into her amber-toned flesh and blood trickled from the wounds.
She bit her lip and looked down the street where the pathetic remains of her gloves were laying on the ground. She sighed and her eyes darted over to her friends, who were all seeing to it that Beast Boy was alright. Robin seemed to sense Star's gaze… as usual… and looked over. "Starfire, are you alright?" he called. The girl looked a little pale. She nodded and smiled weakly.
"I am going to go back to the tower now… I shall meet you all there. You fought well! Congratulate our friends on the victory," she answered. Robin opened his mouth to protest her leaving them, but Starfire leapt into the air before he could call her back. The Boy Wonder frowned. Raven looked over with a single, shapely brow arched to show her inquiry.
"Is something wrong?" she asked, her hands loosing their glow as she finished up healing BB. Robin shook his head slowly.
"I don't know. I think Star might be hurt, but she left like she was in a hurry… I… we should get back to the tower soon and see to it that she's ok," he said gruffly. Raven nodded and shrugged before heading off towards the T-car without another word, waving Cyborg and Beast Boy after her. The two boys followed, and Robin stalked after his team quietly. It wasn't like Starfire to hide an injury. She was usually sensible about such things and let Raven tend to her as needed.
Robin revved the R-cycle and shot off down the block, the T-car roaring to life and swiftly trailing him.
Starfire landed on the rocky shore of Titans island and walked stiffly up the path, sweeping through the entrance to the tower deftly. She hovered in the air and brushed back her ruby bangs, tucking a few stubborn strands of hair back behind her ears and wincing in response to the slight pain of moving her wrists. Starfire breezed into her room and sat on the bed to examine the damage done to her. Her left wrist was alright, the blood drying on her skin. It would hurt a little to clean the cuts off but that would be fine. Her Tamaranian physiology would allow the injuries to heal within a few days.
Her jade eyes now traveled reluctantly to her right wrist. She grimaced and covered the wrist with her hand. The cuts were no worse on her right wrist than they had been on her left, but there was another mark on her arm that had not been caused by this battle. A single line of silver seemed to have burned its way into the shape of a small, intricate symbol on the under-side of her wrist and the skin around it was red as if it had been recently seared. What if her friends had seen the metallic mark wink in the light? Would they have pushed it off as the confusing reflections bouncing off of Blade's claws? She hoped they had not noticed it at all. She hoped Blade had not noticed.
Starfire dropped her hands to her side and slipped from her bed stubbornly attempting to disregard the unfortunate mark. She left her room, snatching a towel from the linens closet and making her way into the nearest bathroom. There were three in the tower. One for guests and the other two for the titans as needed. She slipped into the bathroom and slowly locked the door. She heard the moan of the garage door creak through the tower as the other titans arrived home. Star closed her eyes, feeling a bit sick. She hadn't really considered what might happen if her friends discovered her secret. What if they decided she was too dangerous? What if they sent her away? Starfire stripped her tall violet boots from her legs and let them drop to the floor, shivering slightly as her bare feet touched the cold tile floor.
She could have hovered off the ground, but she didn't really have the energy or the desire at this point… her mind drifting far away. Star slipped out of the rest of her uniform and turned on the water in the shower, closing the curtain and sitting on the closed toilet seat to wait for the water to heat. As soon as she could see a little mist of steam rise above the shower curtain, she slipped inside, sighing as the warm water splashed onto her skin. She ran her fingers through her long hair, and then shampooed it carefully. Star stood under the water, letting it beat at her skin and wash away the dirt and grime from the battle. Her jade eyes glazed and it looked as if she were not staring at the tiled wall opposite her, but rather far off into some different time.
She was lying on a down-filled mattress, swimming in silk sheets. Koriand'r sighed and sat up; the sheets falling back to reveal her in a pale rose robe of sorts. She yawned. Her wrist hurt… Koriand'r peered at her right wrist curiously. There, the mark. She'd gotten it after the Psions had captured her. After she'd broken free from that wretchedly torturous machine... Where was she? Where was her sister, Comand'r? A young man entered the room.
"Ryand'r!" she exclaimed, only half believing. Her brother had grown. The man nodded. "Brother… why are you here? Where is here?" she asked in her native tongue. Ryand'r looked at her sadly and came to sit on the edge of the bed by his sister.
"Away from Comand'r. She was trying to kill you… my dear sister I took you away from her... You do not remember? You are safe now, though. But I saw… you have the mark also?" he asked quietly, grey eyes becoming sad. Koriand'r looked down at her wrist and back at her brother. He was less than a year younger than her, both of them at different points in their fourteenth year of life.
"This?" she asked, showing him her wrist and pointing at the lacy silver mark. Ryand'r nodded and produced his left wrist, exposing an identical mark. "Ryand'r, what is it?" she asked. Ryand'r frowned.
"Keys. Shards of the key, rather. You have half and I have the other. Together they could unlock the greatest source of energy in the universe... or so rumor says. I received mine from a Psion runaway. I believe he had rebelled from… something. He had been given the shard and told to keep it separate from the other half by whoever his authorities were. I found him dying and he transferred the shard to me, relating only as much as what I just told you. I do not know how you received the other half. I only know the key was broken into shards so they could not be united. The power source… I do not know where it is, but I believe it is intended to stay locked. It was the Psions greatest experiment… it was meant to destroy much life. I know no more than that, and that it was constructed with more than simply science," Ryand'r shrugged. "We cannot help that our fate has been intertwined with such destructive power. All we can do is keep it unknown," Koriand'r stared at her brother and looked back at her wrist. He seemed so calm about it all. Just like Ryand'r.
"I do not want this 'shard,' my brother. The Psions were so cruel. I-I must leave. I must go back to Tamaran," she mumbled. Ryand'r scowled and shook his head.
"It is not safe for you. Not now. You would be returned to slavery. The war is not complete. Koriand'r, find yourself a home. Travel far, and find a home where your slavery and your pains will be lost. I will speak with Galfore when I return; he will keep the shard a secret. I am sure," he said gravely. Koriand'r shook her head.
"But why are you returning as well? Are you not also in danger?" she asked stubbornly.
"I am going to fight, the war is not through. And once the war has finally calmed, I am going to state a case against Comand'r. She attempted to harm you and I cannot stand for that. It is the path I must take. You are my beloved sister and I shall do what I can to right what wrongs Comand'r has attempted against you," he said. Koriand'r nodded reluctantly, not one to try and convince her headstrong brother otherwise. No further words needed to be exchanged. The siblings were to choose their own paths, and right now that meant going in separate ways.
"May X-Hal keep you," she whispered, a bit tearfully. Ryand'r kissed her cheek and hugged her before flying slowly from the room. Koriand'r changed stoically into her clothes, putting on her gloves with a strange finality in the motions as the symbol was covered. This "shard" was not to be known of.
Starfire shook her head, clearing her mind of the memories. Ryand'r had died shortly after on the battle field, simply enhancing her repulsion with the silver mark that marred her wrist. She did not like being connected with this creation of Psions. Star clutched a small star bolt in her left hand and then let it fade. Then again, were her star bolts not also a creation of the Psions? Had their experimenting possibly been more than curiosity, as they had told her? Had she actually been part of another plan for inflicting destruction? Starfire squeezed her eyes shut. Such thoughts were unneeded… but the shard had been given to her for some reason… and she did not like it. Her friends did not know of this past, and she intended to keep it as such.
The alien princess slowly washed the shampoo from her hair and scrubbed herself clean. Her movements were solemn as she shut off the shower and rang the water from her hair. Starfire ran her tongue over her lips and stepped from the tub, pulling the white towel to her and wrapping it about her. She paused for a moment, staring at her distorted image in the fogged up mirror, and listening for sounds of her friends in the hall. It didn't appear that anyone was there. Perhaps she could get to her quarters without anyone seeing her and inquiring of the still-raw slashes on her wrists. Perhaps the mark could remain unknown for a little while longer. With this thought, she clutched the fluffy towel tighter about herself and unlocked the door and let it slide open.
"Robin!" she yelped stumbling back as she was met with the boy's stern gaze. Robin lifted a brow, one hand shooting out deftly to steady her. She lowered her eyes and thanked him quietly, pressing her wrist closer against her chest. "I am sorry, I was simply surprised."
"You were in there a long time. Are you ok?" he asked authoritatively. Starfire flushed suddenly. Was he completely unaware of the fact she was standing in the hallway, talking with him in nothing but a towel? "Starfire…" he tugged at a piece of her hair for attention. She glanced up, confused by the look on his face. He seemed pulled between amusement, concern, and affection. "Earth to Star, again… are you alright? You seemed a little off when you left us earlier," he said, his tone softening.
"Y-yes. I am fine. We were victorious, and that is wonderful!" she attempted a smile and failed miserably, much too nervous to feign a bubbly attitude.
"I wasn't asking about the fight. I was asking about you." He said, eyes narrowing behind his mask.
"I am fine. Simply… tired. Blade was a strong adversary. Um… I shall see you later, friend Robin," Starfire edged away. Robin took her wrist to stop her and she jerked away, slivers of pain racing through her raw cuts. At the look of surprise on his face she mumbled an apology. "Sorry, I am not really… 'With it,' as Beast Boy says, right now… I-I should go get… dressed… now…" she muttered. Robin watched her for a few minutes.
"You're hurt," he said bluntly, eyeing the red marks on her wrists.
"I am fine," she reassured him, again attempting to move off down the hall, the mark secreted against the fabric of the towel so he could not see. This time it was his voice rather than his touch that took her captive and caused her to stop her exit.
"You know better than to hide when you've been hurt," Robin sounded as if he were scolding a child. Starfire bit her lip and twisted a few strands of scarlet hair around her finger, hugging the towel closer still. Finally, she turned to face him again, a few paces away now and an unusually defiant and exasperated look gracing her features.
"Yes, and I am not hiding. I have a few minor cuts and I can tend to them quite well on my own. Thank you for your concern, Robin, but as I said, I am fine. Perhaps I will see you at lunch," she said with sudden brusqueness. She needed to escape his inquiries now… even if it meant being a little catty. Robin blinked, surprised by the curtness of her dismissal. Starfire turned on heel and left, fleeing to her room. She slid her door closed behind her and sucked in a deep breath. She hadn't meant to be rude to Robin… he'd only wished to help. But her awareness of how easily the mark could be discovered had been renewed and she had no desire to explain it to him should he see it. Starfire stared glumly at the lush carpet floor.
She would apologize later. Starfire went to her closet and rummaged through a few little cubbies until she found some good lengths of bandaging. She wrapped her wrists carefully, after quick examination to ensure they were clean. Once the task was complete, she rhythmically slipped into her uniform piece by piece. As she finished fastening her communicator to her belt, she plucked up her lilac-toned gloves. Her eyes ran over the material dully, and with a sigh she slipped them on. The emeralds gracing the top of each glove winked in the light of her room. It brought a slight smile to her face despite her less-than-entertained mood. It was the small beauties of the world that brought the most joy to her.
In fact, she preferred the glittering shimmer the light cast on the emeralds more than she cared for the precious stones themselves. Starfire ran a brush through her long, silken hair and carefully worked the teeth of a fine comb through the small, snaring tangles left from her shower. Her jade eyes flitted to the clock on her nightstand. Lunch would be in a few moments, but it was unlikely she'd see the others. Maybe Robin would be there, but the others would probably be relaxing and working off the fatiguing effects of the battle with Blade via a nice little cat nap.
She floated down the hall, long legs again encased in her purple boots. Star took in a deep breath, the scent of melted butter washing over her. Robin making grilled cheese, no doubt. She was quiet as she entered the kitchen, and Robin didn't look up from his cooking as she took a seat at the table. She knew he was aware she was there, because upon entrance he'd deliberately started another sandwich for her. She looked down at the table, hair ruffling forward to veil her face. He was probably offended. It was the strange thing about him. He could take physical pain better than anyone she knew and he had the hardest wall around himself she'd ever seen, but none the less it seemed he couldn't shrug off a certain sensitivity to her actions.
He was just like anyone else on the inside; despite his attempts to close off any emotional hurt, words stung him all the same. A very minute smile tugged at the corner of her lips. Robin was hard on the outside but soft on the inside and once you'd hammered through his outer shell you could pretty much rip the poor guy apart… and yet he'd deny the whole thing. The thought almost made her laugh, but she gracefully refrained. "Robin, I am sorry about my words earlier. They were unkind," Starfire apologized softly, unconsciously rubbing her wrist under the table, one finger tracing the pattern of the shard instinctively. She didn't see the symbol flare up emerald and then fade beneath her touch. Robin didn't reply for a while, and Star sighed.
She slid from her seat and walked over lightly, standing just behind him. Robin swallowed. He wasn't angry, just concerned. The soft fragrance of jasmine and orange flowers tickled his senses. "It's fine. I'm just… you know, worried. You're acting a little different," Robin abandoned his cooking for a moment and turned to face her. "You've been hurt before, but you've never been so secretive about it. Whether you're hiding it or not… you're still down-playing it an awful lot. Even if it's not bad, why can't I just see? I just want to make sure you're alright," he sighed and ran a hand through his rumpled hair.
Star looked down. "I know. I am sorry, but… I would prefer to tend to these on my own. The cuts are not bad anyhow," she shrugged and held out her wrists. Robin nodded.
"If that's what you want. I'm not going to force you or anything… but at the least, you should probably take off your gloves. They're a bit tight considering you've got open wounds," he suggested. Starfire's expression faltered.
"They are bound anyways. Even without the gloves they would be restricted," she muttered stiffly. Robin locked eyes with her through his mask. The girl shivered slightly, knowing his deep azure eyes were searching her face for answers to her strange behavior.
"Then maybe take off the bandages too…" he said carefully, lifting a brow. Star shook her head.
"I am fine," she waved him off. Robin sighed wearily and turned back to the grilled cheese sandwiches, flipping them with his spatula so they flopped expertly onto two plates. He handed her one and she accepted it graciously, wandering back over to the table. She'd never hurt her wrists before. She'd never needed to remove her gloves in front of her friends. She'd never been caught in nothing but a towel by Robin… Starfire grimaced inwardly. Just lovely. Starfire took a dejected bite of her sandwich. Sometimes life could be so stupid…
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. I will consider inserting the "Titans News" section into my author's notes if you all would like me to. Please leave a review saying that is what you would like if that is the case. I should like to have chapter two up for you all by Wednesday or Thursday, so please keep an eye out. It's wonderful to have you here for another story... hopefully this one will be as enjoyable or more enjoyable than previous ones. Constructive criticism is very much appreciated but I would ask that your critiques be explained so I can understand fully what it is that needs improvement. Thank you very much.
Love, Princess Starfire of Tamaran