A/N: This was inspired by (1) I was trying to get Puck and myself used to the relationship between Raven and Starfire because it's getting close to the time when I'm going to have to write them talking and discussing things between them for It Only Takes a Moment and (2) I belong to a group on dA for Teen Titans and through it I saw this picture: http / www . deviantart . com / view / 16028910 / (remove the spaces) Called, "Starfire and Raven 10" by Rhodonite and the situation in it got Puck thinking about a possible situation between Starfire and Raven so I asked the artist if they would mind if I did it and she said no she didn't so here it is. This is kind of a prequel for the Moment that is coming up which is going to involve a conversation between Starfire and Raven. I might not make reference to it, but there it is…now you guys know.
A more complete A/N and etc below.
"Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words."
- George Eliot
It had happened and she hadn't even noticed. She couldn't even say exactly what had prompted her in that exact moment to look up from her book and suddenly notice the extra weight on her legs. It wasn't like the mass that was weighing down on her legs had just plopped there. And the weight itself was neither unpleasant nor painful enough to suddenly call for her attention. Rather on the contrary, there was something almost comfortable about the feeling. There was, of course, the element of warmth it provided but Raven herself was rarely cold and so she knew that it had to be more than that which made her feel strangely at ease. After several moments of deep consideration, the nearest description she could settle on was to compare the sensation she was currently feeling to the way she felt when she occasionally tucked her legs under her as she sat on the couch. And it occurred to her that it just might be the lack of weight, the feeling that her legs were supporting nothing that brought the discomfiture and having the weight and the warmth there seemed to remedy that.
Ultimately, whatever the cause, she was perfectly content to remain exactly where she was and not move a muscle.
This, she recognized, was entirely strange, peculiar and generally 'freaky' considering that it was Starfire that was oh so casually and comfortably stretched out across her legs. She searched deep in her own thoughts and tried to summon up words to get Star to cease her invasion of her personal space, but the words were not there to be found. She knew she should be much more bothered by the familiarity with which the alien was sprawled across her crossed legs, but she found that she really wasn't. She appreciated the dichotomy of that otherwise simple realization with a deep-seated sort of curiosity.
She wondered if maybe something were internally remiss that she was not having the kind of reaction she knew everyone (including herself) would expect at the sight of someone so nonchalantly and happily touching her. She did a quick check of her concepts of personal space and to that end, pictured Beast Boy in the same position or something even remotely similar. Were that the case, she was happy to note, she would have had absolutely no qualms whatsoever in asking him to remove whatever appendage happened to be touching her or risk being sent to a dimension which closely resembled the Christian concept of Hell. And although it was harder to picture Robin or Cyborg attempting such closeness with her, even if they did she could quite easily imagine similar reactions on her part which would invariably end with her asking them oh-so-politely and ever so calmly to stop touching her. And so, she couldn't help but wonder how exactly Starfire managed to steal herself that far into her personal space without Raven having what Cyborg would colloquially term, a 'homicidal breakdown'.
She knew that the time they spent in each other's bodies had done much to make the two girls closer than Raven would have ever thought two people so different as they were could ever be. Something about the time she spent with her during the Puppet King fiasco had made it seem less strange to Raven that she seemed to spend more time with Starfire, this was true. And Starfire really was the only one that spent any amount of time in Raven's room at Raven's invitation. But these results stemmed from an obvious cause that Raven could pinpoint: the time they spent switched. But even such a drastic cause as spending a day literally in someone else's shoes could not have been the ultimate catalyst to the sort of situation in which they currently found themselves. Raven thought back and could pinpoint various moments where Starfire had crossed the personal space boundaries: bone crushing hugs after a glorious victory in battle, squeals of joy that ended with Raven being lifted into the air by the flying Tamaranian after she had mastered something or other Raven had agreed to teach her, spontaneous instances of hand grabbing for numerous and un-remarkable circumstances, and of course…and little by little the picture began to clear.
After all, Raven mused, how many times could she remind Star about her personal space? How many different ways could she try to get Star off and / or away from her person without hurting the overly emotional girl? Obviously, not enough times to keep Star from doing it again. And if Raven could have found even the most remotest of evidence that Star did these things on purpose to hurt Raven or to make Raven deliberately uncomfortable, she might have been able to find it in her heart to be more stern with the alien and maybe even threaten her the way she found it so easy to do with their male counterparts. However, as Raven was more than aware of how Star's innocent joy at the simplest things was the motivating factor for her severe lack of respect for her personal space, Raven could not muster the tone or words that would undoubtedly keep Star from crossing the line again. So, eventually, Star's perseverance wore down even Raven's stanch need of detachment.
Raven knew that Star was used to physical shows of affection. She displayed these with Robin and with Beast Boy and especially with Cyborg who (in his assumed big brother role) was about as into the physical shows of affection as she herself was. And even though these shows of affection and comfort were about as alien to Raven as Starfire's puddings were, Raven was not beyond understanding other people's needs and habits and certainly not above making allowances for them. Pretty early on, Raven had figured out that Star needed actual physical contact of some sort as part of her comfort. Mere words were not enough for her; she could never survive if she could not indulge, at least, in the casual touches of people whom she considered friends. She drew comfort as well as offered it through touch. And as diametrically opposite to Raven's own way of being as that philosophy was, eventually Raven realized that Star needed the comfort and closeness of the only other female of their group more than she needed the closeness of the rest of the team put together. And, unable to shun such attachment or contact for fear of hurting her feelings, Raven had gotten used to it from the girl.
She had grown so used to it, as a matter of fact, that Raven barely noticed when Star did such things anymore. A part of Raven's mind had of course been aware of Star as she entered the room earlier that afternoon even though Raven's only recognition had been to glance up from the book she was reading as she approached. When Raven had noticed that Starfire also had a book in hand, Raven had given her no more conscious thought even when Star had walked right up to where Raven was sitting on the floor of the common room and plopped unceremoniously down next to her. The only real recognition Raven made of her was to shift her legs a little as Star made herself comfortable by using Raven's legs as a makeshift pillow to read her book easier.
There was a time when Raven might have wondered, probably aloud, at why Starfire had chosen her current placement when all of the seats were currently unoccupied. This time, however, Raven had offered no more than a casual glance and had done nothing more than lean a little further back so that Star could have better access and center herself suitably.
That Raven should not only tolerate Star's leaning on her legs to read, but that she actually would shift her own position to allow Starfire more comfort as she did so was an occurrence that shook the very foundations of Raven's character, a phenomenon on par with the founding of Rome or the meteor shower that brought Superman to Earth…in other words, it was of the likes of which myths were made. And still, what was even more surprising than the fact that she had gotten used to the closeness was that she was actually fine with it. Although it all might have begun with Raven tolerating Star's invasions of her personal space and enduring it with grit teeth, now it was actually (dare she think it?) comforting. And while Raven would not seek out these interactions and would rather die than admit that she actually missed sharing quiet casual time with her friend like this when she was alone, she found herself unable to keep from admitting that she didn't hate it when it did happen.
'Of all the things that would have surprised me about my time with the Titans,' Raven though not without some humor, 'that I would be this comfortable with casual physical contact surely must beat them all.'
At some point, when the comforting almost rhythmic sound of Raven flipping page as she read ceased for longer than usual, Star realized that Raven was no longer looking at her book but instead was looking blankly ahead of her at the wall at the far end of the room. Wondering what about the wall had taken up her friend's attention, Star turned her head to inspect it as well. Upon finding nothing particular about it, she figured that something else must be taking her friend's attention and so she turned to look up at Raven and stared at her in silent contemplation for a few moments. It didn't take her long to realize that although to the casual eye, Raven's face appeared to be as unemotional as ever, Starfire had realized that the facial cues to her thoughts and feelings were as much present on Raven's face as they were on anyone else's…it was only, she knew, a little harder to read them. For Starfire, after so much had happened between them, Raven's thoughts showed clearly in the laxness of her lips, the slightly drooped jaw and the almost imperceptible wideness of her eyes.
Thinking that something was wrong with her friend and that perhaps it had to do with the random instances of slumber that besieges human extremities from time to time, Starfire made up her mind to interrupt Raven's musing in the hopes that she could be of some use to her. (Tamaranian acupressure had been rather useful with other instances of these in the past, after all.) "Is something wrong, Raven?" she asked.
Starfire's question broke into Raven's own internal thoughts and her head jolted in surprise to stare at her. She had to blink a few times to bring herself out of her previous train of thought. "What was that?" she asked when she realized Starfire was waiting for an answer to a question she hadn't really heard.
"I wonder if your extremities bother you with their ill-timed slumber?"
Raven knew that with a little more time to shift her mind to translating 'Starfire Speak', she might be able to translate Star's words into regular English. As it was, she was left blinking at her dumbly.
Fortunately, accustomed to her friends sometimes not understanding her, Star was used to having to repeat herself from time to time and had learned that if she used other words or phrases it sometimes helped to make herself clear. Smiling, she asked, "Are you not comfortable?"
Raven exhaled as she finally understood what Star was asking her. She smiled at her friend, "No, Star," she answered sincerely. "I'm not uncomfortable at all."
Star returned her friend's rare smile with a brilliant one of her own. "Good!" she exclaimed cheerily, "Because I am just now reaching the high-quality mark!"
Raven thought about it for a moment and, since she was now focused on 'Star Speak' could translate her meaning rather quickly. "You mean the climax," Raven informed her.
Star thought about it and added the correction to her ever-growing list of slang vocabulary. She grinned as another thought occurred to her. "Would the same phrase be proper then to say that we," she tapped the carpet where they were currently located, "have reached a climax?"
Raven opened her mouth to reply when the double meaning of the word she had automatically and inadvertently introduced to Starfire jumped at her. "No," she answered carefully, "Not exactly."
Starfire cocked her head to the side, clearly confused. "Why not?"
Raven thought about it and couldn't think of a simple way of explaining it to her. Unable to think of one, she decided to go for the technical explanation. "Because climax generally refers to a height or peak to which a certain series of events has been building…in the book it's appropriate because the events of the story have been building to a certain revelation or resolution…"
Starfire nodded. "Yes," she agreed, "The characters in the book have been through much to reach this point where everything is clear and resolved and after they have gone through all this trouble, the characters are happy and content, are they not?"
Raven nodded, once again, carefully, "Well, usually…they're not always happy per se, but I guess content is a pretty good generalization…" she conceded.
Starfire brightened. "Then we too have reached a climax together, Raven," Starfire insisted, "Since we have been through much together which has led us to become closer than we were before today when you would not allow me such nearness and today, you have allowed me to be closer to you than ever before…" she grinned. "So you see? This is a climax, because after this, I will be content, will you not be content as well?"
Raven could almost feel the sweat forming on her brow, except, she didn't sweat. "Well," she hedged, "Technically, I suppose it does fit the definition but the thing is that climax when used to refer to people is generally used in sexual terms…"
Starfire's eyes widened. "Sexual?" she wondered, blushing a little.
Raven nodded slowly. "It is used to refer to the moment when two people engaged in intercourse…"
"Yes?" Starfire prodded.
"Well…" Raven hedged, she never talked about sex period, much less with someone who was so innocent sometimes that it felt as if she were teaching a five year old the sins of the flesh. Any answer she might have finally decided on was interrupted, however, when the raucous sounds of the boys entering the Tower interrupted her. "I guess neither of us will finish our books," Raven mumbled.
Star frowned and physically slumped. She looked forlornly down at her book. "Oh," she mumbled, starting to stand.
A hand on her arm stopped her from moving and she looked, surprised, to find Raven stilling her and obviously listening for the boys. She had obviously heard something that made her reconsider the impending doom to her peace and quiet. "Wait," Raven stilled her. "They could pass us by on the way to the roof."
Star was firstly, surprised by Raven's implied invitation to remain as they were and secondly downright ecstatic at Raven's indirect admission that she enjoyed their current position enough to wish to maintain it for awhile longer. However, seeing as how Star's default assumption about people was that they were generally as friendly and cuddly and good as she was, whenever someone who otherwise seemed not to be turned out to be friendly, cuddly or good it never really surprise her for very long. Moreover, it was more a happiness that she had been right about just one more person rather than real surprise or shock. Hence, when the boys did indeed enter the Tower, and without noticing the two silent and still girls sprawled on the floor with books in their hands, continued to the elevator speaking of a basketball match to end all basketball matches, Star met Raven's eyes and grinned brightly.
Raven smiled in return and turned back to her book. She didn't, however, surrender to the world portrayed by the words on the page until she felt Starfire lean back against her legs and tuck one arm under her, bracing her chin with her hand.
A/N: Yeah, so I meant this to be Raven/Starfire friendship. I tried to make it obvious that I didn't see it as anywhere near romantic slashy feelings but just friend feelings. However, the picture that inspired this, the artist seems to be into possible Star/Rae slash. However, it isn't my intention to promote that, not that I'm particularly opposed to it on principle, it's just not the inspiration I was feeling when I wrote it. So yeah…see what you want, but know that the author's intent was a Star/Rae friendship exploration as a preliminary for a future Moment.
Thanks: Major props go to Jurodan, not only because he beta'd this fic as well as every other TT fic of minebut because for this one, especially, he gave me a WHOLE mess of help with me getting into Starfire's head. If you guys need a good Beta you should go and ask him for the help. He's good. Trust me!
Disclaimer: Starfire and Raven belong to DC and all the other wonderful people who know the right people and have the right talent to get their work published so that they can make the money. People like me…well, I own nothing except my rickety laptop and a debt for over 100,000 in law school loans. You wanna piece of me…take a number.
P.S.: The next installment of It Only Takes a Momentis in the works. I haven't forgotten about it or anything, but it was taking too much thought to get it settled the way I wanted it settled and I didn't have the leftover brain cells whilst I was getting ready for the Bar Exam (which I took on Tues and Weds of this week), so do forgive me.