Disclaimer: In most of my disclaimers, I try to identify who owns the rights to the show I am writing about. In this case, I've been unable to find out. Most TT disclaimers seem to simply state that the writer does not own the rights to the show. The same is true here. I do not own the Teen Titans animated show that airs on Cartoon Network, nor do I profit in any way by writing this story. It is simply for your reading enjoyment.
Teen Titans: Raven verses Starfire
Description: This fic takes place shortly after The End. It's not a forgone conclusion that the amazing powers that Raven demonstrated in defeating her father are still with her, or how much longer those powers will stay with her. For this reason she decides it would be a good idea to improve her fighting stills. It's not long before their longtime nemesis, Slade, appears and has something new in store for Raven and Starfire, pitting the two friends against each other as bitter enemies.
Author's Notes: Hope you enjoy the start of my first Teen Titans fanfiction. Teen Titans is one of my favorite anime. Yes, I called it an anime, one of the first American anime. I've just loved the first 4 seasons, especially The End, which was just great. Not so happy with season 5 yet. Not enough TT and not enough Raven. Hoping that will change before the season is over.
Chapter 1: Training Day
"And the TEN! Very good, friend Raven!" Starfire helped the gray-skinned empath guide the bar to the supports. "Congratulations! You have completed 3 sets of the repetitions of 10 at this weight."
Raven stood up and patted her forehead dry with a towel. "Thanks, and thanks for spotting for me."
"It was my pleasure." Starfire beamed.
Raven walked over to the exercise mats in front of the large mirrored wall and began stretching out.
"But if I may inquire?" A serious expression crossed the young Tamaranian girl's face.
The empath glanced over to her friend for a moment. "Sure."
"You have never been one to enjoy the exercise, yet you have ventured to the gym each day since …," she trailed off.
The dark-haired girl stopped what she was doing and turned to address the taller girl. "That's all right, Starfire, you can say it. Since we defeated my father, Trigon." She turned and looked at herself in the mirror. "The truth is, I don't know if the powers I exhibited in defeating him were a one-time thing or not. I always thought I derived all my powers from him. Now that he's gone, I don't know how much power I still have.
"I know I still have some powers. I can levitate," she rose five feet off the ground, "and levitate objects too." She extended her hand towards a rack supporting over 1500 pounds of free weights and lifted it 10 feet into the air, then gently set them back down along with herself. "But until our next battle, I guess I won't know for sure just how much power I've retained." Turning back to her friend, she said, "That's why I thought it would be a good idea to work on my overall physical strength as well as improve my hand to hand combat techniques, just in case it turns out I'm not half as powerful as I used to be."
"I understand." Starfire smiled. "Shall we commence with the sparring, or do you need to continue with the stretching a while longer?"
"No, I think I've stretched out enough. Let's get started." Raven picked up her towel and led the way to Robin's dojo.
The dojo was commonly referred to as Robin's dojo because it had been almost exclusively used by the Boy Wonder up until recently. Now Raven and Starfire had taken to sparring with each other, sometimes for hours at a time.
Robin had one simple rule in the dojo, one he insisted be followed no matter what: "No Offensive Weapons!" Flying fists and feet did enough damage, and there were plenty of other rooms that got trashed in the tower on a semi-regular basis. He didn't want the room where he honed his martial-arts skills getting needlessly destroyed as well.
Raven knew Robin would make a better sparing partner than Starfire. For that matter, so would Cyborg. Hand to hand combat was their specialty. But after sparring with each of them once, she decided she was better off fighting Starfire. Despite their claims to the contrary, she knew they held back way too much because she was their friend and because she was a girl.
While she wasn't certain that was Robin's reason, Cyborg had actually been stupid enough to admit to it. This had infuriated the young empath so much that she had engulfed him in her soul-self and left him suspended just inches from the ceiling for over an hour after leaving the dojo. That's when she had asked Starfire, who was already her spotter, to be her sparing partner too.
As it turned out, Starfire proved to be better at hand to hand combat than Raven had expected, often getting the better of the Azarathian. Of course, the redhead's incredible strength helped her some during their fights.
The two girls took off their shoes and walked to the middle of the room. Taking a fighting stance, Starfire formed glowing emerald orbs around her hands while Raven formed white orbs around hers. These served as protection for their hands as well as to cushion their blows, acting something like boxing gloves. It took considerable concentration to use these as defensive, not offensive, weapons especially for the Tamaranian, but both agreed it was worth the effort.
The girls exchanged a look that told them the other was ready. Instantly, Starfire launched an attack, sending a flurry of punches and kicks at her opponent. Raven managed to block or dodge every one of them, but just barely. Back-peddling in a semi-circle, she tried to keep from getting cornered by the redhead.
Starfire wasn't much for defense. She left herself open constantly, but her attack was so fast and furious that Raven didn't have time to take advantage of it. She had already learned from experience the damage inflicted by the full impact of one of Starfire's punches.
"Aaaah! … Aaaah! … Aaaah!" Starfire yelled with each punch, with each kick, and with each her eyes grew brighter until they were two fiery emeralds.
Raven continued her retreat, but Starfire managed to cut her off and back her straight up into the wall. The dark-haired girl let out a gasp, realizing her escape had been cut off. Starfire launch three powerful punches, two of which Raven blocked, the third, she avoided by rolling to her left. The blow punched a hole into the wall. Raven sprung back to her feet, took a quick step forward, and cut loose with a forward spin kick, her best attack move, catching the Tamaranian on the shoulder, sending her crashing into the wall.
Trying to maintain her advantage, Raven stepped forward to deliver another kick, this time into Starfire's side, but the taller girl quickly spun around and unleashed a kick of her own. The blows connected simultaneously, but, gifted with the longer legs of the two, Starefire's kick proved more effective, sending Raven tumbling to the ground.
Not waiting a moment for her friend to recover, Starfire launched another attack. "Aaaah!"
Robin left the main room with a great sense of satisfaction. He had just beaten Cyborg 17 straight times at NASCAR – Tournament of Champions, leaving his cybernetic friend virtually in tears over having lost so badly at his own game.
Fun was fun, but the serious-minded leader of the Teen Titans knew crime never rests, and neither would he. While he had already worked out earlier that morning, he saw no reason not to take advantage of the opportunity to get in a second workout, so he made his way to the dojo, intent on putting in a good hour of training, perhaps two if he was up to it.
Passing through the main entrance into a hallway that lead to the strength and fitness center, the men's and women's locker rooms, and the dojo, he was about to enter the locker room when the unmistakable sound of Starfire's battle yells came echoing down the hallway.
"Starfire?" Robin whispered. Realizing the sounds were coming from the dojo, he made his way in that direction.
Stepping into the entrance, the masked hero arrived just in time to see Starfire strike with an attack from above down onto Raven. Raven raised both hands to block the assault. The redhead seized the advantage, sweeping down, and kicking Raven in the midsection, sending her flying across the room and into the wall.
The half-demon let out a sharp grunt upon impact and collapsed to the ground, having had the wind knocked out of her.
"Raven!" Robin shouted as he raced towards his fallen friend.
"Robin?" A startled Starfire turned. "Do not worry. We are simply engaged in the training."
Reaching Raven's side, he crouched down and placed his hands upon her shoulders. "Raven, are you all right?"
As the gray skinned girl struggled to catch her breath, her cynical-self whispered in her mind, let a Tamaranian kick you in the gut and send you crashing into a wall, then tell me if you feel all right. She simply nodded.
"Here, let me help you up." Robin reached down to take her hands but she pulled them away and held up her index finger. "All right." Turning to face the redhead, the Titan's leader snapped, "Starfire, you've got to take it easy. You're way too strong to spar full out against anyone, especially Raven."
The Tamaranian hung her head in shame. "I am sorry."
"Don't be," Raven replied, finally able to breathe normally. She started to get up, Robin reaching down to help her, but she pulled away. "I don't need your help," she snapped.
The boy pulled back with a start.
Having risen to her feet, the dark-haired girl continued, "And I don't need you interfering with my training."
"Raven, I just don't want you to get hurt," he explained.
"If I can hold my own against you guys, then I know I can face any villain we come across, but if I go into battle with a false sense of confidence because you guys took it easy on me, how much greater are my chances of getting hurt?" she explained logically, having gained control over her anger.
Robin's shoulders slumped low. "You're right, of course. Sorry, Raven. I just don't want to see any member of my team get hurt."
The Asarathian sighed. "I know, and I appreciate your concern. But I'd rather get hurt here at the hands of a friend than someplace inhospitable against an enemy who's looking to kill me."
Robin nodded and turned to walk away, but he stopped after a few steps, turned back, and asked, "Is it all right if I stay, just to observe? I promise not to interfere."
Not pleased with the idea of anyone watching her spar, Raven gave her less than enthusiastic response. "Sure, if you want."
Robin turned towards Starfire to get her consent as well.
"As you wish," she replied without her usual enthusiasm.
The two girls returned to the center of the matted floor and prepared to do battle once again. Starfire shifted her gaze from Raven over to Robin, who stood leaning against the wall next to the door. She sighed and returned her attention to her opponent. Raven glanced over her shoulder to steal a look at her team leader as well. Turning back to Starfire, she whispered, "Just ignore him."
The taller girl nodded. Putting the boy out of her mind, she launched her attack against the shorter girl.
Unlike earlier, where Raven was constantly on the defensive, now she managed to find opportunities to attack as well, countering her opponent's overly aggressive assault. On multiple occasions she would fade left or right and deliver a hard knee to the redhead's side or a sweeping kick to the back of her head. And while the blows Raven delivered were strong enough to stop most normal people, Starfire was anything but normal by human standards. For each blow only served to enrage the Tamaranian girl more and more; and the madder she got, the more intense was her attack.
Not to be outdone, Raven altered her strategy. Rather than just blocking and countering, she stood toe to toe against the physically stronger girl and exchanged a flurry of kicks and punches. Most were blocked or avoided, but occasionally one would find its mark. Whenever Starfire took a hit, she would fall backwards or to the side, and quickly roll back to a fighting stance, ready to continue the match. Whenever Raven took a hit, she would go sailing across the room, into the wall, but would get up after only a moment in order to continue the fight.
She's not bad, but she's taking too many hits. She's going to get herself seriously hurt if she keeps this up. Robin ran his hand through his hair.
After taking eight hits in a row without landing one, Starfire initiated a different attack: two punches, two kicks, then she jumped over her opponent, turning in mid-air and repeating the attack, then jumping again. She kept her jumps short, just high enough to be outside the other girl's reach, and using her flying ability to move faster and faster each time.
After awhile she was just a blur, as Raven grew more anxious with each jump, because she knew what was coming. This was an attack Starfire had used in previous sparring matches, one she had yet to figure out how to defend against. With each attack coming faster and harder, Raven barely had time to react.
With a mighty yell, "AAAAAAH!" Starfire came down with her hands raised high. Raven brought her arms up over her head to block the Tamaranian's hammer blow.
Sparks flew as Starfire's fists came down in a streak of glowing green and made contact with Raven's white orbs. In one fluid movement, the redhead assaulted her opponent's unguarded midsection with a savage kick that sent her flying across the room, slamming into the wall, over ten feet in the air and crashing down onto the floor like a rag doll.
Robin gasped but hesitated a second, hoping to see his friend make some effort to get up. When she didn't, he rushed over to her as fast as he could. The Tamaranian flew over to her fallen comrade as well when she realized the girl was not moving.
"Raven!" She reached down to turn her face up.
"Don't!" Robin yelled, rushing up behind her.
Gasping in shock, she turned towards her leader. "I was not intending to attack her."
"I know that, Starfire," he said in a much calmer voice, "But if she's seriously injured, moving her could make it worse." Bending down low, he whispered, "Raven, can you hear me? Raven?"
"Mmmm…" she grimaced in pain.
"Where does it hurt?"
After a moment, she answered, "Everywhere." After another moment she added, "But if you're asking if anything is broken or ruptured, the answer's no." Slowly, she opened her eyes. "Ouch," she said in her typically monotone voice.
A tear escaped the corner of Starfire's eye. "Oh, dear friend Raven, I am so incredibly sorry. I allowed myself to lose control and assaulted you most viciously." She lowered her head. "I am eternally sorry."
"Can you sit up?"
"I think so." Raven tried to push herself up without success. "I'll take that help you offered last time." She extended her hand.
Robin took hold of her elbow with one hand and reached around her waist with the other. Starfire placed her hands upon the friend's shoulders to help as well.
"Are you okay, Raven?"
"Yeah." She ran her hand over her upper abdomen. "Well… I will be." She ventured a glance over at her opponent, sighing softly. "It's all right. Things like this happen. I'll be all right, Starfire. I just need a few minutes, that's all."
The sensitive alien wanted to believe what her friend said was true, she wanted to believe it was all right, but deep down she knew otherwise, and soon, so would her friend.
"I think maybe you should call it a day," Robin suggested. "Give yourself a chance to rest and recover."
Raven met his concerned gaze, glanced over at her sparing partner, then back at the Titans' leader. "Yeah… I suppose you're right."
While each bedroom had its own shower, there was also a large shower stall in each of the locker rooms. It was here that Raven and Starfire chose to wash up after their workout.
Raven moaned when she ran her washcloth over her bruised abdomen, buckling over slightly.
Starfire glanced over her shoulder and offered her friend a look of sympathy and guilt. "I am so very sorry, Raven."
"It's okay, Starfire. We were fighting; injuries happen," the empath reassured her.
"It is not okay." The redhead looked away. "I… I… cheated." She hung her head in shame.
"You knew?" She gave her friend a started look.
"Of course I knew," Raven offered a non-accusing reply while she worked up a lather all over her body. "No one could jump as fast as you did without some help. It defies the laws of gravity."
"And yet you remained true to the rules of engagement we had previously agreed to, when we agreed not to use our flying abilities." The guilt ridden girl pressed her washcloth to her heart. "I am an unworthy friend." She bowed her head low. "Please, Raven, you must exact a measure of revenge. Strike me, for justice's sake."
Raven continued to wash herself while she listened to her friend. Straightening up after washing her legs, she replied, "I'm not going to hit you, Starfire, if that's what you mean."
"But you must!" Starfire invaded Raven's personal space. "I have wronged you. I violated our agreement. Justice demands some form of retaliation."
"You apologized already. I accepted. That's good enough. Forget about it."
"But I cannot. I wronged you, Friend. I cheated, and my inappropriate actions resulted in bodily injury to you. This is totally unacceptable. Please, Friend Raven, you must exact some measure of justice against me," the Tamaranian insisted.
The empath sighed and looked away for a moment. She had honestly forgiven her friend long before she even admitted to her wrongdoing, but she knew that Starfire's overwhelming and sometimes unusual sense of justice would haunt the taller girl until Raven did something to set her mind and soul at ease.
"Fine," the dark-haired girl conceded. "Concentrate on my hand," she instructed, holding her palm about six-inches from her friend's face.
"Excuse me?" A hint of fear emanated from Starfire's voice.
"Just follow my hand, okay?"
Confused, the Tamaranian nodded in agreement nonetheless.
Slowly, Raven moved her hand to the right, and Starfire followed it intently. Then she moved it to the left. Slowly, she returned it back in front of her friend's face and lowered it about ten inches. Finally, she raised it up over her friend's head.
Mesmerized, Starfire kept her eyes riveted to the small, pale palm. She craned her neck back as Raven levitated high enough to hold her hand over a foot over her head. Gradually, the hand came back down just as slowly as it had gone up until it was about four-inches above her, then suddenly Raven wiped her hand down, landing back on the floor with her hand by her side. The taller girl snapped her head down just as quickly, letting out a yelp, feeling the sudden pull and pop from the back of her neck.
"Ouch!" Her hands went to her neck.
Raven smirked ever so faintly, "Satisfied, or would you like to add the humiliation of doing it in front of the rest of the team?"
"No! That is not necessary. Thank you." Starfire rubbed her neck vigorously, trying to work the kink out.
"Well, I'm done, so I'll meet you in the bath?" Raven paused for a moment, waiting for a response from her friend.
"Oh, yes, I will be just a moment longer." Starfire forced a broad smile, while still working the back of her neck.
Raven walked from the showers to a large Japanese styled bath that Robin had installed just a few weeks ago. While watching a documentary on the Asian country, she quite innocently mentioned how a bath like the ones shown in the documentary would be a nice addition to the training facilities. She never expected Robin, who was watching the program with her, to actually act on her suggestion. But now that it was installed and usable, she wondered how she ever managed without it. It was a bit smaller than a small swimming pool, and obviously not as deep, but since this one was just for the girls, it was more than big enough for the only two females on the team.
Raven placed her hand on the towel cart and wheeled it over near the bath, then stepped into the warm, mineral-rich water. "Aaaah" She sat down at the far end and stretched her legs out in front of her, allowing her body to sink down into the rejuvenating waters. "If there is a heaven on earth, this MUST be it." She inhaled deeply, then slowly let her head slip under the water as well. Heaven…
A few minutes later, Starfire padded across the tile floor to the bath, sat at the edge, and gracefully swung her legs into the water, gently lowering herself into the bath. "Aaaaaah… this is most wonderful, do you not agree?" she said softly, duplicating Raven's earlier action.
The empath waited for her friend to resurface before replying, "Yes, it is… very wonderful."
"I do not understand why the boys prefer the tumultuous nature of the forced air bath over the tranquility of this sort of bath."
"To each their own, Starfire," Raven whispered with her eyes closed, feeling the warm enriching waters penetrate every pore of her body. "To each their own…"
"I suppose…" The Tamaranian girl imitated her friend's actions as a comfortable silence filled the large bathing room. After a several minutes, she added, "But I cannot help but be reminded of the GELSORK FRAKNAR of my home world."
Raven remained silent for a few moments longer before prying open one eye and leveling her gaze at her friend. "Okay, I'll bite. Why does the Jacuzzi in the boy's bath remind you of this gelsork frak-thinkie?"
With a painfully serious expression, Starfire replied, "The GELSORK FRAKNAR is a short but round creature whose flatulence is infamous throughout my world, especially when it submerges itself in the natural hot springs in the ZORVALKOREN Mountains. It is no small chore to get these vile creatures out of a hot spring once it has secured itself to the bottom, and its gaseous emissions resemble that of a rapidly boiling pot of water."
"Eeew." Raven scowled.
"And if this were not bad enough, long term exposure to its gasses have been known to lead to severe intestinal disorders and even temporary blindness."
"Talk about your bad gas."
(To Be Continued)
AN: Well, I hope you liked it. Things will pick up considerably in the next chapter. Unlike many of my other stories, this one shouldn't go over 10 chapters, probably not even that long. Please take the time to review and let me know what you thought of it.
I'd like to thank my always-incredible beta-reader, Janice, who makes my work look better than it is. Thanks, Janice.