A/N: Don't ask me where this came from. Seems I'm the Queen of WAFF lately and this is just another piece of proof of that. I had no plan to write anything like this at all. I have been thinking of the Star/Raven friendship, but yeah...this came out of left field and smacked me right in the a$$.
Hope you enjoy.
I've got another WAFF one I've done and just need to give it a final looksie but you can expect that one soon.
Disclaimer: Don't own and making absolutely no profit off, so yeah. Go suck an elf.
"What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night...It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."
- Crowfoot (Blackfoot warrior and orator)
"They are called fireflies."
Raven seemed, for the first time he could remember, confused. "I can understand where the name would come from..."
"Yes, so can I!" Starfire enthused.
Raven paused, allowing Starfire her moment of sighing contemplation of the beauty that is a firefly. "But what is their purpose?"
"Purpose?" Starfire inquired, head quirking in that way she did whenever she herself was trying to figure something out.
"Yes," Raven insisted. "Every animal, large or small has a purpose," she said, looking back out at the patch of ground where the dots of light frolicked. "They all have some purpose on the life cycle, but fireflies..." she trailed off and seemed to consider them for a moment, "Do they even consume anything?"
Starfire was trying not to laugh, and he wasn't certain what she thought was so funny, because Starfire was not the kind of person to laugh at someone else's confusion. But he knew she was smiling in amusement. He expected Raven to notice and put a stop to her uncharacteristically persistent line of questions, but she glanced at Starfire, saw the same amusement he saw and continued to look on her in quiet expectation.
"They must, surely," Starfire answered.
"I believe so as well," Raven nodded, and turned back to the fireflies. "But I cannot see that they do."
"Perhaps you are not meant to?"
Raven sighed and tossed the blade of grass she had between her fingers. "I do not understand fireflies at all," she admitted. "They have no discernible purpose...why do they exist?"
"They are magnificent," Starfire added softly. "They bring light to darkness, do they not?"
Raven considered this with quiet contemplation, as was her way. After a few moments, she nodded.
"Perhaps that is their purpose?"
Raven glanced at Starfire. "A whole species whose existence serves no purpose other than to provide illumination?"
"Is it not a wonderful notion?" Starfire asked, smiling brightly.
Raven stopped frowning. She didn't smile, but she stopped frowning actively which might not seem like much to a casual observer, but to him it was quite obviously a lightening of her features.
There was a comfortable silence that settled around the two girls as they went back to contemplating the fireflies' dance.
"Must every creature in existence have a purpose?"
Raven didn't have to look at Starfire for Starfire to know Raven had heard and acknowledged her question. "I was taught that they did."
"Hmm," Starfire said, leaning back on the palms of her hands and looking up at the sky.
Raven leaned forward, pulling her knees up to her chest and leaning on them, "Indeed," she agreed.
Their peaceful vigilance was interrupted not long after by the sound of Beast Boy's cry for Starfire. Starfire sat up and looked back at the Tower, resplendently alight against the blue black sky.
Starfire stood and glanced apologetically at Raven, "I will go find him before he finds us out here and disturbs this peace."
Raven did smile then, albeit a small one. "I will join you."
"Please don't cut short your enjoyment, friend," Starfire insisted.
Raven relaxed and nodded and Starfire flew into the Tower. It was not too long after, just as he was about to turn and walk away, that she half turned so that he could see more of her profile and spoke clearly and distinctly, "You might as well join me."
He wasn't, perhaps, as surprised as he should have been at being not only discovered, but at realizing that he had never really been otherwise. "I saw the fireflies from the window," he offered as an explanation.
"And you stayed for the eavesdropping," she finished for him, turning back to the spot just beyond where she sat so that he could no longer see her profile unless he approached.
He didn't speak again until he was sitting down next to her, on the other side of where Starfire had been and far enough away so that her personal space would not be compromised. Her comment was not a jab nor was she angry. If she would have been, she would have called him out long before now.
So he didn't offer an excuse or explanation for his actions.
He leaned back until only his elbows kept his upper body from touching the ground. "My grandmother used to catch the lightning bugs between her palms when I was a kid," he said conversationally, his eyes on the fireflies.
"Why?" Raven asked, glancing at him.
"She used to gather up all the kids and say this rhyme..." his brows furrowed as he tried to remember it, "I don't remember the words, but she would do it for each of us, putting our names in, like a spell of some sort, then she'd release the bugs and they'd flicker their lights a certain number of times..."
"For what purpose?" Raven questioned.
He chuckled. "It was supposed to tell the person how many times they would find love. Three flickers for three loves, and so on."
Out of the corner of his eye, for he had yet to turn to meet her gaze, he saw her turn to look back at the bugs. "How many times did it flicker for you?" she asked after a while.
He smiled reminiscently and looked at her. And waited. When she finally turned to look at him, he answered her, "Once."