Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans. I love them dearly, but own them I do not.
AN: This is my first Teen Titans fic, so play nice, please? I love Starfire and Raven and I hope this proves it. There have been a few little changes and updates from the original, nothing major, but it should make reading it that much more enjoyable. bows My thanks to everyone who's reviewed and anyone who continues to do so! If I get ten reviews, I'll try to post another ficlet, you guys' choice. Fair? I want my fix back, kiddos!
It was dark, the common room full of a shadowy grey on grey on ever darker grey that shrouded much of any few details that might have been found. It wasn't exactly the usual sort of place that one would expect a sunny, happy Tameranian might be comfortable, but Starfire seemed to be getting along more than fine. She sat, entranced, on the muted pastel blue of the couch, radiating a faint light and clashing furiously with her dim and murky surroundings. The object of her rapt attention was a novel resting in her lap, billed as 'a modern fairytale', that she read by the moonlight that found it's way in through windows unseen. This had become her custom, this late-night reading of novels, for those nights when insomnia struck with a fury. She loathed the confines of her room with the fiery hatred born of restlessness when insomnia consumed her, and found her accustomed seat in the common room to be more enticing by far. Starfire counted herself lucky many times that Raven had given her a reading list, items from the mage's own library, to work through once, as her nights of insomnia were growing more intense and common these days and it was good to have something to occupy her mind in the cool dark. The others didn't think she was much of an intellect, but Starfire was often as or more insightful and intelligent than any one of them, though the language barrier and her sunny disposition often seemed to disclaim it. She had been proud of herself when she had finished a novel of Tolkien in only two consecutive nights, but now her goal was to read a book of equal length in just one, a target she was rapidly approaching at times. The quiet comfort of the book-world was a boon to her in ways that socializing with her new friends could never be, beyond simple amusement and distraction. It let her be herself, just herself, by herself, in worlds no Tameranian would ever have imagined. Even though the words still sometimes confused or escaped her entirely, Starfire sank deeper into the couch and the literature, wandering freely through time and space and reality.
Raven was struck with insomnia again. The walls and objects of her room, usually dark, were lost in each other and the deep, abyssal shadows of her room. Usually, her restlessness could be resolved with simple meditation, but, tonight, her wanderlust demanded she travel, without space for second opinion or compromise. She slipped out of bed and navigated through the pitch black to her door, treading an invisible path through a perceived vacuum. The abyssal blankness made the tiny hairs on the back of her neck stand on end in a purely human instinct she tried hard to ignore. Was anyone else awake? No one on this floor, but someone was down in the common room. Well, the human, and more than slightly fearful, part of her brain decided, some company wouldn't be too bad at all, not at this time of night.
Raven floated down to the common room, careful not to make the slightest noise that might wake her friends. It was odd, she mused, how easily she thought of them as such. After so many long years of being able to trust absolutely no one, even her own mother and closest tutors, it was… just odd; that she could trust these people so readily. Especially people so outwardly alien as Beast Boy, or as utterly different as Starfire. That girl was the most apparently, most blatantly, different from Raven of any of them, but the one she was closest to, the one she trusted most, unless it was not to drop the dishes. They had switched bodies, shared their feelings and beliefs, followed each other into the darkest part of each other's lives… They were perfect duplicates made of matter and anti-matter.
As if summoned by the thought (Raven made herself check twice that she hadn't), Raven found Starfire, sitting in the moonlit darkness on the vast curve of the couch as she approached it, reading intently. She was glowing faintly, just enough, in combination with the moonlight, to read by, but little more. Raven couldn't figure why she was so surprised, she had suggested Starfire read the novels of Earth, that she might obtain a better grasp of language and culture. Maybe it was the dark, or how Starfire seemed so intensely comfortable in it. It always seemed strange to see the happy, hyperactive girl doing anything so tranquil as reading by moonlight at midnight.
Starfire felt someone settle down on the couch beside her, close enough that she could smell the cinnamon and tea scent of their skin. In the world of the novel, someone was taking a magical drug that gave them anything they could wish for and Starfire lent into the warmth. If I had a magic wish, I would always read with someone warm. The girl next to her shifted a little bit, but settled into a more comfortable position, not quite behind her, but no longer shoulder to shoulder. The reading was finally beginning to overcome her insomnia, and her friend's warm body at her back was too comfortable to attempt to ignore. She let the book-world go and wafted softly into the real world where she was leaning her head back on Raven's shoulder with her eyes closed, half-asleep already.
Raven wrapped her arms around Starfire, hugging Starfire's shoulder a little with her chin and breathing deeply of sunlight and ginger.
"Just so long as you know who I am."
Raven really loved these little nights theirs.