"Breathe, just breathe," Raven soothed.
Starfire shook out her tingling hands, gazing at herself in the mirror.
"Why am I so nervous? There is absolutely nothing to be this nervous about," she scolded herself. She placed a hand on her stomach and adjusted her dress.
"Every bride is nervous on her wedding day," Raven said. "It's natural."
"Yes, but it is just Dick, and I have much experience being in front of people. This should not affect me like this."
"Well, the other times you weren't getting up in front of everyone and declaring your undying love. Plus you have been building up this day in your mind for a long time. Five years is a really long engagement," Raven reasoned.
"Yes," Starfire said sadly. "Five years..."
"You've been fantasizing about this day so much for so long, now that it's here reality is hitting pretty hard."
"Yes, that must be it," Starfire mumbled, trying to control her breathing. She wanted this with her entire being. Why was she so nervous?!
"Take a seat. Apparently I've been told it's tradition for the maid of honor to put the bride's garter on," Raven said, red in the cheeks. Starfire grinned at her and floofed out her dress and held up the layers. The garter was frilly and had a powder blue ribbon with a heart charm on it. She pointed her toe and Raven slid the garter up to Starfire's thigh. Raven snorted. "If only Gar and Dick could've seen this."
Starfire laughed, a little high pitched, indicating her anxiousness. "Yes, they will be most disappointed we did not video record that."
"I'm already waiting for Gar to suggest instead of Dick taking it off you with his teeth at the reception that I should just get under there and do it myself," Raven said, rolling her eyes.
"Some things never change," Starfire said fondly.
"No, I guess not," Raven said, patting Starfire's hand.
Dick and Starfire hadn't intended to wait years but a series of unfortunate events kept necessitating the postponement of the wedding. Months after their engagement on Christmas Dick made the move to Nightwing and Jason took over as the new Robin in Gotham. Beast Boy decided it was time to drop the 'boy' and became the Changeling. Dick and Starfire selected a reasonable date about a year and a half out for the wedding, started making plans, choosing colors, picking the wedding party.
Then Jason died.
Everything seemed to come to a screeching halt in the superhero world. Bruce was shattered. Alfred had done his best to help Bruce get through it. It was rough on everyone and Dick and Starfire felt a wedding in such a somber setting wasn't appropriate. So they waited.
Bruce's nerve and his game were off after that, and one day they got the call. Alfred was in a panic and though they had seen Alfred flustered, they had never seen him in a full outright panic.
In a fight against Bane, Bruce lost. Bane had broken Bruce's back.
Dick was finally called home.
Starfire couldn't bear to part with him so she went with him. The three remaining Titans stayed in Jump to hold down the fort and Bumblebee came over from Steel to help with coverage. Cyborg was promoted to acting leader of the Titans in Dick's absence.
At first Starfire holed up in the mansion during the day and helped Dick fight crime at night while he donned the cape and cowl and moonlighted as Batman. Alfred had designed Starfire a special suit because they didn't want her to appear as her superhero self. They were worried too many connections could be drawn.
She could only take being hidden away for so long however and so Kori Anders appeared on the modeling scene. From some faraway foreign country the beauty had an odd way of speaking but soon was in high demand from her exotic looks and long leggy figure. Cyborg's hologram rings made her eyes appear more human to conceal her alter ego, allowing her hair and makeup to still be styled. It was quite ingenious really.
It wasn't long before Dick Grayson took an interest in Kori Anders and they started a high profile romance. Dick played official consult to the Gotham Police and oversaw the workings of the Wayne company by day, running around as vigilante by night. Starfire tried to remain based in Gotham as much as she could, only accepting very few short trips to exciting worldwide locals for shoots.
Bruce spent time healing, staying away from the limelight and retraining his body.
In between all the events and engagements, Dick and Starfire made sure they called the other Titans every day and with the assistance of Herald's trumpet saw each other often too. Raven and Starfire remained best friends.
Starfire also made a friend in Babs, whom she was amused to discover had been Dick's middle school crush and unobtainable dream. Thing for redheads indeed. Needless to say, Dick wasn't ecstatic about his old crush and his fiancee gabbing about all his silly childhood exploits. Starfire found it hilarious as Babs had many enlightening stories to share.
Though life kept going on, everything seemed on hold until Bruce could take back his cowl. Gar and Raven were also in a sort of limbo. Raven's commitment fears didn't really resolve as things in the Tower felt a little absent and lonely without Dick and Starfire. Her relationship with Gar was comfortable and Raven was very content, but even if she wanted to get engaged it didn't seem fair to move plans along when Dick and Starfire were so trapped and unable to get their own wedding. Everyone made a sort of unconscious agreement that Dick and Starfire should get there first; they deserved it.
Finally, five years after Dick proposed in front of Jump's Christmas tree, Bruce was ready to be Batman again.
Dick switched back to Nightwing and they received the green light to set a new wedding date.
But now they had an issue. Dick Grayson was the real identity and Nightwing was the costume, whereas Starfire the Princess was the real identity and Kori Anders was the costume. Who were they to get married as? The marriage of Dick Grayson and Kori Anders would be a media circus nightmare and Nightwing wasn't sure if a marriage between a costumed vigilante and a Tamaranian princess was legal.
Eventually the Justice League solved it for them. They were to be married by Galfore at the Watch Tower as Nightwing and Princess Starfire in a ceremony for the Tamaranian embassy and their hero colleagues, and Dick and Kori could be legally married the human way whenever they wished thereafter.
Dick decided he didn't care who they were married as, so long as he could finally officially call Starfire his wife.
And so Starfire was in the bridal chamber (which was actually a spare bedroom in the Watch Tower) getting ready for her first wedding. Raven was her maid of honor and doing her best to calm the Princess down.
Starfire adjusted her veil. "Does it look the okay?" she asked, frowning forlornly.
"It looks fine," Raven said, giving her hand a squeeze. "You look beautiful. Dick's jaw will drop."
Starfire's dress was pristine white, strapless and wrapping at the top, clinging to her curves perfectly until the gathered fabric curved around her hips, where the skirt portion belled out into a perfect a-line. The back featured a wide ribbon corset lacing which ended with a bow that hung down into her long beaded train, for a little sparkle. It suited her magnificently. She wore a tiara with a veil connected on her head, the tulle wispy and elbow length. Her hair was curled and styled down.
Raven handed her the bouquet. The flowers, silk so they would always be preserved, had purple irises, hydrangeas, peonies, and pink and white roses. The bridesmaid bouquets were the same, just a smaller size. Starfire made absolute sure to avoid the stigma of picking ugly bridesmaid dresses she so often heard about. The dresses were dark purple, featuring a strapless sweetheart neckline. A sparkly brooch was pinned just over the left hip and the dress gathered and ruffled down from the brooch to the floor. Raven's dress fit her figure fantastically, as did Bumblebee's- who poked her head in and basically said it was time.
"Okay," Starfire breathed. "Okay."
"You look amazing Starfire," Bumblebee smiled.
"Thank you," she said genuinely, giving herself one last nervous look in the mirror.
"Just wait until you see Dick's face," Raven said, hooking her arm with Starfire's and leading her out into the hallway.
Galfore was waiting for her and his eyes lit up when he saw his little bumgorf.
"Little one, the sight of you pleases this old K'norfka."
"Oh Galfore," Starfire said, tears alighting in her eyes. She flew up and hugged him tightly.
"It is about time, is it not?" he teased. "The mood of this wedding is much happier than the last one."
Starfire laughed. "Oh yes, this is much better. I actually wish to marry my soon to be husband."
Galfore let her down. "Since I am officiating this wedding, I cannot walk you down the aisle. But your brother will do the honors."
Starfire smiled brilliantly at Ryand'r. "Yes, I would like that very much."
Ryand'r hugged her and held her hands. "This is a wonderful day for you Kori."
"I am so nervous!" she fluttered.
"You should not be. Nightwing is an exceptional man. I am happy to give away my sister to him."
"Oh Ry!" Starfire exclaimed, kissing him on the cheek. Ryand'r blushed and gave her another hug as Gar and Cyborg started down the hall toward them.
"Pretty much everyone is seated, just a few stragglers," Cyborg said. "The groom's already at the door. He's been waiting for about ten minutes already." He winked at Starfire.
Starfire flushed and couldn't contain her grin. "We should not keep him waiting any longer then."
Bruce, Selina, and Alfred came to wish Starfire well before the ceremony began.
"You look absolutely stunning my dear," Alfred said, giving Starfire a hug and a brief peck on the cheek. "Lovely."
"Oh Alfred!" Starfire cried, more tears coming to her eyes.
Bruce nodded at her and also gave her a little hug. "What Alfred said," he smiled.
"You're gorgeous, darling. I can't think of anyone better for Dick," Selina smiled, hugging Starfire tightly. The two had formed a close friendship during Starfire's stay in Gotham. Starfire found their first meeting in Jump to be quite humorous, as first impressions are not always so accurate. Catwoman had really settled into that fine world of gray, tending to help more than hinder when it came to the inner workings of Gotham's criminal dealings.
"Just to go over the process one more time, I will make my way to the hall. When the music begins, Bruce and Alfred will walk Dick up the aisle to the front of the room. Selina will be seated by the ushers. The wedding party will process like we practiced, and then the Bride," Galfore instructed. "I trust you all remember?"
They all nodded. Galfore hurried away to take his place up front to officiate and the wedding party followed behind.
"This is it, this is it," Starfire said, flapping her hand.
"You'll do fine," Raven reassured. The three members of Starfire's soon to be "in-laws" went around the corner and Starfire hung behind so Dick wouldn't catch a glimpse of her. She could hear the music starting as the doors to the Justice League's massive meeting hall were opened to let Dick, Bruce, and Alfred inside. Speedy and Aqualad sat Selina next.
Starfire put a hand on her stomach again and Ryand'r rubbed her arm. Her insides felt like they were filled with a sea of butterflies. Better the excited nervous flutter rather than the sinking feeling of dread and sorrow she felt at her last almost wedding.
Raven went behind Starfire and straightened her train before she had to walk in.
Since only a few official Tamaranian ambassadors and nobles were attending the wedding mostly human customs were being observed. Political Tamaranian weddings were rather dry and without fanfare, so Starfire was rather taken with the romantic human notion of a wedding. She breathed in and Ryand'r held her hand tightly as first Bumblebee and Cyborg processed in, then Raven and Beast Boy, the massive doors closing behind them. It was just Starfire and her brother.
"You will do well, sister," Ryand'r said, smiling. "I am so happy to be part of your day. And I am so happy you are marrying a man you love instead of a suitor."
"Yes, I am as well," Starfire said, bouncing on her toes. Ryand'r pulled her in for hug, parting as they heard the doors swinging open. Starfire's breath caught in her throat. She could see Dick standing down the aisle and all the faces in the rows of chairs turned to look at her. As the music swelled she and Ryand'r stepped into the room, her heart leaping in her chest as everyone stood for her. The clicks of cameras were going off, flashes of light, and she felt her mouth form a huge grin as she passed her friends and colleagues.
Once she was close enough her eyes locked with Dick's and the look on his face made her flutter. She was saddened he had to wear his mask as not everyone knew his secret identity, but she could tell he was blown away by her. His mouth was hanging slightly open and he was so awestruck he forgot to smile. Ryand'r reached the front of the aisle and Galfore stepped forward.
"Who gives away this woman?"
"I do," Ryand'r said. Dick stepped forward, now grinning like a dumb fool and Starfire echoed him. Ryand'r placed Starfire's hand in her husband to be's, hugged his sister one last time and thumped his chest with his fist at Dick in a "Zal" greeting. Dick signaled back and Ryand'r took his seat.
"We are here today to celebrate the marriage of Zhala Koriand'r of Tamaran and Nightwing of Earth. May X'hal shine her light upon this union and may the deity of Earth bless this marriage."
Galfore smiled at the two in front of him. Dick couldn't stop glancing at Starfire, who made a beautiful bride.
"It seems like only yesterday that I absolved Koriand'r's duty to the throne and her arranged betrothal. I am happy to see she has found a suitable partner on Earth. For one who dares to love so fiercely with all her spirit, it would have broken this old K'norfka's heart to see her married for a treaty. Today we celebrate adoration and not diplomacy. As Grand Ruler I sanction this marriage of love and not of duty."
He turned to Dick. "I relied on you to take care of my bumgorf while she was in exile from Tamaran. I have observed your ability to negotiate as an ambassador. I fought alongside you as a comrade and have witnessed your exemplary battle skills. I deem you fit to be a warrior prince."
Dick's eyebrows rose. He looked at Starfire with shock.
"You are marrying a princess, what did you think?" she giggled. "It is just a title. But once you have married me, you are a Prince of Tamaran."
"I just... I didn't realize I would have a title," he said, dumbfounded. "I thought, because I'm human..."
"Race does not matter to me," Galfore said. "I have found you worthy. Accept your place."
Dick nodded, just a little rattled. "Could've filled me in on that one," he hissed to Starfire.
"Shut up and marry me," she whispered back. The other Titans tried to keep the smirks off their faces and Alfred and Selina were grinning in the front row.
"Please, face each other," Galfore said, raising his hands. Starfire handed her bouquet to Raven and faced Dick. Raven bent down and rearranged Starfire's train before stepping back in line.
Dick held up his palms and Starfire placed her hands in his. They grinned shyly at each other, their actions and the ceremony feeling surreal and so completely out of the ordinary.
"Do you, Nightwing of Earth, take this woman to be your wife, do you promise to love her with all of your heart, be faithful to her always, fight alongside her as her husband, and care for her in her time of need until death do you part?"
"I do," he said, the smile gone and his face full of reverence.
"Do you, Princess Starfire of Tamaran, take this man to be your husband, do you promise to love him with all your heart, be faithful to him always, fight alongside him as his wife, and care for him in his time of need until death do you part?"
"I do," Starfire said, nodding at him.
"May I have the rings, please?" Galfore asked. Gar frantically patted down his pockets and Dick glared at him. Gar reached into his tux's inside pocket and produced the wedding bands with a teasing grin, then handed them to Galfore.
"Knew I should've let Vic take them," Dick muttered. Gar was such a ham. Raven rolled her eyes with a smirk.
Galfore handed Starfire's wedding band to Dick. Dick took Starfire's left hand and slid the ring on and held it, looking into her eyes and beaming at her, and repeated after Galfore.
"Take this ring, as a symbol of my eternal love and devotion to you."
Starfire took Dick's ring and slid it onto his hand, repeating the same phrase.
"As the Grand Ruler of Tamaran, I pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Dick swept Starfire to him and planted one on her like they hadn't kissed in weeks. The cheers echoed in the massive hall and Raven almost had to wipe away a tear. She was filled with her own happiness and the elation of her closest friends, and it all was a little overwhelming. Gar clapped Dick on the shoulder as the two parted.
"May I introduce the Prince and Princess of Tamaran," Galfore announced.
Starfire and Dick strolled joyfully down the aisle hand in hand as the rest of the wedding party followed.
Once outside in the hallway Dick swept her to him and planted another happy kiss on her before pulling away and giving her a look.
"Yes," she said, sheepish.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You have the tendency to do the over analyzing and I knew with all the other stresses of getting this wedding together you would make the bigger deal of it than it actually is," she hastily explained. "I was worried you would think it meant you had extra responsibilities concerning Tamaran and it is title mostly. No one expects you to have to take the throne or anything."
"I wouldn't have over analyzed," he said huffily.
"Dick," Starfire said, giving him the half lidded look.
"Okay okay, I probably would've flipped my lid and questioned the whole marriage," Dick teased.
"Silly," Starfire clucked at him as guests started lining up for the receiving line. Everyone filed past and gave hugs and kisses and well wishes.
The guests moved to the Watch Tower's control room for a cocktail hour while the bride and groom had their pictures taken by Jimmy Olsen, who was pleased as punch to see where Superman hung out when not saving the world and to meet all his friends.
Raven, Aqualad, and Speedy arranged all the tables and chairs in the meeting hall and set up the dance floor. After Dick and Starfire had their couple photos taken Raven joined in with the wedding party for more photos.
The cocktail party was just coming to an end as Dick and Starfire arrived and mingled for a bit. Dinner was about ready to be served so the whole group migrated to the meeting hall to sit. One of Lois Lane's good friends was a caterer and provided the food and bar services.
The room was beautiful, the lights dimmed and the flower and candle lit centerpieces matched the flowers in the girls' bouquets. The head table was also decorated with flowers, three vases placed along the length for the girls to put their bouquets in. It created a very romantic and intimate feel.
There was a lot of clinking of glasses during the dinner, making Dick and Starfire stand up and kiss. As everyone was mostly finishing their food Cyborg picked up the microphone. He stood up and cleared his throat, waiting for the din to settle down.
"First off, I want to thank everybody for coming and celebrating the wedding of two of my favorite people."
Starfire and Dick grinned.
"It took a long time getting here but we are all glad we are here today. I for one thought this day might never come, these two danced around each other for years. Dude fights monsters and villains and can't even handle a girl. I thought he'd never get the courage to ask her out!"
Everyone chucked while Dick mock pouted.
"But seriously, we could all see it. If it weren't for this little lady here, we might never have formed the Titans. And I saw there was something between these two right from the get-go. I'm sure most of you don't know this but Starfire here, at the time affectionately known as "crazy space alien chick" planted one on Robin the day we met. We later learned this is a Tamaranian's way to get to know the language, but I think he's been hooked on her ever since then. When she flew off the three of us were content to let it be, but Robin insisted we had to find her. I said it was because he just wanted another kiss. Turns out I was right!"
"I just wanted to say I'm honored to be at their side, celebrating their wedding day. Nothing could make me happier than to see two people who deserve to be here and are perfect for each other. Thank you all for helpin' us party."
Everyone clapped and Cyborg passed the microphone to Raven. Her hands were shaking a little, as Raven really didn't like to be the center of attention but she knew she owed Starfire a maid of honor speech.
"Thank you all for coming, as Cyborg said," Raven mumbled into the mic. Starfire smiled and placed her hand on Raven's back. Raven smiled shyly down at her and raised her voice a little louder.
"Being the only other female member of the Titans living in the tower, it was inevitable that Starfire and I would form a bond, despite how different we are. At first I thought she was an airhead and impossibly girlish and I wanted nothing to do with her or anyone else. I later discovered that Starfire is one of the most intelligent and compassionate people I have ever encountered. Once I opened myself up to friendship we established a very deep one. And as her best girl friend, I heard all about her efforts to get Robin's attention, lovingly referred to as 'boy blunder' during girl talk."
Dick shook his head as Starfire giggled.
"It was very hard for me to take a back seat, knowing exactly how they felt about each other. My powers don't give me the right to barge into anyone else's love life, but I did my best to reassure Starfire all along the way. I guess we all have this one to thank-" Raven indicated Bumblebee sitting by her other side, "for the reason Starfire and Nightwing finally saw the light." Bumblebee smiled and nodded, pointing to herself and taking full credit for her prank.
"But, we all know that had events not gone the way they did, I wouldn't have let these two grow apart without at least giving a real relationship a try. I can only take so many years of feeling two people not so secretly pine over each other before doing something about it."
Starfire laughed and hugged Raven around the hips from her chair.
"I'm happy they found each other and I'm happy to be Starfire's maid of honor and to be a part of such a special day. Thank you."
Raven sat down as the guests clapped again. Dinner was finished and cleared and Dick and Starfire had the opportunity to mingle some more as the DJ set up for the dance.
Dick and Starfire were called to the floor and partook in their first dance. Afterward Galfore and Starfire took the floor for a k'norfka/bumgorf dance, and Dick shyly danced with Selena in a sort of mother/son homage. Selena had really grown close to the Bat Family while Dick and Starfire were in Gotham, and all her teasing had really been a cover for how much she cared about them. She still liked shiny things and enjoyed the cat and mouse game she played with Bruce, but for the most part she felt like she belonged here more than anywhere else. When Dick, red faced, asked if she would dance with him for the mother/son dance, she was secretly very touched.
After the set dances were done, the DJ began playing classic dance songs to get everyone out on the floor. Starfire loved to dance and people followed suit. Dick, Gar, Cyborg, and Wally headed to the bar on the side to get drinks. The dance was the most fun part of a wedding reception and superheroes really knew how to let loose.
Eventually after a few hours it was time for the grand march. The bridesmaids and groomsmen had fun trapping the happy couple under their arms and making them kiss. Wally pulled Argent, Kole, and Aqualad onto the dance floor to make the chain longer so Dick and Starfire had to kiss more times.
The dancing continued into the night after that and close to midnight it started to wind down.
Raven didn't dance much and was content to watch Gar, fourth or fifth? drink in hand, sloppily spill it all over the place while he grooved to the music. She preferred to sit at a more secluded table and nursed a glass of soda. She was lost in thought when she was startled out of them.
"Rae? Hey, whatcha doin'?"
"Thinkin' about what?" Gar asked, flopping into the seat next to her.
"Oh, the future," she responded.
"The future? Kay, I suppose that happens at weddings," he grinned. "Just hope I'm still in yours."
"Yes... there's something I've been meaning to tell you," she said, nervously fingering the condensation on the side of her glass.
Gar frowned at her tone. "Rae?"
"There's someone else."
The cheer in his face drained and his mouth dropped open. "What?" he said weakly. "Rae... how could you? After all we've been through; I know we've waited on taking our relationship further but I always thought... how...this is a joke, right?"
He slumped back in his chair in shock.
She patted his shoulder. "Remember about a month ago when we had an alert and I missed taking my pill?"
She smiled at him. He processed this, then his ears perked and his eyes lit up. "You're... you're..." he looked at her belly. "Oh my God Rae!"
She laughed as he leaped up and tackled her.
"Holy wow... yeah it is a surprise. But it's good right?"
"Completely unexpected, but yes, it's good."
"When did you find out?"
"Last night. You know how I haven't been feeling well and how tired I've been and everything's so sore... I had suspicions and turns out I was right."
"This is so great Rae, I can't even..."
"Don't say anything though, okay? We don't want to steal Dick and Star's thunder on their wedding night."
"Lips are sealed," Gar said giddily.
"Sure?" she said, arching an eyebrow. "No blabbing it out for the world to hear. It's still way too early."
He bounced around.
"Totally not conspicuous at all," Raven said, smiling and shaking her head.
Starfire giggled. She had been happy and giggling for most of the the night, but this was a different giggle.
"What?" Dick asked, shifting his hands on her hips.
Starfire slid her hands around his neck a little tighter and whispered up next to his ear.
"Raven is pregnant."
He straightened in shock and leaned back to look at her. "Nooo, what?! How do you know? Did she tell you?"
She shook her head no. "She has not told me anything. But she has not had any alcohol tonight."
"So? Raven's not a big drinker."
"She did not even have one glass of champagne at the toast."
"Oh..." Dick said, musing about that.
"She has been rubbing her stomach all night. And Gar looks quite joyful, he is hopping up and down." She nodded toward the couple.
Dick looked over. "Oh yeah, wow. He's got the 'I'm gonna be a daddy' look, doesn't he?"
Starfire nodded and floated up, hugging him gleefully.
"You always did have amazing intuition. We're going to have to pull her from active duty then."
"You know," Starfire conspired, "I always thought Raven and I would get pregnant at the same time, so we could raise our children together."
"Oh?" Dick grinned, raising his eyebrow.
"Yes," she nodded.
"But, if we did that right now, it would cause a huge scandal for Dick and Kori," he pointed out.
She pouted. "True."
"We'd have to wait... well, we don't even know if we can get pregnant, or how long you'll carry the baby. Human babies need nine months to develop."
"But this baby would be half Tamaranian," she said. "It is possible the baby would be okay, especially when some human babies are born premature and still survive."
"Well, yeah true. But those babies can also have a host of problems from being born premature. And, if you get pregnant now the media will be all over the fact we conceived before we got married," he sighed. "Especially when you carry two months shorter than a human does."
She looked unhappy for the first time that night. "I understand, I was just bringing up the subject so we can talk about it later."
"Dick and Kori could rush off and elope," Dick said, smiling down at her. "Who wants some fancy schmancy wedding with all the snooty high society types drolling around anyway?"
Starfire was taken aback. "You would actually elope?"
"Everyone that I truly care about is already at this wedding," Dick said. "Alfred and Bruce are here, Selina, Babs, Lucius Fox even from work, Galfore and Ryand'r, all our superhero friends. Who else could we possibly want? Dick and Kori's wedding would be for all the people we actually kinda dislike. It'd be a complete show. We're already married," he said firmly. "And all our good friends were here to see it. Let's elope."
"That sounds so romantic," Starfire sighed, leaning against him.
And that's exactly what they did. A week later Dick Grayson and Kori Anders dropped all their engagements and eloped in Las Vegas in a deliciously tacky little wedding chapel, causing a huge ruckus amongst the tabloid media and various designers and venues, all wanting a piece of such a huge celebrity wedding and the exposure that would come with it. Dick and Kori couldn't be happier with their decision, immediately jetting off to Fiji for a three week honeymoon that was filled with relaxation, drinks, sandy beaches, and attempted baby making.
However, when they came back to real life, settling down in Titans Tower after years of being absent Starfire was disappointed with a negative test.
And continued to be disappointed with more negative tests every month, while Raven's belly continued to swell. She was extremely happy to be an aunt but her own positive test eluded her.
Dick and Starfire had an appointment or two with Dr. Midnite but the reason for their apparent infertility was still undetermined. They hadn't yet resorted to in vitro fertilization, but one night a tearful Starfire broke down and lamented that trying naturally may not work, no matter how compatible their biological systems seemed to be. It was her worst fears coming true. Dick comforted her the best he could and made her agree they would try for one more year before resorting to other methods.
Raven and Gar's little boy was just shy of turning two when Starfire finally saw double pink lines on a regular Tuesday morning. With shaking hands, tears and a huge grin on her face she shoved the test in Dick's face and they exchanged a joyful hug. They immediately placed a call to Dr. Midnite and set up an appointment.
Due to the nature of the hybrid the pregnancy was deemed high risk but everything seemed to progress on schedule. They figured Starfire would gestate as long as her people normally did, seven months, but were concerned that the baby's half human heritage would delay proper development. Under the supervision of many ultrasounds their baby girl seemed to grow just fine, and sure enough little Mar'i Grayson made her debut after a Tamaranian baby would be considered full term. She was small, just barely tipping the scale to six pounds, but she was perfect in the eyes of her parents.
Life went on, alerts and crisis came and went. Gar and Raven finally had an intimate wedding ceremony on Azarath and shortly thereafter learned they were pregnant with twins. Cyborg and Bumblebee were engaged soon after, caught up in all the baby and wedding spirit, picking a date for their big day a year and a half out.
Dick and Starfire were able to give Mar'i a little brother.
It was another Tuesday night when Dick was in the nursery having just gotten his five month old son to sleep. The baby currently had a firm grip on his daddy's finger, and Dick didn't seem to mind one bit as he watched his little boy's breaths rise and fall. As the baby shifted and rolled he almost pulled Dick right into the crib.
"Whoa!" Dick hissed as quietly as he could, catching himself on the railing. He heard a quiet giggle behind him.
He tried in vain to disengage his finger, peering over his shoulder. Starfire happened to pass the door at just the right time.
"Troubles?" she said, a wide grin on her face.
"He won't let go!" Dick whispered. "I finally got him to sleep and he won't let go and since he's got your crazy Tamaranian strength already I kinda need some help here!"
Starfire tried to stifle her giggles as she came up beside her husband and gently removed the baby's grip from Dick's now throbbing finger. He shook out his hand.
Starfire smiled and rubbed her little boy's cheek, then twirled his soft little tufts of black hair.
"Both of them have hair like yours. Your human gene must be dominant over my Tamaranian red genes. Curious, since the red gene is very dominant in my people."
"But they both have your eyes," he murmured.
"I believe that is linked to their powers," she said. "They possess the green energy just like me."
"Either way they're both beautiful," Dick grinned, pulling her into an embrace.
"They are adorable," Starfire agreed, leaning in for a kiss, which was broken when they heard sniffling and the patter of little feet at the door.
Starfire turned her head to the sound as Dick kissed her neck. "Guess that was over before it started huh?" he said playfully.
"Oh, worry not love, at some point they will all be in bed and asleep," Starfire said, patting his chest.
"You handle the munchkin? I put the baby down," he bargained.
"Dustin? What is the matter dear?" Starfire asked.
He rubbed his eye with one hand and clutched his blanket in the other. "Auntie Starfire? I miss Mommy and Daddy," he said pitifully.
"Oh, come here," Starfire soothed, gathering him up into her arms and settling him onto her hip as Dick kissed her cheek and scooted out. "Mommy and Daddy are visiting Grandma in Azarath. They will be home tomorrow and I am sure they miss you too."
"Why couldn't I go with them?" Dustin asked, rubbing his eyes some more and yawning.
"Your mommy does not want to take you through the portal until you are older. Now, are your brother and sister awake too, or is it just you who will get a story?"
"Just me, the rest of them and Mar'i are still 'sleep," Dustin said, another wide mouth yawn.
"Which story would you like?"
"Where the Wild Things Are peeease," Dustin requested.
"Appropriate," Starfire laughed.
"I like it cause Daddy can turn into my favorite one," Dustin said seriously.
"Well, I cannot change into a Wild Thing for you but I will do my best to read it in a Wild Thing voice," Starfire promised, selecting said book and settling into the rocking chair.
Dick peeked in about ten minutes later, smiling as Starfire finished up the book with a sleeping toddler in her lap. She shifted little Dustin into her arms and together they went down the hall where she placed Dustin into the bed with his sister. Mar'i slept opposite, sprawled out with her feet on the pillow and her black hair cascading down over the side of the bed. Gar and Raven's oldest was curled up on a cot.
"What will we do when Bumblebee finally has one on the way?" Starfire questioned with a smile, listening to all the soft little sighs as she leaned against the door frame.
"Boot some of them to the basement," Dick joked.
"You are heartless," Starfire teased back.
"Oh no, I have a heart," Dick said, pulling her away from the door. "I have other parts too. Parts that fit with your parts. Speaking of sex, let's try for number three."
"Oh X'hal, no more pregnancies right now," Starfire moaned. "I need my body to myself for the while."
"Well fine. Just share it with me then."
"That I can do," she said, then gave him a calculating look. "Do you like getting me pregnant?"
Dick looked sheepish. "What do you mean?"
"Does it make you feel powerful? Like you are 'the man' and you are the fertile? Your boys can do the swimming?"
"Silly," she clucked at him, but then she saddened. "We went through so much trouble to get the two of them. I do not know if we would be viable for a third."
"I'm happy Star. I was kidding, I just want sex."
She giggled. "Then let us-"
"Damn," Dick said, peeking back into the room. "Mar'i, it's just a dream, go back to sleep."
He almost snorted when she turned over and did exactly that.
"Okay, I'd say we have a good twenty minute window let's go go go," he urged.
"Hasty are we?"
"An opportunist," he said. "Our bed, now. Panties off... probably don't have time for the bra."
"This is our life now, Star. You wanted babies."
"So did you!"
"I know, I know." He peeked one last time to make sure they were all still down for the count. "And you know what?"
"What?" she said, already attempting to take her shirt off as they headed for their room.
He helped wrangle the shirt over her head and pushed her against their bed with a kiss.
"I wouldn't have it any other way."
Okay guys... well this is it.
First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you who reviewed, who added this to their favorites or alerts, who kept coming back for more even through all my sporadic updates over the years. I'm sorry I didn't always have the time to reply to every review but I can assure you all I appreciated every single one and it's been a journey people.
I apologize how long this epilogue has taken to get posted and I appreciate everyone for waiting patiently. This year I haven't really been focused on the story, but I think I sort of have a valid excuse. I'm happy to say I'm expecting my first baby in December. I've been dealing with all the crazy ups and downs of pregnancy and my husband and I have been trying to prepare our house and our lives for the huge life change coming up. Between the pregnancy brain and all the distractions it was really hard to focus on this! Kry can attest, I've totally become like an internet hermit this pregnancy, she's barely gotten an email from me in a week and I'm not really sure why I've gone into hiding so much. Either way I'm glad my originally 'meant to be a little BBRae multi-chapter turned into monster novel' is finally done and I can now focus on my family. I don't want to disappear completely, I would really like to work on Boy Flounder after this, as little drabbles are easy to write and keep me in the game. So we'll see.
Special thanks to Kryalla Orchid and all the help and support she's given me over the years. I think this might've collected dust and joined the pile of unfinished stories on my profile if it weren't for her and the continued inspiration and love of all things Titan.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone, seriously, for supporting me and giving this story the attention it has gotten over the years. I'm truly humbled and I love all you guys. Thank you.