Disclaimer: What? You actually think I own this stuff? Alright, I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to call the nice men in white suits because I don't own Teen Titans, Starfire, or the Vegan Star System. Wish I did, but I don't. Now let me get on with my life.
Author's Note: Alright, I know I should be writing more of 'Custody' right now, but I'm really sorry. I had to write this. I've been reading an old arc line with Starfire and this spark of imagination was just bound to happen. I'm mixing the comics with the cartoon so forgive me if Starfire's a little OOC. I try to write her as a loving character who has seen the brutalities of war. A little proper, a little bit of a nervous teenager. A diplomat, a fighter, a friend. All that. As for a time in the cartoon series, I'd say this comes after Betrothed, but before "The End". Lastly, there are some inspirations in terms of names and places, but not all of them are from the comics. Some names I made up. So don't take everything as a canon feature. But how about I stop talking and let you read? Deal? Deal. "The Star Of Vega"!
The Star Of Vega
Perhaps it is the simple pleasure of looking at the colorful pictures, but I love looking through the magazines that the people of Earth sell at the mall. Raven is so good to go with me. I can tell that my time will soon be up. She taps her foot of impatience as I hurry through the last five pages of ads, then close it promptly and place it back on the shelf. She seems satisfied and nods towards the door. I sigh and follow, feeling as though I should say something, but do not.
We walk towards the exit and my eyes wander over to the displays with all of the radiant glamour. I do admit to liking it. It has a certain familiarity that I am comfortable with. Growing up on Tamaran, everything was so rich. It was not as glorious when my friends from Earth and I visited, but still, after not seeing it in ages, I suppose any previous home would be magnificent. I look over at Raven, whose hood still conceals her face. I can tell that she is not having 'the fun', but I am grateful for her company. I could never bring one of the boys to the mall of shopping.
"Friend Raven, I wish to thank you again for accompanying me to the mall," I tell her, hoping she will say something in return.
And thank goodness she does, "It's... no big deal."
"Well, I still thank you. I know that you do not fully enjoy such things," I respond.
If I am not mistaken, I think I see her smile, "Well, I guess you don't like that cafe either, so we're even."
I manage to bring a smile to my face, despite the thought of that cafe. It was so dark and... dark. Black. So black. It reminded me of being inside a cell. I am not the phobic of claustro, but being a prisoner can do that to a Tamaranian. I glance over at my reflection in a glass case showing a green top. It would be the perfect fit, but I am sadly broke. Raven looks over, though I do not pay much attention to her until she speaks.
"What's up with you and bright colors?" she asks, quizzically.
I look at her and then the green 'T' (though I do not see a resemblance to our tower in the slightest). Sighing, I keep walking and she waits for an answer.
"I suppose it reminds me of Tamaran. Is that perhaps why you like the darker colors? They remind you of Azarath?" I ask back.
Raven takes a moment and then answers, "Not really, but I can understand why bright colors might do the same for you."
She waits a moment before continuing, "But Starfire, no offense, but Tamaran, it was, uh, a fairly dark place when we last visited."
Raven suppresses a shudder of displeasure (she had the misfortune of ending up in my er, ex-fiance's green glop), but I smile reassuringly, "It was not always like that."
"What was it like?" She inquires, and my face brightens at the memories.
Sometimes Raven knows exactly what to say to make someone's day, "Well, it was much more fertile. It was more like a paradise of the tropics in many areas. But those were often destroyed by wars after becoming battle fields. There might be some areas still, but we did not see them. Raven, it was so gorgeous..."
We walk outside and begin to fly towards the tower, going at a casual speed and I keep talking, "The tropics were not like those here on Earth. Though Earth is lovely, there were hardly any real dangers in Tamaran's jungles. The Wlarf trees were so well built, but so soft, the bark moist with water and the ground was like a moist sand. The animals were peaceful to us, having grown side-by-side with most animals, that was not uncommon. I remember my little Snar and how she would lick my face, her pink hair warm as I'd hug her. I sometimes wonder now if it was Blackfire who was responsible for her death, but I have never dwelt on such a thought."
"The warm sun, Vega, would often shine and the air would catch that warmth and disperse it to the inhabitants. I remember running in the gardens of the palace and climbing the trees to get to the top. I could fly, but I liked to save the energy. Then I would jump and my mother would yell for me. At the last moment, I would fly right back up and into the sun. Vega. It was like no other."
"I remember going into the markets and seeing the fabulous wealth gathered from throughout the galaxy. I loved that from Thanagar or Krypton (though our supply of that was limited since trade ships had lost contact with Krypton since twenty or so years before my birth). But my most cherished memories were of my people and how they loved. I would see them, holding hands, whispering in one another's ears, they loved and trusted each other to never leave them. I wanted it with all of my own heart, to find someone who I could trust so exceedingly as my parents had, as all of Tamaran had seemed to have done."
"Sounds pretty carefree," Raven inserted as we flew above the skyscrapers.
I smiled, "My people are passionate. You know that my powers come from my emotions. I believe it is because of my people's disposition. We believe that the first reaction is the most pure and thus we cling to our emotions as one of the few things we can trust."
"So that's why you're all so touchy-feely?" She asked, raising a brow.
I blush at the term, but reply, "I suppose so, but I could never regret such a way of living on Tamaran. We are raised to look for the best in people and it has not failed us as a people."
"Sounds like a Utopia," Raven
My smiles retreats, "It was... often. Not always."
"I loved my home. I loved living with a joy for life. But as a child, I became prone to worrying more than solely finding love and happiness. No, I take that back. As a princess, I became prone to other worries. Such as the Citadel. Unfortunately, Tamaran was only one of many planets orbiting the star Vega. Most of these other planets were either desolate, or peaceful, save for the Citadel and Psions. For most of history, my home world remained free from wars due to a force-field that protected us. Yet we still went off to learn how to fight. For my sister and I, we went to Okaara."
"It was an ancient place, where we learned how to fight and protect. We fought for what we loved, for our freedom, for our happiness, for our people. Or rather, I did. I fought for Tamaran. Blackfire did not."
"She played the dirt. She fought in some of the most brutal manners I have ever seen. I could never understand my sister's obsession with violence. Towards her classmates, to her teachers, to me. I remember once fighting her in a tournament. She broke nearly all of the rules. I only tried to disarm her for it was the only real way to make her stop. I knocked her off the creature she rode. She was nearly unconscious though, and fell. I caught her and once on solid ground, she kicked me, humiliated. I believe the expression goes 'killed with kindness', though that was never my true intent. I only wanted her to stop hurting me."
"On our way home after years of training, Blackfire was lusting after another battle. I couldn't understand it and when we arrived home, Mother told her to stop behaving as she did. She did not and as the days passed, my father grew increasingly worried. That worry turned to anger and that anger manifested itself in her punishment, which she never received. Blackfire left and became the 'wild child'. Most vividly, I remember the yelling, rich in enmity and Blackfire storming out, knocking me to the ground in the process and glaring at me. She was certainly not a common placed person on Tamaran and it was the last time I saw her on our home planet."
"But that was not the only problem on Tamaran. We had been called home to do as we had been trained. To fight. The Gordanians of the Citadel had finally managed to get past our shield. I remember fighting often. I did not have the ability to create starbolts then as I do now. But I fought long and hard. When I was discouraged, I would remember my lineage. When I was hurt, I would remember my father's strength. When I was in despair, I would only have to look around. The trees that I had once played under, my friends who had once laughed with, now burnt, dieing, dead. "
"Tamaran was dieing."
"My mother passed away during this time. I missed her and for the longest time, I remember waking in the morning feeling unworthy to carry on in her place. But that would never happen. At least not any time soon. My father eventually made a decision, a treaty with the Citadel. Me for Tamaran's freedom. And I complied. But not without the crying."
Raven remained silent as we flew. She knew this. Well, most of this. She knew what my father had done. I do not think she was ever too happy about it. But she knew I accepted it and the hurt it brought. I think that was the last time I ever saw those tropics, the Kantils, the few that remained in the Palace. I never saw my father again. And it was only too soon that I missed it. I missed the Tamaranians. I missed my home. I missed the sweet smells and the warm laughter. And I thought of it often.
"My only contact with my home for the next two years came from the form of my sister, who I met when I had been traded to the Psions and received my starbolts. She had... changed, but her goals had not. She still had no intention of protecting Tamaran. She had continued to fly through the Vegan Star System and had landed in the hands of the Psions because of her mischief. We parted after my year with the Psions was up and once I was in the hands of the Gordanians again, I escaped and soon found myself on Earth, which became my home."
"So that's the whole story?" Raven asked, as we crossed the residential area.
"Yes, friend Raven, it..." I gasped as we heard a scream.
Flying downward in the direction of the yell, we soon saw the source of trouble. A younger girl, maybe at the year of ten, running down the street away from a couple of older boys, possibly barely younger than our own age. She tripped, fell to the crete of con and began to cry, but they would not leave her be.
"Come on sis, I need the money," one of the boys said.
The girl cried, "Mommy said no, Ben. She said..."
"I don't care what Mom said! I need your ten!" He shouted, grabbing her by the arm.
That got me angry. I yelled and let out a starbolt before Raven could do anything. This Ben fell to the ground as did his sister. I flew down slowly, my eyes glowing, my fury growing. Ben and his friends all began to get back up, ready to run, but I would not let them. Grabbing him by the front of the shirt, I brought him up to my face.
"You wish to explain why we find you treating your sister in such a manner?" I growl, feeling anger in my throat.
Ben trembles, but quickly answers, "We, uh, we're just, uh, playing uh..."
"You call hurting your sister and yelling at her playing!" I yell at him and then drop him to the ground.
"Hey come on, chick, we're just..."
"You are just being the jerk to your sister who has not wronged you," I told him.
I glance over at Raven. She is holding the girl, calming her I guess.
I walk over to her and smile, "Are you alright, little one?"
The girl stares at me and I am aware that I am not the human. But then she nods, a smile slowly grabbing at the corners of her lips.
"Are, are you really Starfire?" She asks.
I grin and reply, "I am and this is Raven. We are here to help you. Do you need a ride home?"
The little girl looks over at her brother who only glares and does the nod at myself and Raven, who says, "I'll get her home, meet you in the sky."
I smirk and know what that means. I turn to look at the nervous boys. None of them speak and they only stare at me.
"Unless you have the explanation, I suggest you stop looking at me and go apologize to your sister, Ben," I tell him.
He looks at me, annoyed, but sulks off. One of the boys does not leave and kicks at the dirt. I feel unsure of his motives for staying, until he asks me, "Why do you care?"
"Why would you care about us. You're not from around here and all. Why do you care about Earth?" He asked.
I am taken the back by the inquiry, but think it over, "I suppose it is because this is where I have been given such kindness. I wish to return it to those with good intentions."
He kicks the walk of sides again and answers, "Sorry, 'bout Ben. He's just a little messed up. Dad died and all. Just kind of caught up in this with him."
I smile warmly and offer, "I do not see why you can not get uncaught."
He looks up, amazed for some reason, yet I have no time to contemplate it for I see Raven flying above me.
"I will, uh, see you round the 'a'," I say, and fly upwards.
He looks at me oddly and I wonder if I said something wrong. Raven looks at me and sighs, "Unbelievable."
"What?" I ask her.
"Nothing, I guess. Just the little things that happen are just so ridiculous," she tells me.
"Oh," I answer, but Raven doesn't give me time to answer.
"So why'd you stay on Earth?" She asked, "Not like you had to. You could have gone home."
I thought about that for a moment. As we landed and went of the stairs, I shrugged, "I, I am not so sure..."
Why had I? I remember being confused and frustrated landing on a place so foreign. I wanted only to get home, but I knew that at that moment, I could not. The Gordanians were not far behind me. I met those who are now my friends, yet then they were not. There was nothing... special... Ahead of Raven I turned a corner and bumped into Robin. His masked face held a kind smile. Kind. Nice. It was the concept that there was a reason for love. To care about who another person was...
"Hey, Star, sorry 'bout that," Robin said, brushing himself off.
I felt the color come to my face, but answered, "It is no trouble, friend Robin. I am unharmed."
"Alright. Did you guys have fun?" He asked.
"Oh, um, yes, we did. Or I did, or I, yes, I did," I felt my grasp of the English language recede from my memory.
If only a kiss... A kiss.
"That's cool. Hey, we're having a training session this evening, then I'll order pizza, kay?" Robin asked.
I wanted to answer, but felt myself tongue tied. So naturally, Raven answered for me, "We'll be there."
Robin did the flash of the smile and rounded the corner. It was not until this moment that I felt my heart fluttering, doing the pounding madly. I let out the breaths I had been holding. Raven looked at me and I heard her do something rare. She laughed. Or chuckled. Or something else entirely. In any case, I did not understand why.
"Figures that's why you stayed," she offered as an explanation.
The color came back, "Oh no, friend Raven, you have the misunderstand..."
"I'm an empath, Star, don't try lying." She smiled, but she felt uncomfortable doing so and quickly pulled her hood over her head.
We walked on for a few minutes, while I took a moment to consider her words. I had never fully understood why I had stayed. Had it been because of Robin? He was a genuinely nice person to me. He was a good leader. A good fighter. A good protector. Like a Tamaranian Tagnak, or as they say here, soldier. But that, was that... I brought my fingers up to my lips and remember a certain kiss. It was a... glorious experience. Robin was... I could trust him. The one thing I could possibly trust more than my own emotions. Perhaps... Raven was right.
I smiled and glanced over at my friend, "Thank you Raven for the journey. It was most enjoyable."
We reached Raven's room and she opened the door slightly, "You're welcome... Oh, and Starfire?"
I turned back to see her with a smile, "Yes, friend Raven?"
"Please don't make that Rwavquekhh, or whatever it was that you were going to make tonight," She added.
A little shocked, I laughed, but did the nod as I flew off to the roof. It was too glorious a day to remain indoors. It was too gorgeous an Earth, a home to not enjoy.
A/N: So, did you like it? I'll admit, I'm not perfect at writing Starfire, but I hope you liked it. I sort of needed to get it out of my head, you know? Kind of different. Not a common one. But I felt like writing it. Please review! They make me smile. And I promise, for those of you who are all like "What is this? Where's the next chapter of Custody? I want my money back!", lol, I'm going to go work on it right now. Again, I hoped you liked it. Stay Cool!
Little Known Fact: Vega is an actual star about 25.3 light years away from Earth and is part of the Lyra constellation and the Summer Triangle asterism. It has a disk of debris rotating around it and is the fifth brightest star in the night sky. There is also strong evidence pointing to the possibility of planets orbiting the star as well. Vega is the implied star in which Starfire's creators, Marv Wolfman and George Perez, stated in the New Teen Titans comic series that Starfire's home world was located orbiting around. So this summer, do some star gazing and see if you can spot the Tamaranian Princess's home world, or star... -shrugs- I thought it was cool. It's not like Krypton's Rao is a real star, unless you count Gliese 581...