Awakening

Chapter One: The Open Cage

It wasn't supposed to be this way, it wasn't fair. Trigon was gone, I was supposed to feel liberated. The walls I'd built up around my emotions were no longer necessary. The cage I'd put myself into now hung wide open. I no longer had to fear bringing ruin to the world and yet... I'd spent my entire life in that prison, it was comforting in some sad, demented way. The twisted irony of the situation was not lost on me. I'd been set free... only to feel more like a prisoner than I ever had before.

The emotions I'd kept locked away now consumed me. Every sight, every smell, every sound now seemed to have a different meaning. My powers, so driven by these new sensations, now warred with me. The comfort and stability I had become accustomed to was now a thing of the past. I was already slipping and it had barely been a week. So little time had passed and I already felt so pitiful and helpless. The mighty sorceress brought low by the most simple of emotions...

Worst of all, in my panic to rein in all these new feelings I had forgotten something... something very important... something that nearly ruined everything...

Fear...

Starfire–

"Starfire... I need your help!"

"Raven?" the red haired alien asked. She looked around the room in confusion for her dark haired friend.

"You say something, Star?" Beast Boy asked, not bothering to turn away from the TV as he mindlessly flipped through the channels.

"Did you not hear friend Raven speaking?" she asked curiously.

"I thought she was still locked up in her room."

"That is strange, I was most certain I had..."

"Starfire, please come quickly! I'm in my room, don't bring anybody with you!" Raven's voice sounded again, seeming as if it were coming from inside her head. Having become somewhat accustomed to the unusual nature of the dark haired girl, Starfire nodded firmly.

"I do not understand, but I will come!" she shouted, leaping from the couch and flying off down the hall. Beast Boy glanced after her for a moment before shaking his head.

"Less strange than usual," he muttered before returning his attention to the TV.

Starfire had already begun to worry by the time she arrived at the door to Raven's room, her friend's voice had sounded very afraid. Before she could even knock the door slid open yet Raven wasn't there to great her like usual.

"Raven?" she asked nervously, taking a few timid steps into the quiet girl's room. She was instantly hit with an odd smell that she couldn't place... until she looked at the girl's bed and saw the large smear of sticky red liquid. "Blood! Friend Raven where are you?!" she shouted frantically, jumping backwards with a surprised squeak as a bookcase on one of the walls lifted off the ground and moved aside to reveal a hidden door.

"I'm in here... I don't know what to do! Please... please help me..." Swallowing hard, Starfire floated towards the door and opened it slowly to see a rather ordinary looking bathroom.

"I am here friend Raven," she called out into the room, her voice echoing lightly off the walls.

She could hear the sound of quiet whispering as well as running water coming from behind the shower curtain. Pausing a few moments to charge her hands with Star Bolts, she stepped towards the bathtub. Hearts beating rapidly in her chest, she placed one hand on the curtain, took a deep breath, and pulled it aside. Raven was standing nude under a light trickle of water, hands cupped between her legs which were streaked with lines of red as blood ran down them to swirl around her feet and into the drain.

"Why won't it stop?" she whimpered pitifully as blood continued to seep from between her fingers.

"Raven, what is wrong?" Starfire asked, unsure if she should look away to keep from embarrassing the girl.

"This bleeding won't stop!" the purple haired girl shrieked. Starfire cringed, both at the sudden shouting and at seeing her normally calm friend so frightened and nervous. "I didn't cut myself or anything! It just started coming out and it won't stop, even trying to heal it with my magic did nothing! I'm scared Star... help me!"

"Are you not on your normal red days?" Starfire asked uncomfortably.

"Normal red days? Nothing about this is normal! I'm bleeding and my stomach won't stop cramping up and my whole body aches!" Raven shouted before grimacing and clutching at her stomach.

"You mean you have never had the red time before?"

"I think I would remember something like this!"

Starfire paused a moment, wondering how best to put the girl at ease. She had noticed many times that her cheerful optimism had caused interesting and sometimes wonderful reactions in the normally broody girl. Settling on the idea, she clapped her hands together and smiled.

"This is a glorious day, friend Raven! On my planet this is seen as a right of womanhood, it is a sacred time with much celebrating and eating of the delicious treats! We could do so now if that would make you feel better?" she offered happily. Raven looked up at her skeptically, the barest hint of a smile touching on her lips.

"Oddly enough, Star, I don't really feel like celebrating this. But you say this is normal, I'm not sick or anything?" Starfire nodded.

"Although I do not produce so much blood, yes, I have experienced the red days many many times. It is uncomfortable at first but they have many wonderful things here on Earth that are most helpful. Wait here and I will bring you some!" Starfire said, bouncing happily in the air a few times before flitting out of the room like a humming bird. Despite the pain she was in Raven let out a short laugh at the alien girl's antics.

"Maybe this won't be so bad after all..."

It was bad. Starfire's in depth lecture on the function and use of the varied feminine products had embarrassed me more than I ever remembered being. This wasn't helped any by the sickeningly sweet way in which the girl relayed the information, not to mention her showering me with constant praise. In her own little way though, the alien girl had pierced straight through my fears and managed to put me at ease in a way I would have found impossible just moments before. There was a comforting glow around her that I had to admit I wanted to experience more of.

It was strange, this was the first time I'd ever truly felt such an emotion. Sure I'd always enjoyed Starfire's company more than the others. Observing her optimistic way of living had been a guilty pleasure of mine back when my emotions were still imprisoned. Now though, it was different. I could not only observe her cheerful nature... I could be influenced by it directly. Maybe I was just being overly grateful for her help in my time of need... but my desire to be close to her was quickly becoming hard to resist...

Starfire–

Barely escaping notice, Starfire quickly hid back around the corner from her room. Giggling behind her hand at her own mischievousness, she peeked around the wall to watch Raven fidget awkwardly in front of her door. The gray–skinned magus would raise her hand as if to knock, pause, then lower it to her side again, appearing deep in thought.

"She is most adorable when she does not know I am looking," Starfire whispered to herself, lifting a few inches off the ground so she could better sneak up on her distracted friend. Struggling all the while against the giggles that wished to consume her, she managed to get close enough to Raven to press her lips right behind the girl's ear. "Hello, friend Raven!"

The girl let out an odd, high pitched screech and leaped forward at the door, phasing right through it into the alien girl's room. Laughing harder than she ever remembered, Starfire opened the door and fell into the room, rolling around in mid air and holding her sides until her tumbling brought her face to face with her glaring friend.

"That's not funny!" Raven shouted, crossing her arms defiantly.

"I must disagree with you, friend Raven!" Starfire managed before giving into the laughter once more. The dark haired girl's blushing cheeks combined with an angry glare only furthering the alien girl's delight.

"I was going to ask you something but if you're going to be childish then never mind, I'll just leave," the embarrassed girl muttered, making her way out the door and into the hallway. She only managing to get a few steps before being struck by a cold shift in the normally radiant aura of the redhead.

"I apologize for my behavior of a child, it was not my wish to upset you..." Starfire whispered sadly.

Raven felt a twinge somewhere deep in her chest, finding the sadness of the other girl to be unbearable. After taking a deep breath to steady herself, she turned around and smiled.

Shame...

Raven–

"It's okay Star, I'm not mad or anything." The reaction was immediate and heartwarming, the alien girl lifting a few inches off the ground and flying forward to embrace me. Blushing, I returned the hug awkwardly for a few seconds before lightly pushing away. "Hey, Star... I was wondering if you wanted to spend some time together?" I asked shyly. Starfire quirked her head to the side in a way that I found altogether adorable.

"But Raven never wishes to spend the girl time with me. I have asked many times to partake in the wonders of the Mall and the movies Beast Boy and Cyborg refer to as the flicks of chicks." I found myself smiling at the adorably innocent nature of the girl, but was quickly brought down by the memory of my former self.

"I know, Star... and I'm sorry about that... about the way I've treated you," I said, casting my eyes slightly to the side.

"But you have always treated me well. I do not understand," Starfire said, her head tilting a little further. I sighed and tried to compose my erratic thoughts into something understandable.

"Because of that whole thing with my father... I had to lock away my emotions and try to distance myself from other people... and even from myself. I've said and done a lot of things to you Starfire, and even though I didn't have a choice I still have regrets about what I did. You've always been so kind to me Star, and... I just..." I sighed again and lowered my eyes, unable to hold her quizzical emerald gaze.

"You should not feel like you have done something wrong, Raven. You did not wish to be with me to keep me safe. I am most grateful."

"Thank you Star. It's just..." I turned away from the girl, "I'm scared now. I don't have to hide myself anymore but that's even more terrifying for me than hiding. Every feeling and emotion is so new and frightening... I feel more alone than ever because I've missed out on so much. You're the only one I really feel comfortable around anymore... and even that scares me. It makes me think that... maybe if it was with you I'd be able to be..." my words faded into a gasp as her arms slipped around my neck. My stomach felt like I was in free fall as the Tamaranean pressed her body against mine, her skin unusually warm to the touch.

"You do not need to be afraid, Raven. I will not let anything harm you," Starfire whispered. The only reply I could manage was a breathless whimper, the girl's lips brushing against my ear having removed the majority of my cognitive thinking abilities. Eventually, sadly, she pulled away and floated around in front of me to take my hands into hers. "I will be with you for as much time as it takes for you to become comfortable. We will have lots of the girl time, it will be glorious!" she finished, her usual brightness returning.

"I... thank you so much Starfire..." I whispered. I found the delightfully warm and smooth feel of her skin to be almost hypnotizing and, without realizing, began to trace circles across the back of her hands with my thumbs. "I don't know what I'd do without you..." I continued, my chest felt constricted and the fluttery feeling in my stomach seemed to be drifting lower and lower. I freed one of my hands and awkwardly put it on her shoulder. "You're the best friend I could ever ask for..."

All too quickly the hand was sliding off her shoulder to run along her arm, fingers just barely trailing over smooth, orange tinted, skin. I was beginning to feel a little dizzy, my breathing somewhat labored.

"Are you feeling well, Raven?" she asked, reaching out to place a hand on my forehead. A shudder passed through my body at the contact and I swallowed hard over the lump that was forming in my throat.

"I'm fine, Star. I just... I'm so..." I stepped a little closer to her and was hit with the scent of strawberries and something else I couldn't place. The desire for more of the wonderful smell was intoxicating and before I knew it I had stepped forward and pressed my face into her neck to breathe it in. An image of what I was doing flashed through my mind so I quickly brought my arms up around her in a makeshift hug in hopes of disguising my actions. "Starfire... what's that smell?" I asked, heart thundering in my chest as nervousness and so many other new and exciting emotions tore through my body.

"I believe it is the berries of straw from my hair cleansing liquid. It is a wonderful odor, yes?" she asked.

"No, it's not that... it's something else..."

I barely recognized the drifting voice to be my own. Being so close I could tell that the wonderful scent wasn't coming from her hair but rather from her skin. I pressed my face in closer and inhaled the hypnotizing scent deep into my lungs. I went weak in the knees as I realized the wonderful aroma was Starfire's natural scent. The images of leaning down and seeing if the girl's orange skin tasted as wonderful as it felt and smelled began to fill my mind.

"Raven..."

It had barely been a whisper but it was all too easy pick up on the nervousness and even the small hint of excitement in her voice. Reluctantly, I pulled away from the graceful curve of her neck to look at her and was surprised to see that she looked much like I felt. Her face was flushed, her lower lip quivering with nervous anticipation, and she held a sort of dreamy expression in her half lidded eyes. My eyes didn't stay on hers for long though, I quickly found them trailing their way back down to her mouth to be absolutely mesmerized by every curve and detail her lips offered.

"Starfire..."

My new emotions lit up like a raging wildfire as I realized we were drifting closer together, her lips becoming the entirety of my world. I barely registered the feeling of her arms slipping around my neck as mine did the same around her waist. I could feel my heart threatening to beat its way out of my chest as her hot, almost panting, breaths began to tickle my cheeks. I did, however, take notice when her knee drifted up between my legs and brushed against me. The world went white for a brief moment as the feeling that had settled in the pit of my stomach exploded like a spray of Star Bolts. A rush of warmth and moisture surged between my legs as my whole body was locked in a long series of spasms. I found myself having to clutch at her body for support, crying out as my legs wrapped around one of hers causing a second eruption of the unfamiliar yet undeniably incredible feelings through my body. By the time it all passed, I was being fully supported by the other girl, breathing raggedly and twitching ever so slightly.

"Raven... is it done now?" she asked quietly. Her sweet musical voice was like a bucket of cold water being thrown on me. Realizing the position I was in I quickly stepped backwards out of the girl's arms, finding it somewhat difficult to support myself under my own power.

"I... I think so," I gasped out, still breathless from whatever it was I'd just experienced. The shift in Starfire's aura was all too easy for me to pick up on and before long another, slightly more familiar emotion set in... shame. It was the first thing I had fully felt when my emotions had been set free. The shame of the way I had treated the one's who were for all points and purposes my family. The situation this time was completely different and I didn't know what had just happened, but I knew it was something I wasn't proud of. I hung my head slightly. "I... I'm sorry Star. I don't know what that was but I can tell I just did something completely embarrassing. If you still want to go to the Mall later then we'll go..." I murmured quietly. I dared only glance at her blushing face for a fraction of second before wrapping myself in darkness and teleporting to my room.

Jinx–

The pink haired girl rolled her eyes at the looks she was getting as she strolled down the street. With her hair done up in its unusual horned style, her pink eyes with cat–like pupils, and her Gothic witch style clothing she knew she had an exotic appearance most people weren't used to seeing. She didn't let it bother her too much, but there was always the temptation to send a little bad luck the way of some of the more outspoken patrons of Jump City.

"Speaking of temptation," she murmured, stopping by the window of a nearby jewelery store.

In the display sat an elaborate serpent bracelet cast in silver with an onyx stone set in the eye. She knew full well that it was out of her price range but she couldn't help stopping by on her morning commute to admire it. The all too familiar urge to curse the building with a little ill fortune to make for an easy smash and grab began to build but she simply laughed it away, continuing on her way down the street. Before she could even take three steps...

"My purse! That man stole my purse!" a woman screamed. Jinx let out a groan of irritation and turned to see said thug charging towards her down the street, said purse clutched in his hands.

"How cliché can you get?" she sighed, raising one finger to send a spark of pink energy at the man's shoes.

The laces of his sneakers unfurled and tripped him up, sending him stumbling towards the pink haired girl. With a simple one–handed shove she sent the off balance thief tumbling headlong into a lamp post, knocking him out cold. She bent down and retrieved the purse just as the hysterical woman arrived and offered it to her. The woman nervously looked her up and down and for a moment Jinx thought she might scream for help again.

"Thank you so much," the woman said, her features easing into a warm smile as she took her purse back. "I keep everything in here, I don't know what I would have done if I lost it." Jinx couldn't help but notice that she was pretty cute and the admiring look on her face was making her want to blush. "Is there anything I can do to repay you?" she asked, fishing around in the purse and pulling out a couple of twenties. "It's the least I can do." Jinx shook her head and pushed the offered money back at the woman.

"How about dinner instead?" she asked with a coy smile.

"Oh? Oh!" the woman's eyes widened a bit in surprise and a blush filled her cheeks. "I have a boyfriend..." she murmured, her eyes lowering slightly. Jinx merely shrugged.

"It was worth a shot," she said, turning towards the would be purse snatcher. "He's probably gonna have a nasty headache when he wakes up, it's up to you whether you want to call the cops or not but I think he'll have learned his lesson." Jinx offered the woman a final smile and turned around to continue off down the street. "Try to be more careful in the future," she said, waving over her shoulder. As she walked, Jinx felt her eyes drawing hopefully up to the sky but simply shook her head and laughed. "Like she'd show up for some petty crap like this..."

Starfire–

Starfire had yet to leave the hallway where Raven had left her. She was floating cross legged with her chin resting in her hands and looked to be deep in thought. She would have stayed like that for a great while too if Cyborg hadn't passed by and interrupted.

"Hey, Star, somethin' on your mind?" the mechanical man asked before somehow managing to take a bite out of the impossibly thick sandwich he was eating.

"I do not know," came the girl's airy reply. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn't even turn to look at him.

"Oh? Somethin' happen?" he asked after swallowing, quirking his human eyebrow.

"I can not be certain... but I may have just given Raven the sexual pleasure with my knee. Do you think it is possible that..." she had just looked up to see him standing slack jawed as the information processed itself through his brain and circuitry. "Did I give you the too much information again?" she asked, smiling nervously. After a few moments he nodded slightly.

"Way... way TMI, Star..."

"Perhaps I will ask her later when we are going out," she murmured as she slowly floated backwards into her room and closed the door. Cyborg stood scratching his head for a moment before shaking it and turning around, deciding it might be better not to know.

Confusion...

Raven–

It wasn't until Raven was alone within the confines of her room that she noticed the stickiness between her legs. With a groan she phased out of her leotard and tossed it into a portal to be purified. Fighting down the embarrassment, she stood naked in front of the mirror and inspected the place between her legs, noting that apart from appearing slightly puffy there were no major changes. Nervously, she brushed her fingers across the swollen skin and squeaked at the electric jolt it sent coursing through her body. The mixture of confusion and shame she felt at the new path her life seemed to be taking was quickly turning into anger and impatience.

'Time for some answers,' she thought irritably as she summoned a mass of darkness to lift her bed off the floor. There, inhabiting the space under it lay a large tome, the front half stark white and the back pure black. Lifting the ancient book from its hiding place she allowed the bed to fall back to the floor and set the book on top of it, light side up. Concentrating her energy into the pages, she focused the maelstrom of her thoughts into a single question. 'What's happening to me?' The dark energies she'd focused into the book flashed purple for an instant before the tome swung open. Swallowing nervously, she bent over and began to read.

"Menstruation, an occurrence in young females that signals the readiness to..."

She slammed the book shut and groaned, hearing it from Starfire and the research she'd done afterwards to clear up any lingering confusion had been more than enough of that subject. She paused then, realizing that if the light half of the book didn't have the answers she sought then it could mean only one thing. Her hands trembled nervously as she flipped the book over to the dark half and closed her eyes. Once more she focused her energies into the book, her nerves making it much harder to focus on the question the tome desired.

'What's happening to me?' The book fluttered open and slowly, as if the words were being bled from the pages, the thick red writing appeared. Pausing to take a deep breath, she bent over the page and began to read.

"Mating Season, a yearly occurrence among adult demons that arises when one has located a capable and willing female and has succumbed to their baser instincts. Sensations of arousal and desire will be heightened in the presence of capable and willing females until copulation or other method of impregnation has occurred..." She managed to close the book before sagging to her knees, laying her head down on the bed, and starting to cry.

After an hour or so, I'd worked up the courage to look through the tome that held my people's knowledge once more to confirm what I'd learned as well as to gather whatever other information I could about the situation. Even with Trigon gone, it seemed my demonic heritage was still an able thorn in my side. With the knowledge had come more shame in the fact that not only had I used Starfire to bring myself sexual release but that I would likely try to do it again. As ashamed as I am to admit it, this had also brought a staggering sense of elation. Starfire was the one whose company I cherished more than any other. Starfire, whose mere presence had been a guilty pleasure of mine for years. Starfire... who I was head over heels in love with.

Once I had the knowledge to go with it, it had only taken a small amount of meditating on the idea to accept it as the truth. Everything about the alien girl brought a familiar warmth to my heart and a not so familiar warmth between my legs. The fact that I felt emotionally attached to the redhead told me she meant more to me than simply a capable body to deposit my 'demonic seed' into. The book had gone into some detail about what type of woman was qualified and thankfully there weren't too many around. If my instincts did drive me to impregnate someone, a process which had the chance of around one in twenty per mating cycle, then I would want it to be someone as loving and nurturing as Starfire. Something told me she would be a wonderful mother...

With acceptance for these feelings, as seemed to be the habit with everything good in my life, came an overwhelming sense of dread. In the end it didn't matter in the least whether I accepted my feelings and my attraction to the beautiful alien girl... because she would likely never return them. She was so obviously paired up with Robin that it made me ashamed of my desire for her no matter how right it felt. I'd gone from understanding everything to being at a total loss of how to proceed when that realization had struck. Still, something told me I was missing some important detail that would cause everything to fall into place. In the end I was left with little choice but to move forward and hope for the best...

Raven–

A sense of foreboding consumed me when I heard the timid knock on my door. There was also a brief glimmer of hope that she had been as clueless as I was about what happened earlier but it was quickly done away with upon opening the door. The shy, almost demure blush on her cheeks and her inability to make eye contact spoke volumes of how embarrassed she was and I quickly followed suit.

"Um... I guess we should talk about it," I said quietly, stepping aside to allow her to come in. She hesitated slightly, looking like she was trying to affirm something in her mind, before stepping into the room. As she passed by I caught a tendril of that wonderful scent of hers and had to bite my lip to fight back the temptation to reach out and touch her. "Look, Star, about earlier. I..." she stopped me with a finger pressed to my lips.

"You do not need to give apologies to me, friend Raven, I understand that this is a difficult time for you. I told you that I would not let anything harm you and that includes myself. What happened does not make me wish to spend less time with you, I swear it on the skies of Tamaran!" she said, pleading with her eyes. I smiled as I pulled her hand away and held it in my own, trying with every bit of control I could muster not to think of the warmth or the softness of her skin.

"You really are the most wonderful girl I've ever met Starfire... but still, even if you're not upset I think we should still talk..." she silenced me with a finger from her other hand.

"If you wish we may talk about it, but can we please do so after we partake in the wonders of the Mall? I have been looking forward to going with you for a very long time!"

I couldn't have resisted the longing in her eyes even if I'd wanted to. A part of me was crowing with joy on the inside for the simple fact that she wanted to spend time with me.

"Sure, Star, let's go..."

To be continued...

End Notes:

I hope you all enjoy the new attention paid to Jinx's character. I really felt like she wasn't getting anywhere near enough screen time in order for the ending I have in mind to be as meaningful as it should be.

Thank you so much for reading!