Author's Note: the original note has been shipped to the bottom of the page. I edited the piece, and added almost a page worth to it, although I didn't really add to the scene, so much as pump it up in regards to descriptives. Hopefully it thins out some of the "Ah, wtf just happened", which I got a bit of when I re-read it this evening.
There is now 1800 words, instead of barely 1300.
It had been silent for some time, between the three girls as they made their way sedately through the mindscape of Raven. Starfire had no idea where it was the two girls were taking her, but she wasn't really too concerned. After all, they were within Raven's mind, and of all the emotions she might have had concern about where they might lead her, Love and Fear were not them, despite all that the two emotions were probably capable of housing in their own domains. Smiling softly to herself, Starfire reached out to her left and her right to gently sweep up the closest hand of the two emotions. Her clasp was friendly and warm, and she tugged them both a little closer to her, content as their feet wandered across the emerald grasses, and Starfire let her mind wander harmlessly while her green eyes gazed up at the soft white clouds that were spotted across the azure sky.
Love had refused to share with the alien princess who had accompanied whom, and so the red head had allowed their conversation to fall away into a comfortable silence, content with the warm and gentle silnece they were now all bathed in. Starfire had no desire to break it any time soon, simply soaking up the companionship. She was, therefore, more than a little surprised when it was Fear that broke it.
"S-starf-fire?" The soft, whispery tones of Fear's voice was not easily understood, and it took a moment for Starfire to comprehend that her name had been spoken. She turned her green gaze down from the heavens above and upon the quivering mess that was a portion of her best friend and team mate.
"W-what is w-w-wrong with h-how we l-l-look?"
Starfire's light, curious gaze turned into an expression of stunned disbelief, staring down upon the manifestation of her demonic friend's emotion as she pieced together the stuttering sentence so that it could be understood. Having done so, Starfire stared blankly for a moment, before she finally managed to find her tongue.
"What? Who said there was something wrong with how you look? Who? I will -!"
The Tamaranian's rant was cut off abruptly by Love, who, seemingly surprised by Fear's question, was perhaps a little sharper with her answer than she might otherwise have been. It was, after all, a particularly tender subject. "You did."
Starfire came to a screeching halt, yanking on both emotion's hands when they continued to walk. Their own momentum caused them to falter and swing back to look at her, almost colliding in the process, and Love steadied herself and Fear gently, as they turned their gaze upon their friend.
"When," Starfire began, her tone quiet like the calm before the storm. "Did I say that?"
Fear and Love caught one another's gaze, and Love spoke once more, the more forthright of the two emotions. Her voice was crisp and clipped but she refused to meet Starfire's eyes. "When we swapped bodies."
The Tamaranian Princess's mouth open and shut several times, letting forth nothing but thin air, before she finally managed to find her tongue. "But that was years ago!"
She then blanched, eyes widening in an almost comical manner when she saw the two emotions stiffen at her lack of denial, and realised her mistake. That hadn't come out at all like she'd meant it to! Taking a deep breath, Starfire asked the only question she could, that wouldn't dig her too much deeper: "What did I say, exactly?"
There was a moment of silence, as the two emotions seemed to fight against the sudden desire to flee: Fear, with her one free hand, pulled her hood up and retreated into the shadowing, hiding her face since she was unable to flee from Starfire's grasp upon her arm, and yet, needed to hide. Love yanked her own hood up, the harsh movement freeing her hand from the Tamaranian's fingers, before saying quietly, almost fearfully, "'What if I am stuck looking like this FOREVER?'" She then clamped her jaw shut with an audible snap. Fear whimpered as the two girls withdrew in on themselves, but Starfire retained a firm hold on Fear's hand, and had quickly taken hold of Love's wrist, hopefully not tight enough to do any lasting damage, but with perhaps a little more force than was necessary.
A fierce frown worked its way between Starfire's brows, bringing in a hard array of lines, and her lips formed a cold, flat line. Fury caused the woman's eyes to burn a terrifying electric green, as she seemed to be fighting within herself for control. Fear was trembling visibly, and curled up almost into a standing foetal position. Love, a little sturdier in nature, still wasn't quite strong enough to refrain from her own fit of shaking. Starfire didn't seem to notice this, so focused was she on her own tornado of thoughts.
Starfire opened her mouth, finally, and was quite prepared to explain in great detail how bloody stupid Raven was for taking anything she, Starfire, had said while under duress to heart. However, such a rant was put on hold as the entire world around her let out a massive roar, and the very ground under her feet trembled with fury. The three girls toppled to the ground like a child's building blocks, with Starfire letting loose a squeaking "eep!" of shock.
Fear, apparently quite terrified for her life, had tears pouring down her face. Between Starfire's words, her terrifyingly furious actions, and the very fabric of Raven's mind throwing a tantrum, the delicate emotion had no bigger reason ever offered to her than at that moment for a complete and utter breakdown. Beside her, Love toppled to the ground, her purple cape billowing out over her, and her amethyst eyes wide and startled. Her mouth was open, but no sound escaped her as she scrambled across the moving lands to be closer to Fear, drawing the other girl into her and hugging her tightly. She glanced once at Starfire, but made no move towards her, still apprehensive about the other's actions.
Starfire, however, didn't seem to mind. Digging up a happy memory, the alien's body left the ground as she flew about three feet above it. Her worried gaze taking in all the lands as they rocked and roiled, she was left wondering what was going on. Starfire felt her several stomachs object, and closed her eyes; the very sight of the world shifting around her was making her feel physically sick, on top of the emotional turmoil that lurked underneath, pushed aside for the moment. The sight was very much like what Starfire imagined being in a box, which was being kicked around by a child, would be like. She groaned softly to herself, and tried to talk her stomachs into retaining their breakfast.
It didn't last long, and soon Starfire was cautiously opening her eyes, as the rumbling thunder of the worlds movement faded away. Looking down on the two emotions, and watching them cling to one another, Starfire's features were once more decorated with a small frown as she touched down and gently offered her hands towards Love and Fear with a soft smile, though it didn't quite manage to reach her eyes.
"I take it," she said slowly, and in a low voice, as Love timidly took her hand and allowed herself to be assisted in standing, "that you have no idea what that was."
The emotion shook her head, and proceeded to lift Fear to her feet. Gently dusting off first her companion and then herself, Love looked back up at Starfire as her friend spoke, thankful one of them had the ability to use their brains at this moment.
"Then nothing like this has happened before, that you are aware of?"
Once more, the emotion shook her head, at a loss for words. Starfire pursed her lips, looking thoughtful. She hmm-d to herself, and tugged on a lock of her long hair, eyes far away. After a moment, she lifted her gaze to watch a fluffy white cloud. Her pursed lips relaxed, and she looked once more to the trembling emotions.
"Should we regroup?" She asked, wondering if this were a signal to identify the end of their game, though she didn't really think it was. Had it been, should not Love and Fear be a lot less startled... and actually know about it?
"I..." Love began, then her voice fell off, and she tilted her head slightly to one side, frowning lightly to begin with, though it quickly darkened into a worried expression. "I cannot sense the others..." a pause. "I... I can't even sense Fear!"
Fear, in response, crumpled her face, staring at Love with wide eyes. "D-d-ditto," she squeaked, looking terrified as she reached out an arm and pinched Love on the shoulder. Love scowled, and poked Fear on her left cheek. The pair continued to poke and prod one another, seeming to forget about Starfire.
"Well, you are apparently both here." The Princess stated, bringing their attention back to herself. "What do you suggest we do?" Starfire asked, as Love's hand was battered away once more by Fear. "Do we continue to hide, or do we become seekers ourselves to find our friends?"
"Hmm," Love mumbled. "I think, we need Knowledge." Fear nodded her agreement, looking worriedly between Love and Starfire. "She'll know what's going on... I think."
"Okay!" Starfire clapped her hands once in a business like manner, fulfilling the apparent need for a leadership role between the three girls. Not really something that odd, Starfire absently thought, Raven was capable of leading – she just so rarely took the initiative. "How do we get to where Knowledge should be?"
"She'll be in her Library," Fear whispered, managing not to stutter for the first time that Starfire could recall, since they began their game of Hide and Seek.
"It'll be quicker if we fade," Love said thoughtfully, and offered her hand to Starfire, who took it confidently. "But I don't know if she'll even be there. Her group may have opted to hide elsewhere."
"Perhaps," Starfire countered, shrugging, "But others may also choose to seek out Knowledge on what that quake was."
Love paused, her bright eyes looking up at Starfire for a moment, before she nodded and gathered herself together. She seemed to shimmer for a moment, and Starfire felt the creeping chill of Raven's powers envelop her before they faded into the ground. Fear herself followed, vanishing barely a moment later and cursing the earthquake as she did so.
She wanted to know why Starfire disliked her appearance, and if other's felt that way.
Author's Note: Hey, guys... My apologies for the incredible long wait for an update. I don't really have an excuse, except that the past two months have flownby for me, without leaving room to so much as sneeze! I hope this chapter is okay, I'm not too sure what I think of it, but when I finally found it (I had the first page written up at least a month ago, but do you think I could FIND it?) I thought I had better finish it up and post it. It hasn't been edited, and I think the second half of it is a bit repetative in regards to descriptive (or lack there of) words. So, apologies for that. Hopefully I'll have the next chapter up soon for you!
It also would have been published sooner, if FF didn't EAT MY DAMNED FORMATTING! *headdesk*
Also... Is it just me, or does Starfire not seem Starfire in here? I dunno. She just doesn't read quite right to me. But then, I suppose that could be the whole scenario... Eh.