So...uh...hey guys. Long time, no see.
I am really really sorry for taking so long to update this, as well as offer empty promises. I won't even offer any excuses. But really, my bad.
Even though ridiculously late, enjoy the chapter!
"Please, we must do the straightening up!" Starfire zipped about the common room, fluffing pillows, getting the vacuum set up, and cleaning the windows excitedly.
It had been two days since the call to Karras, and Starfire was getting anxious. She missed her friend, and was eager to meet his maybe-love; plus, she could not make a first impression on the girl with a messy home!
Beast Boy groaned and slugged into the room, rubbing his eyes with a scowl. "Dude, it's like five in the morning!"
Raven rolled her eyes as she came up next to him, her arms crossed. "It's ten, Beast Boy."
He opened his mouth to retort, blinked, and then pouted with his arms crossed. "Same difference."
"Friends! We must get to the cleaning!"
When Starfire commanded, you better listen or end up scorched. You don't mess around with a Tamaranean, that's for sure.
Luckily for Cyborg, he got out of it by cooking breakfast – he made sure to start of her favorite Earthen breakfast, sealing the deal for him.
When Starfire flew by Robin, he grabbed her foot and pulled her down, her squealing at the sudden movement. She blinked at him in surprise, confused by his actions. "What-"
"Star, you need to calm down." He crossed his arms in a no-nonsense way, secretly feeling a tinge of jealousy. Why did she have to get everything ready for Karras? She wouldn't be like this for other friends. Then again, the girl was coming too. Maybe that was it. He nodded toward the kitchen, where Cyborg was filling plates with chocolate chip pancakes, syrup and mustard on the table. "Cyborg's got the food ready."
She brightened and flew over to the table, pulling Robin with her. When Cyborg set a personal glass of mustard in front of her, she thanked him happily and began to slurp it down. Raven and Beast Boy slid down on Starfire's side and once Cyborg served everyone their plates, he slid in next to Robin.
Cyborg looked over at Starfire with raised eyebrows. "Excited?"
She nodded vehemently, beaming. "Oh, very! I do miss my friend greatly, and I am overjoyed to meet La'yette. We all must make sure she is an adequate partner for Karras." She smiled at them all, her hands clasped.
Robin nodded, putting an arm around her waist in a protective manner. "Sounds good. What time are they coming again?"
She blinked in thought, her eyes narrowed as she looked up at the ceiling in thought. "Hmm…I believe they shall be here in the Earthen hour of five o'clock in the afternoon." She nodded once and smiled. "This is all right?"
He looked toward the others, who all nodded, and then nodded himself. "Sounds good."
They ate in silence, Starfire still bubbling with excitement as she ate quicker than normal so she could get back to the preparations.
Moments later, Cyborg cleared his throat nervously. "Hey guys, I was wondering if I could bring my girl over, too." He turned to Starfire. "I'll understand if you'd rather not, Star, with Karras coming and all."
She brightened and shook her head. "Oh no, it would be wondrous to meet your 'girl'. Please, do invite her." She colored and turned to the others, slightly embarrassed. "If our friends also agree." She rubbed the back of her neck, a small smile on her face.
Robin smirked and rubbed the small of her back. "Sounds good to me. I'm all ready to meet this mystery girl of yours."
Beast Boy wiggled his eyebrows and nodded. "Yeah. Maybe she'll stay the night so Cy'll get some action'."
Raven rolled her eyes and clipped him on the back of his head. "I'm dating a twelve year old."
Starfire giggled at her friends' display. She looked down at her plate, noticed it was empty, and then gulped down her mustard so she'd be able to go back to her preparations. She flew out of her seat next to Robin, catching him by surprise, and went over to the kitchen counter. "I must make G'agleblurch. It is a Tamaranean delicacy." She moved about the kitchen at lightning speed.
Raven raised an eyebrow and picked up her plate, getting out of her spot to get out of the kitchen before Starfire put her to work. "I need to meditate before everyone gets here."
Beast Boy blinked, looked at his girlfriend, then at Starfire. "Uh, me too!" He hopped up and placed his table on the counter, running after Raven. "Hey Rae, wait up!"
A sound of a smack could be heard, as well as something alone the lines of him never calling her Rae again.
Robin watched Starfire, disheartened as he sighed. He was glad that she was so excited and he knew she had no feelings toward Karras, but…well, it was him. He always overanalyzed everything.
Cyborg cleared his throat, glancing at Robin out of the corner of his eye. "You all right over there?"
Robin looked toward him and shrugged. "I'm happy she's so excited, I really am. I mean, he's her friend and kinda ours, too." His lips disappearing into a line as he looked far off.
Cyborg nodded, but kept his eyes on Robin. "But you feel like she has feelings for him because of how happy she's acting."
He shook his head vehemently. "No. I know she doesn't. I mean, I know she loves me and that she would never betray me, but…I dunno, since the whole marriage thing it's still sometimes hard to remember that. Even though it's not their faults to begin with."
Cyborg nodded. "You know she's head over heels for you, man. You got nothin' to worry about." He winked and then stood up, eyeing the play station. "Wanna play me? Let Starfire have her space while she cooks her Glage…brush- whatever she's cooking."
Robin glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, and then turned to Cyborg and nodded. "Sounds good." He jumped over the booth and made his way to the couch, his spirits up a bit more.
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos. Azarath Metrion Zinthos." Raven floated in the air over her bed, her eyes closed and legs crossed as she chanted. "Azarath Metrion Zi-"
She stopped half way into the chant with an annoyed expression as she turned to him. "I said you could stay in here if you would be quiet."
He looked up meekly. "Sorry. But now that I have your attention-"
"I really think we should go out and do something. Ya know, like a date-"
"I need to meditate-"
"And we could go to your favorite café. Please?"
She regarded him silently, and then sighed with a roll of the eyes. "Fine. Not long, though."
He grinned and hopped off of her bed, pulling her down with him. "Beast Boy!"
"C'mon Raven, no time to waste!" He continued pulling her along happily.
She growled and yanked her arm away. "I can walk, thank you very much." She fell in step next to him, saw his ears droop slightly, and then sighed and held out her hand.
He smiled at her and grabbed her hand, swinging it back and forth as he pulled her all the way to the roof.
She eyed him carefully. "Why are we going to the roof?"
He glanced at her, the smile still on his face. "'Cause I don't feel like having to tell everyone where we're going. We can both fly there."
She nodded and allowed him to pull her through the door and over to the edge of the roof, a mischievous look on his face. She narrowed her eyes. "What?"
He shrugged and rolled his eyes to the side. "Oh nothing, just…" He threw her on his back and morphed into a large bird before she had the chance to object.
"By Azar, Beast Boy!" She held tightly to his neck as he flew at high speeds to her café, huffing and then burying her face in his neck.
They made it to the café very quickly, it not being that far from the tower to begin with. He dropped straight down in front, making Raven squeeze her eyes shut as he morphed back into himself and pulled her into his arms to set her down.
He smiled at her. "Fun?"
She glared at him and passed him by, but a smile crept its way onto her face. "Let's just go in."
"They are here!" Starfire brightened as she raced to the door, flinging it open. "Karras!" She hugged him to her, and then turned to a girl about three inches shorter than her, with brown hair and green eyes. She smiled kindly. "Greetings. You must be La'yette."
La'yette bowed slightly. "Princess, it is an honor."
Starfire blinked, and then nodded once. "I thank you, but such formalities are unnecessary here. Please, call me Starfire. It is my Earthen name."
La'yette looked toward Karras for approval, and when he smiled and nodded she turned back to Starfire with a more relaxed expression. "I thank you for you hospitality, Pri-Starfire."
Starfire smiled at them both. "And I am jubilant to see both of you here. Please, let me show you to your rooms!" She grabbed both of their arms and dragged them through the door.
The other Titans blinked at their retreating forms. Robin cleared his throat and scratched his head. "Uh…I guess she'll introduce us later."
Starfire brought them to a room near a few doors down from hers, the nameplate blank. She pushed a button to open it, the door not having a code, and allowed them to step inside. "This shall be your room, Karras."
It was a simple guest room, with white walls and dark blue drapes and bedspread. There was a closet on the right side of the bed, and a bathroom on the adjacent wall.
Karras smiled and set his things down on the bed. "I thank you very much Koriand'r. Is it still acceptable that I call you that? Habit."
She nodded. "Of course, Karras." She turned toward La'yette. "If you would feel more comfortable with that, it is fine as well. Either name will suffice."
La'yette bowed her head. "I believe, as Karras has said, Koriand'r is habitual for me."
"Then Koriand'r it shall be." She turned toward Karras. "Will you be all right? I wish to show La'yette to her room." She widened her eyes slightly as to say I wish to get to know her.
He nodded in understanding with a smile. "Of course. I shall still be here when everything is set."
She nodded with a smile and then turned to La'yette. "Please, let me take you to your temporary dwelling."
La'yette bowed her head slightly in habit, and then followed her out the door.
Starfire noticed that she fell behind her a couple of steps, obviously still seeing her as royalty despite being on a different planet. The trip was quick, seeing as La'yette's room was right next to Karras'. "Please, enter." She thrust a hand out toward the open door.
La'yette nodded silently and walked inside, taking in the room. Hers was similar to Karras', except the decorations were a rouge color. She cautiously set her things down on the bed and turned back toward Starfire. "Thank you for your hospitality."
Starfire nodded and then walked farther into the room, sitting down on the bed. She noticed La'yette shift, unnerved, so she patted the spot next to her with a smile. "Please, sit."
La'yette nodded curtly and sat down next to her, turned slightly her way.
Starfire realized quickly that she would have to initiate conversation, and she really wanted to know more about the girl. She understood her uncertainty toward her; she was royalty, so it was only proper for Lay'ette to treat her as such. Starfire knew it would be hard to get her to translate her ways to the informal methods of Earth. "Please, how did you meet Karras?"
La'yette glanced toward her. "It was at the annual And'r ball. Now led by Galfore, of course." She winced, most likely feeling like she insulted Starfire in some way by mentioning the ball.
Starfire simply smiled and nodded. "Yes. And how did you meet there?"
She relaxed and actually offered a small smile herself, feeling a bit more at ease. "I had never been to one of the balls before; a friend had dragged me along. I saw him sitting in the corner, and I did not expect it to be Prince Karras. At first I was horrified at myself, but when he asked me to dance…"
Starfire smiled, a twinkle in her eyes. She liked the girl so far, but they had only just begun conversing. "I see. Karras is a very nice man. I am happy he has finally been able to find happiness again."
La'yette bowed her head. "He had spoken to me of Taryia. He is still most hurt by it, but I'm hoping to help." She cleared her throat and looked back up at Starfire. "I apologize if I am being to forward in my speaking."
Starfire shook her head and waved her off. "No, it is fine. You are among friends, so please do not use such formalities toward me. On this world, I am the same as you."
She nodded. "Thank you." She glanced toward the door. "There were other people in the room; they live here as well?"
Starfire's eyes widened. By X'hal, she had completely forgotten to introduce them. "Uh, yes. They are my friends. I shall introduce you to them in a moment. I have dinner prepared. We must wait for-" Her communicator rang. She glanced at La'yette with a smile and excused herself, lifting up from the bed and answering her communicator. "Greetings, Cyborg."
He smiled on the screen, nice and wide. "Dinner time, girl! Sarah's here."
Starfire brightened. "We shall be down shortly!" She closed the communicator and, to La'yette's surprise, she grabbed the girl's hand and dragged her down to Karras' room. "Karras, we must leave for dinner!"
Karras opened the door; by the looks of it all of his things put away, and stepped out. "Oh good, we have not eaten since home. Also, I have not seen your friends for a while. How is Robin?"
Starfire walked on the other side of Karras as they began toward the common room. "Oh, he is very well. All has been well since the marriage."
Karras smiled and nodded. "Good." Once closer, Karras' forehead creased as he listened beyond the closed door. "There is a new voice."
Starfire smiled, berating herself slightly for forgetting to mention the other company that shall be joining them. "Oh, that is Cyborg's new friend, Sarah. This shall be the first time for us to meet her, as well."
He nodded and reached for La'yette's hand, letting Starfire lead them through the door. All of the Titans were already getting situated around the table, Robin leaving a spot open for the three Tamaraneans on his side of the booth. There was a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes next to Cyborg, a shy smile on her face. She turned toward Karras and La'yette and motioned for them over to the kitchen.
She dropped down next to Robin, offered him a small kiss, and then turned to Sarah with a smile. "Greetings. You are Sarah, correct?"
She smiled and nodded. "Yes. And you are Starfire; Cyborg had told me much about all of you."
Starfire nodded. "Perhaps we shall have the girl talk later with Raven and La'yette? Cyborg has only spoken of you recently."
Sarah glanced toward Cyborg, who nodded, and then she turned to Starfire. "That'd be nice, thanks."
Robin turned to Starfire, glancing at Karras and La'yette. "Going to introduce us, Star?"
Her eyes widened, realizing she had forgotten about them for the moment. "Oh yes, of course." She motioned toward Karras. "You know of Karras," she turned toward Sarah. "Karras is my friend from my home world. He had visited here the previous year."
She nodded, her eyes widening. "Was that when the crater hit?"
Karras blushed and Starfire smiled. "Yes. He was here for important business before, I am afraid." Once Karras took a seat next to her, she motioned toward La'yette. "This is La'yette, Karras' friend. Layette, these are my friends Cyborg – who is with Sarah, Beast Boy, Raven, and then Robin, who I am currently involved with." She pointed to them all as she had said there names. They all offered greetings.
La'yette regarded Robin, making him squirm slightly and glanced toward Starfire, and then she spoke. "You are the boy that came to Tamaran, yes? The one that spoke?"
He nodded, now understanding. "Yeah, that was me. Nice to meet you."
La'yette smiled and nodded once. "It is nice to meet you as well. Your braveness is still spoken of on our home world."
Robin almost laughed when he felt Starfire grab his hands in a territorial manner. "Uh, thanks. Nice to know I'm at least thought of well."
"For the most part, of course." La'yette turned toward the others with a smile. "It is nice to meet you all."
Starfire wasn't exactly sure if she liked her previous statement; for the most part. She liked the girl so far, and she knew it was most likely how any Tamaranean would react, but it still did not sit well with her. Karras seemed to notice because he squeezed her hand slightly and offered an apologetic smile. She smiled back and nodded in understanding.
"All right, ya'll. Eat up!" Cyborg picked up his fork and began helping himself, the others following soon after. There was a variety of different foods on the table, Tamaranean and Earthen, meat and tofu.
Karras took a bite out of the food Starfire had prepared, his face lit in delight. "This is delicious Koriand'r!"
La'yette nodded next to him. "Very much so."
Most of dinner went on with small talk, asking each newcomer about where they come from, their jobs and hobbies, etc.
Once done, Starfire flew out of her spot and collected the dirty dishes. "I shall do the cleaning up."
Robin stood and walked over to her, lightly touching her shoulder. "I'll help."
She took his hand and pushed him away slightly with a shake of the head. "Oh no, please go enjoy yourself. Perhaps you and Karras may converse?" She smiled.
He blinked at her, but shrugged. "Uh, all right." He turned toward Karras and motioned for him and La'yette to go toward the common room. Beast Boy bounced up and grabbed Raven. "Us too! Besides, Raven wants to play the game station with us."
Her eyebrows rose. "What? I am not-"
"Yer on, Grass Stain!"
"Here, I'll help."
Starfire turned to see Sarah standing next to her, a smile on her face and hands behind her back. She shook her head politely. "Oh no, you are a guest. Please, enjoy your time with Cyborg."
She started to help clear the table anyway. "It's fine, really. I'm not too much a fan of videogames, anyway."
Starfire giggled. "I see."
"Yo, Sarah!" Cyborg was facing toward them, waving her over.
Sarah smiled and shook her head. "I'm going to help Starfire. Have fun with your game."
Cyborg blinked, looked at Starfire, and then shrugged. "Ya'll have some girl time."
Sarah tapped Starfire on the shoulder, and then pointed toward Raven and Beast Boy. "I don't mean to ask, but…"
Starfire glanced toward the two, and then giggled. "Ah, yes. It seems…Beast Boy had dragged Raven to play the games of the video, and she refused. He then said she should have the girl talk with us, and now it seems that she is content next to him. She dislikes the girl talk."
Starfire smiled. "She does not wish to speak much of the alone time with the boys. I am…much more open about it. I believe that perhaps I scare her away." She giggled.
Sarah laughed and nodded. "Girl talk can be fun."
Starfire brightened as she turned on the faucet, putting dish soap in the plugged sink. "Wondrous! Perhaps we shall have much girl talk, yes? I do have many stories, and you may tell me of your encounters with Cyborg." She then looked side to side, her voice dropping. "But perhaps another day. The girl talk would be quite difficult to have in here." Her eyes twinkled.
Sarah blinked, and then giggled. "Okay. Cyborg has my number, I'll ask him to give it to you. I'd give it to you right now, but our hands are all wet."
Starfire nodded. "I shall be sure to get it. I promise that I shall do the dragging of Raven along, as well!"
"Forget it, Starfire!"
Starfire jumped and looked toward the couch, meeting Raven's glare. She giggled.
After everyone had gone to bed, Starfire stopped by at Karras' room. "Karras?" She knocked once.
There was rustling inside of the room, and then the door opened to reveal Karras, smiling. "Hello Koriand'r. What may I help you with?"
She smiled. "Greetings. I was hoping to speak to you for a moment." When he stepped aside, she walked through and took a seat on his bed.
He allowed the door to shut and took a seat next to her, sitting comfortably with his legs crossed. "What do you think of her?"
Starfire beamed. "Oh she seems wonderful. A bit shy at first, but I believe I helped with that. It seemed she was intimidated with my royal status."
Karras nodded. "Most are."
Starfire bit her lip. "I am aware. I let her know she is among friends, though. I believe she is opening up more to me, and I believe she shall be good for you."
Karras smiled and leaned forward, enveloping her in a hug. "Thank you for letting us stay, Koriand'r. I have missed Earth; less violence."
Starfire giggled and nodded. "But I believed you enjoyed violence."
He chuckled and nodded. "To an extent. How are things with Robin?"
She brightened. "Oh, things are wonderful. We have been on 'the right track', as Earthlings say, since our time on Tamaran. I am very happy." She sighed with a smile and leaned against him. "We both seem to have more happiness now. This is good."
He nodded. "That it is."
They sat there for a moment, when Starfire's communicator went off. She sat up and took it out of her pocket. "Greetings."
"Star, where're you?"
"Oh! I am in Karras' room. I shall come to bed now." She smiled at the screen.
"Uh…okay. See you soon."
She closed the communicator shut and stood up. "I shall go to bed. Pleasant Shlorvax, Karras."
He smiled and nodded. "You as well."
She headed out the door and to her and Robin's room, pressing in the code and heading through the door. Robin was lying on the bed, looking up at the ceiling with his hands behind his head. "Greetings, Robin."
He turned toward her with a smile. "Hey." He turned back to the ceiling.
Starfire blinked and flew over to the bed, dropping down next to him to lie on her side, turning him to make him face her. "You are all right?"
He nodded. "Yeah. Just thinking."
She moved closer to him so she could be in his arms, kissing his neck lightly. "May I know what you are thinking about?"
He shrugged. "Just random things. Nothing to worry about."
She pushed him over fully, continuing to attack his neck, but not going any further. "Then we shall sleep?"
He nodded and held her close, running his fingers through her hair. "Yep. G'night." He bent his head to kiss her lightly before turning off the lamp next to the bed.
She sighed and burrowed farther into him, murmuring a good night as well.
I love Karras. He's awesome. If I wasn't so hell-bent on Damon, I'd make him my boyfriend.
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