OMG another one? And so soon? Despite sleep deprivation? Shows how addicted I am, huh? Okay, this one was again, a spur-of-the-moment creation. It takes place immediately after 'The End', and... well read the story for now!
EDIT: I had numbered the Tamaranean phrases for reference against the glossary at the end, but it didn't really do much for the aesthetic value of the story, so I've taken those away -thanks to sinomin for the suggestion. The glossary remains at the end of the story for your reference. :)
As usual: Please review. Please, please, please. You are a cute little bumgorf. :)
Disclaimer: Don't own anything here. Except for the Threska, I guess...
It was a gloriously beautiful morning. All of Jump City rejoiced in the continuation of the grand weather, few seemed to remember the near-apocalypse their world had faced barely a day before. Even in Titans Tower, the fine weather was reflected in the general mood. Beast Boy and Cyborg, in a sudden fit of camaraderie, were playing a video game against other gaming freaks across the world, instead of against each other. Robin was in the garden, weeding and watering after a long period of neglect, while whistling 'Jingle Bells' with a complete disregard for something as mundane as a calendar. Even Raven, though cooped up in her room, was meditating with something close to contentment in her mind. And Starfire? Well, the pretty young alien was slowly making her way to a teammate's room, thinking earnestly about the right words to say in the following minutes.
Knock, knock. Raven opened an eye, slightly disturbed, but not enough to get her mood ruined.
"Friend Raven? May I enter?"
Raven opened both eyes with a sigh.
"Sure, Starfire," she said, bracing herself to face the overly cheerful personality of her sole female teammate.
The door slid open to reveal Starfire standing anxiously at the threshold, holding something behind her back.
"I do not disturb you, yes?"
Raven shrugged. "I was just meditating."
Tentatively, Starfire entered the room, perfectly aware of Raven's dislike for interruptions during her meditation.
"I apologise for the disruption."
"It's alright, Starfire."
Starfire hesitated then, something Raven didn't miss. She noticed Starfire looked unusually solemn and thoughtful. Subdued.
"Is… everything okay?" –Raven asked, genuinely concerned despite her emotionless tone.
"Oh, yes! Everything is perfectly peach-like!"
Used to Starfire's terminology as she was, Raven had no trouble deciphering her meaning.
"I simply wish to talk to you."
Raven waited expectantly, hoping that this wasn't another girly one-sided discussion about how amazing Robin was.
Starfire hesitated again, and Raven was now sure this was something to do with Robin. With a mental sigh, she prepared herself, knowing perfectly well that Starfire didn't have anyone else to talk to about her confused feelings, and as her only girlfriend, Raven was obliged to listen at the very least, if not aid or contribute.
Starfire finally took a deep breath, as though she was going to dive into a pool. "As a matter of the fact, Raven, I have wished to speak to you since… yesterday."
"Yesterday?" Raven was suddenly confused and unsure. Yesterday already felt… so long ago. Yesterday was supposed to be the last day. Today was never supposed to exist. But it did. Again, Raven was impressed with the momentousness of the day.
Starfire nodded. "I have come to…" she suddenly stood straighter, and said in an even more formal tone, "…to thank you, for the great things you did yesterday. I am honoured to be your friend."
A furious blush crept through Raven's pale cheeks. "Starfire, you really don't have to-"
Starfire held up a hand. "I am not finished. As the heir to the Throne, I offer my thanks to you on behalf of all my people, and every other planet or star system allied with Tamaran. You have done a great thing in banishing your creator, and Tamaran and the universe will not forget your bravery and your goodness."
Raven looked like she wished to be anywhere but here. "Starfire-" she began to protest, but again the alien Princess interrupted her.
"That was only the gratitude I am obliged to express as the only Tamaranean on Earth. However, my personal gratitude far exceeds what I have expressed until now. While you have my deepest thanks for saving the world, I believe I must thank you for a far more meaningful action –for choosing to destroy the world in the first place."
Raven was stunned. Starfire's formal way of speaking sounded perfectly fine when she was actually saying formal things, but it still didn't make much sense!
"I don't understand," she admitted. "How can you thank me for doing something like that?"
"Because you did not have to. You were protected, and you were safe in that room, and you could have prevented Him from coming. And yet you went with the Slade, willingly –only so that he would spare us, your friends! You chose us over the entire world, Raven. It is something that… astounds? Yes. I am astounded, and deeply honoured. For I do not think it is something I would have been able to do myself."
Starfire's expression became hard, cold. Raven had never seen her like that, even when they had visited Tamaran for her sham of a wedding. "I was… taught, ever since I was as small as a Zarnik, to always do the right for Tamaran. Always, Tamaran came first as my sacred duty, and only then came my duty to myself. If I had been given the choice, Raven," Starfire finally looked at Raven again, "I would have chosen the world, Rekmas or not. It would have been my first and foremost duty and I would have followed it. But you chose us. It is something I will never forget."
Raven shifted uncomfortably. She was speechless. She had done what she had thought was right, what had felt right at that moment, never consciously bothering about duty and honour. It had been inevitable –she had simply tried to keep her friends from coming to any harm. That was all! Starfire painting her as a brave heroine was definitely not what she wanted from the incident.
Meanwhile, Starfire finally brought into the light what she had been hiding behind her back. Raven leaned in to get a closer look, and saw, to her surprise, that it was an armband, very similar to the one Starfire was currently wearing.
Slowly, Starfire continued, "As a gratitude token, I wish to bestow this to you. It is a Threska. It symbolises… family. My Threska was given to me by my K'norfka to mean that I also belong in the family of Galfore. I now give to you this Threska in the hope that you will accept to be in the family of Koriand'r? My own sister, the Gremplork Blackfire would not do what you did for me –in the fact she has done the opposite! But you, my friend, have sacrificed more than anyone else could for myself… I have been thinking that having you for a sister is much more… nice than having Blackfire. You will be my sister?"
Raven could only stare at Starfire. Never, never had she expected something like this.
Her silence seemed to fluster Starfire into more explanation. "It is not a temporary bestowment. In offering you a Threska I am giving you the total right as member of my family… you will be my sister and next in line to the Throne, now that Blackfire is banished. You will no longer be Outsider in Tamaran… on my planet you will be Tamaranean, and my palace will be your home always. You may adopt a Zarnik, or have your own Gorka Pipe salute, or host the Gorb Fest or have a Flornop steed, or-"
"Starfire!" –Raven cut in, loudly, giving some respite for the poor girl, and then continued slowly, "I don't know what to say."
Starfire bent her head. "I understand," she said softly. "You do not like the emotional gifts. Perhaps you do not want so much. And mine is an alien race. We are too different-"
"Starfire," Raven interrupted again, "I would be honoured to accept the… Threska."
The change on Starfire's face was instantaneous. "Truly? Oh, you have made me most joyful!" Saying so, she hugged Raven with all her natural strength, leaving the human gasping for breath.
"D…Does the Threska guarantee safer hugs?"
Starfire giggled. "No! On Tamaran, we shall simply offer you the strongest hugs because you will be Tamaranean too!"
"Okay, now you've made me reconsider."
Only after carefully making sure that Raven was kidding did Starfire giggle at this. Nevertheless, both girls were serious as Starfire clasped the arm band around Raven's left upper-arm –just like hers.
"Wow," Raven said softly. "I can't believe you'd do this for me, Starfire."
Starfire smiled. "It is already done."
Raven held her arm against the window to see it better when she noticed a detail she had missed –a smooth, penny-sized round gemstone sat in the middle of the shining metal. In the bright sunlight, the true colour of the gem was revealed –it was deep, warm green, the exact same shade of Starfire's starbolts. Raven almost gasped at its dazzling brilliance.
Starfire noticed. "It is a symbol of me. Mine has the one of Galfore, look." She held her own arm against the sun. There, carved into the band was the unmistakable shape of an eye with a scar cutting across it. Raven looked from the band to the girl, to her own band again. Then, she spontaneously did something she'd done only twice before in her life. She hugged Starfire.
Starfire, of course, welcomed the hug with every bit of her cheery self, though she took care not to squeeze Raven as hard as she had last time.
When they broke apart, Raven had a genuine smile on her face. "It's beautiful."
Starfire beamed. "I thank you the most heartily!"
A sudden idea popped into Raven's head. Should she? No. But Starfire had just adopted her, literally! It was the least she could do…
"Actually, Star? I think… I think I'd like an outfit that would go with it."
Starfire was not dumb. She was a little rusty around the edges when it came to Earth culture, but she was definitely not dumb. So she understood Raven's statement with alacrity and no confusion –this was one bit of Earth culture she had adapted to like a fish to water. With an ear-piercing squeal, she leaped into the air and stayed there.
"Glorious! We shall hasten immediately to the mall of shopping! There we shall buy green outfits –perhaps the same to match as sisters! Then we shall buy similar shoes, and perhaps similar bags and the big, pretty hats! Then we shall go to get painted the nails of the fingers and of the toes. Then we shall buy the creams and the packs. Then we shall get done our hair and fill them with abundance of the accessories-"
At that point, Starfire, who was blabbering her way out of the room seemed to realise that she was unaccompanied. She turned around to see Raven unmoved from her spot, staring at her with a familiar stony look.
Starfire flushed, then grinned sheepishly. "Too much?"
Raven smirked, resisting the urge to laugh at her guilty look. Starfire would make an adorable sister. "Just a little bit."
Oh-kay time for the notes:
For those of you who've read the Titans Go! comics, Wildfire is unmentioned because at that point in the storyline, he was classified information.
Raven might be a little OOC here, but I'm willing to explain it off on the fact that she'd kicked her mean daddy's butt just the day before... So she can be a little... 'fluffier'(?) than usual!
And let's just say Starfire is still next in line to the throne, after Galfore. I couldn't resist the idea of making Raven a princess, and an alien princess, at that!
A little glossary of the Tamaranean words(in order of their appearance in the story):
1.) Zarnik: A small Tamaranean creature that is often tamed as a pet.
2.) Rekmas: The drifting of friends and their friendship.
3.) K'norfka: A nanny or caretaker.
4.) Koriand'r: Starfire's Tamaranean name.
5.) Gremplork: An insult possibly meaning 'demon' or 'devil'.
6.) Gorka Pipe: A loud instrument that is similar to Earth bagpipes. Even when played properly, this instrument is hard for humans to listen to.
7.) Gorb: Taken from 'Gorb-Gorb', a festival Starfire made up to cover for Silkie. Possibly means 'curtain'.
8.) Flornop: A large creature native to Tamaran that is covered in brown fur.
All credit to 'sammo2005' who has posted a Tamaranean dictionary in the TitansGo! forums.
And 'threska' is mine to keep. I made it up, after all!