She's a Star

Chapter 8

An: Oh my goodness I know I havent' updated in forever but now that I'm back in school it's much easier to budget my time. A lot happens in this chapter so bear with me. Here's your newest upload to the story and remember to read and review!

Two Weeks Later

As the night fell on Gotham City Richard was standing in the doorway of his room, looking in as Starfire was fixing her hair in the mirror. He always wondered how it was that a woman with that much hair could take such good care of it. He smiled endearingly to her as she rose from her place at the vanity, something he added to his room when he found her staying with him more than in her own space down the hall. They spent a lot more time in Richard's room, maybe it was because he had a link right to the bat cave for calls, or the secret computer that was hidden behind the book shelf, among other things in his room that made their jobs easier. But for Starfire what it came down to was with him being such a workaholic, it was easier to at least keep him company than try to get him to stop working.

"Are you ready?" he asked when she finally stood and joined him at the door.

They were going to one of Bruce's balls that were held for the company. The entire Young Justice team was invited to go, including Jinx who had broken out of jail and joined the team. They had discussed her remaining uncover but it was too dangerous with Joker now involved in Death Stroke's little plotting system, they couldn't run the risk of her being lost . She had gone against her old team mates of the HIVE and was working on giving as much information as she could to help the team. From her intel they were able to discover that their ideas about Slade were correct. He was planning the robberies as a distraction to try and take out the YJ team, that way it weakened the defense in the area and the amount of people that knew how to combat him. Joker`s role wasn`t completely known as of yet but knowing the way he played games the team was in for some psychological warfare in the coming future. Batman and Robin had worked with the team to try and get them ready for those kinds of attacked and no one was ever allowed to patrol alone or without multiple ways of tracking them. M`gann no longer went on patrol as she was able to lock onto their minds when she focused and locate them from her safety at the base, whether they were conscious or not. She had been working hard with Jon to come to that understanding.

Her loyalty was easily earned luckily, as KF was quick to introduce her and fill them in on the entire story from the start. They were inseparable from the beginning her joining the team. Richard knew what KF was going through; he couldn't bear to be away from Star for very long. "I am almost ready," she whispered, the bubbly nature evident in her tone.

"And what else would you happen to need?"

"A kiss." She said simply as she stole one quickly before moving to float around the door. She had to remember to not to that while at the party. She wore a necklace with a hologram pendent to make her skin tan instead of orange and make her eyes a normal green with human eye whites. She thought she looked odd, as did Richard, but it was the only way that she could appear in public without the concern of people knowing who she was. It was very difficult to be an alien in public without shape shifting skills like M'gann. She wore a navy blue mermaid gown, her red hair done up with curls and pulled to the one side over her shoulder. The back of the dress was bare and it was strapless, Richard wasn't sure how it was staying up but she was awe struck at the view it gave him. It dipped right down to the end of the tail bone, fitting her rump perfectly and flowing out at the knees. She wore no heels, just simply navy satin flats with a tiny silver detailing to match the beading that covered the front of the dress.

"Where on earth did you find that dress?" he asked, he didn't recall buying her a gown for the evening but know she had gone out to buy one.

"Friend Alfred assisted me in the choosing of the gown. He said it important that I match and compliment you on this evening as you appear to the public. It is our first real outing together as a couple. The famous playboy Richard Grayson has settled." Leave it to Alfred to make her look like a million dollars, how did he expect the young man to be on his best behaviour? The only thing that would have made her more stunning was seeing her without the ring that concealed her exotic treasures.

"I didn't settle on anything Kori," he whispered, sweeping her into his arms, pressing her body to his, "I found a gem." He kissed her more deeply this time only to get a sharp push to the shoulder. He eyed her oddly for a second until she pointed to her lips.

"You're going to smudge my make up." She blushed from his words before as she took his arm and followed him to the limousine parked out front of the mansion. Alfred gave them a soft smile as he watched them ascend the steps and Richard opened the door for her and fixed his navy bow tie one more time before climbing in after her.

Bruce was already at the event, having been needed there to make sure the preparations were in order of the evening. There were celebrating the completion of a new space program that had been in the works for a while and finally had gained confirmation. He had that everyone makes an appearance and take a break from working so hard on the case. They needed to come back with fresh eyes to the situation, and he was important to keep their other personas alive in the media spotlight. Upon arrival Richard led Kori into the grand ballroom and watched as her eyes widen at the scene before them.

The rest of the team was already assembled on the far wall, with Jinx and KF out dancing on the floor. It was a shock to Artemis, who had a thing for the young man, but she had missed her opportunity and he had moved on. She didn't have time to frown however as Richard came over with Kori to join them. "Having fun thus far?" he asked everyone, knowing it was rare that they came to such extravagant events. However before he could get his answer a soft voice was heard from behind him.

"Well hello there Dick." He turned and laid his eyes on an old red headed friend of his. She stood there in a simple but elegant black slip dress that had a sheer material that seemed to float away from her silhouette; it added sparkle and movement to the seemingly plain gown. Her hair was swept up into a high bun and on her neck was a perfectly placed set of pearls. She was a vision and one Dick hadn't seen in a very long time. He had barely even talked to her since Starfire had come into the picture, he was sad to admit that she had kind of slipped his mind since the alien princess had come crashing into the planet.

"Barbra! Long-time no see." He replied calmly, keeping his composure as he felt Starfire squeeze his hand in curiosity, clearly wondering who the lovely woman was. He turned his gaze to her and explained, "Kori this is my dear friend Barbra Gordon, She's the Commissioner's daughter and a very old friend of mine."

"It's a pleasure to meet you," Starfire graciously replied.

"And Barbra this is my girlfriend Kori Anders." Starfire smiled and gave a tiny bow of the head as she spoke, but noticed how that smile and gesture was not so easily returned.

Barbra was a little less happy about Richard's introduction of her, having only caught a little bit of her in the media as Richard's new squeeze. Barbra and Dick were far from over, having never been an official couple and only flirted hopelessly for years she knew she had no hold over who he decided to pair up with. Though a small part of her wanted it to be her, seeing how Dick was looking at her made her own feelings of jealousy rise quickly. "Oh yes, the famous Kori. It's great to finally meet you." The tone in her voice clearly said otherwise. The voice was plastic but luckily Kori wasn't very well versed in sarcasm or the tricky ways earth girls seemed to work so it blew right over her head and she smiled brightly in return.

"Perhaps I shall allow you to catch up, I am sure that you and Richard have a lot to talk about. I shall ask Bruce to show me the dancing."Kori suggested, knowing what it was like to catch up having been doing so with Galfore for days. The young miss left the two alone and was soon learning how to waltz with Bruce.

Richard watched and smiled as she stumbled around for a moment before catching the steps and was soon floating around gracefully with Bruce, the eyes of the guests locked on her every move. "She's stunning you know," Barbra told him, drawing his attention back in her direction.

"That and so much more."

"She has you absolutely wrapped around your finger doesn't she."

"I'm man enough to admit it." Richard gave a tiny chuckle but watched as Barbra didn't share in his laugh. He watched as she walked out onto the balcony of the ballroom. He followed with one last look to Starfire and Bruce before he closed the double doors behind him.

KF and Jinx shared a glance, which was caught by the rest of the team. They knew of their prior fling/flirting episodes and wondered if it was a good idea to be leaving alone on a balcony, then again they had to give Robin a little more credit so they let it be.

Dick watched as she stood by the railing and asked, "What's the matter Babs?"

"I got all done up, wore the dress I knew you liked, did my hair up and even wore these stinking pearls. I saw her in the news but when I didn't see her around the manor all the time when I came to visit as Batgirl I thought she was just another team mate. I wasn't really sure I wanted to believe that you'd shacked up with some alien…"

"Hush your voice Babs," Dick scolded as he knew paparazzi would be hiding everyone for this event, let alone if the guests heard. "You know better."

Barbra sighed and rolled her eyes, "oh come on, I have my voice down. You've fallen for her hook line and sinker, you forgot all about me. You don't call, you don't text me, and you don't even send me a message. The only person I hear from is Robin and it's through the bat-cave computer when he needs help with a case…" her tone grew sad, but the anger was still seeping through.

"Babs you and I never… I mean I thought we decided a long time it was best if we were friends."

"Well you thought wrong!" she hissed, looking at his shocked face. "How could you just run off with the piece of ass to throw themselves at you? Oh please, help me, please I'm so new to this world and it's ways." She mimicked quietly under her breathe but loud enough for Dick to hear.

"Babs don't talk about her that way, you guys work for the same side, you'll be working on the same case once we get all the leads together and you can't treat a team member like this."

"This isn't about the team! What happened to the rule you told me! What happened to the rule about not being able to date a team member because it would endanger everyone, jeopardize the job. That was the lame excuse you told me three years ago, but we were still close. Now you're throwing everyone out the window for some…some…" she didn't finish her words.

"Don't finish it Babs…look…I love Kori. With all my heart without question okay? That is not going to change. But you're still my friend and you mean a lot to me. For the team and for my family. You're important to me Babs, but not in the way she is."

"Well why not?" she looked at him, tears threatening to spill. She walked up to him and laid her hands on his chest. "You used to look at me like that once…"

"I never looked at you like I look at her Babs…"

"Dick please…" she leaned in to kiss him…

"Where had Richard gone?" she asked to Bruce as they stopped dancing to get some refreshments.

"I believe he is trying to mend some ties with his friend Barbra." Bruce knew to explain this to young woman carefully. "Kori, my son and Barbra are very close friends and have been so for many years. But the young lady has fallen for Dick and is not prepared to see you with him tonight. She loves him very much, but I'm sure Dick will let her down nice and easy."

Kori nodded, not wanting to jump to conclusions either about her dear Richard. "Perhaps, if I helped explain it she would feel better." Kori hurried off to the doors before another could say anything and as she opened the doors she laid eyes on Barbra trying to kiss Richard. She didn't need to speak though and she hid behind the half opened door as she watched Richard gently push her away.

"Babs…I'm sorry." He backed away and walked towards the door. He saw it open and turned to see Starfire looking at the floor ashamed for eves dropping but he gently took her hand and led her onto the dance floor.

"Richard, is everything okay?"

"I'm not sure, but I'll be fine."

"And Miss Barbra?"

"She'll have to learn to let go."

"I feel sadness for her. I don't know what I would do if you loved another."

"You'll never have to find out Kori." He kissed her gently, but his heart still stung for hurting Barbra even if that wasn't his intention. He waited for the band to strike up but instead his ears were met with a loud explosion. The wall to the east was blasted through and Rihard covered Kori's body with his own as they were tossed to the floor. The team shared glances before making the move to vanish into the shadows.

Through the blasted wall stepped goons of all shapes and sizes…dressed in clown costumes. They seemed more like party crashers than thugs as they started harassing people, stealing money and jewellery and breaking the place apart. Then the voice cackled, "What do you think chums? Seemed a little stuffy in here so I thought I'd give ya some fresh air!" The joker stood in the center of the floor and watched as people backed away in horror. "Nothing like a freshly cracked party package to bring out the best right? Thought I'd make an entrance in this new town!"

"Freeze!" shouted Robin as the team assembled.

"Wrong again Robbie-poo, it's Joker remember?" he teased as he looked over the new group. "Oh look! New play things! That one's pretty cute too! You got a thing for red heads bird boy?"

"Shut your trap!" Artemis shouted as she aimed and arrow right for his head.

"Tsk tsk tsk, naughty naughty children." Joker raised his own gun and fired a net to encase the archer as she laugher. "You need a time out little one."

"Joker…"

"Oh there you are Bats, thought you'd never get here."

Batman claimed working on Joker, while the team was set to take care of the goons that were destroying the place. Robin cut Artemis out of her confines before the team set out in the sections and started rounding up the goons in their usual fashion, knowing Batman was more than strong enough to kick the living shit out of Joker and possibly get some info on him. Starfire took on a set of her own accord, glad to be ridded of that ring and back looking like her usual self. She released a volley of starbolts and smiled as she floated over the remains but heard something moving behind her. Turning sharply she saw a bat coming right for her face, but it never made contact. When she opened her eyes she saw Batgirl standing there and the man on the ground with a foot print in his face. "You should watch more carefully." Batgirl scolded as she started her own set of attacks in rapid fire fashion, almost more brutal than they needed to be.

Starfire looked around to assess the situation but turned. Batgirl gasped as she saw Joker standing right behind her, "Starfire stop!" but it was seconds too late and she was met with a spray of gas to the face. She held her face as her eyes stung but then she felt herself start to giggle, and giggle…and giggle! She couldn't stop. She didn't know what was happening but she found herself on the floor laughing uncontrollably and writhing from pain in moments. Joker put the bottle away and laughed, "see, at least someone gets my jokes." Robin looked from across the room and gasped, even was staying away from him knowing he had that gas in his pocket but they couldn't get to Star and help her. "All what a pity bird boy, don't you think her laugh is pretty? Slade wants the screaming but I think laughter is more fun don't you?"

"What do you want?!"

"To join in the fun silly Robin. You see….Slade has his plan and what not for you and your friends but I figured why not make the trip and join in? I mess with you, that messes with my buddy the Bat and we're all together like one big family again." He teased. He then glared, "and you little mix," he pointed to Jinx who was next to KF. "You best watched that pretty pink head of yours, Slade was in the most unhappy mood once he heard about your little flip to the right." As the group moved in closer they stilled on getting close to him they heard the tell-tale beeping of a none too pleasant device. "Times up Bats, you're getting rusty. Better luck on the next level." The joker laughter hysterically as he tossed the bomb into Batman's hands and made his own explosion to escape.

Batman looked to Robin, who quickly worked on disabling the bomb. Luckily after years of dealing the Joker's tricks he knew how to get rid of the charge and have it stable in a matter of seconds. However when the beeping stopped all you could hear was crying and laughing. M'gann was kneeling over Starfire as the pour girl was trying to stop laughing. The alien was panicking as she administered the antidote and nothing was happening. "What's wrong?" Batman asked as they came closer.

"It's her blood line, it just takes a little longer to kick in." within the next few minutes the pour girl was asleep on the ballroom floor. Robin moved in and picked her up in his arms as she snuggled into him. He took a look to Batgirl who was off the corner, not looking very impressed with the situation.

"Let's call it a night. We'll re-convene in the morning," with that the group disbanded as the police came to take the rounded up thugs to the jail.

"You think he's telling the truth?" Robin said as he sat looking at the bat cave computer screen.

"About what exactly?"

"Just being in it for messing with us?"

"It's all part of his game. You know how he is."

"Well whatever his part in it is…Slade already has a plan for us."

The two men were interrupted when Alfred came down the steps with the young miss right at his heels. "Young Master Grayson, the miss has woken up."

"Hey Star," he came over quietly and held her face in his hands. "Love why did you get out of bed?"

"I woke up alone and I got worried you had gone to do the kicking of the butt alone. Greetings Knorf'ka Batman."

"Greetings Starfire, how are you feeling?"

"Very sore, does he do that every time?"

"He tries to, but that medicine will have you immune to it from here on out. You're safe from it. Now why don't you two get some rest?" the two left and Alfred noticed a strange expression on his face.

"Something troubles you.."

"They're in danger.."

"They are always in danger, as is the nature of the job sir."

"Not like this…Death Stroke is planning something big, and this playing around is just a way to distract from the bigger picture. But what is it? He keeps trying to hit all of Robin's weakness. His team, his girlfriend, but Robin is never in harm. All the problems Robin can figure out…what is he playing at?"

"Perhaps they are gauging the young master's skill?"

"Continue."

"Well pardon my opinion but…what if they are are…grooming him. Remember how you used to leave puzzle and problem solving riddles all the time on the kitchen table and Master Dick would find and solve them. But he didn't know you were training him."

"Alfred…Slade doesn't want Robin dead…he wants nothing in way so he can create his own."

"Sir are you suggesting…"

"What would hurt him most and cause him to turn against his morals? Losing his team or her. What would make me crack and make Joker part of the joke, if Robin turned on us. He wants an apprentice…"

TBC

I hope you like it!