A Sunday afternoon on a beautiful Summer's day. Normally the sun's intense heat made it unbearable to go outside during this time of year,
but on this particular day the cloudy skies made it cool enough for Starfire to be comfortable on the roof of Titan Tower.
It was a beautiful day and the view from atop of the tower was splendid. Billowing clouds stretched across the sky in all of its entirety.
Flocks of seabirds flew around, cherishing the wonderful weather. A few divebombed to the ocean to hunt, but most were dazzling onlookers by performing acrobatic loops and spins.
Others still were content to simply glide through the air.
Even this wonderful display could not cheer up Starfire. No matter how much she tried, her thoughts were always drawn to the same subject.
She had hoped that a breath of fresh air might be able to get her mind off him, but sharing in all the joy that the birds were experiencing only worsened her pain.
It wasn't long until she couldn't take it anymore. She got up and went to the one person who she believed would always be able to help her out.
"Friend Raven, I must speak with you about something that has the urgency." Said the alien as she rushed into Raven's room.
Raven grunted and clenched her teeth. She was in the middle of a dangerous spell and knew that any lapse in concentration could have terrible consequences.
Starfire, however, interpreted Raven's reaction in a different way.
"Oh! I am so very sorry Raven. I did not know that you wanted to be alone right now." Said the gloomy redhead. "I guess it can wait for later. It wasn't really all that important."
"Don't be ridiculous. I can tell that something is really bothering you. I won't be able to give you my full attention, but I'll try to listen as best as I can."
"Well, it's about Robin..."
"I guessed as much. What about him?"
"He's just been so nice to me. Ever since I first came to this humble planet, I have experienced much joy.
I know that Robin deserves much of the acknowledgement for this, but I do not know the earth custom of thanks."
Raven finished one saying part of the spell.
"Get him a thank you card from the mall." After suggesting this, Raven started muttering a different incantation.
"Yes, I am familiar with the cards of Hallmark, but I do not think that is enough. Robin is like a "puerem amicus" to me. Besides I wouldn't know which card to get. There are so many."
Raven paused between spells again to reply to Starfire.
"Truthfully, no matter what you get him will make him happy. He'll be pleased whatever you do to him."
"But how can I be sure that he will enjoy the card I get. Oh, this would be so much easier if we were on Tamaran. I would not have to get him the card of thanks.
I could just ask him to be my "puerem amicus". Perhaps I should do the explaining I see that you do not grasp the understanding,
or are you at another difficult part of your spell? You see, "puerem amicus" is a form of very strong friendship. It means friends that cannot be separated.
It is a way of thanking someone who has and will continue to make splendrous contributions to your life. On my planet they... Raven! Are you paying attention?"
"Of course I am. You may want to duck down closer to the floor."
Said Raven nonchalantly as an opaque black fog started to fill the room.
"What do you think I should do?"
"Why don't you just ask him to be your puerem amicus?"
Starfire was progressively moving closer and closer to the ground while Raven stayed floating in her meditative state.
"Our friend Robin would not understand. He'll be most confused if I did that."
"That hasn't stopped you from telling him other things many times before."
The incredibly black fog had now engulfed much of the room and Starfire found herself lying flat on the floor.
She had to turn her head off to the side, so that the carpet wouldn't get in her mouth when she spoke.
"Raven, do you really think I should try that?"
Raven couldn't even be seen through the sea of fog. When she did respond, her voice sounded muffled and distant.
"Sorry Starfire, ... too dangerous for you ... stay ... any longer. ... Probably best ... ... time alone ... ... think about ... ... ... ... talk later."
Later that night, Starfire felt more uncertain than ever. Even flying, the greatest joy she knew, seemed empty to her. She sighed and turned back towards Titan Tower.
Prepared to take a leap of faith.
She knew what she should do. A hope-filled smile grew on her face as she anticipated how her conversation with Robin would go.
Robin would surely be willing to share in her happiness. Like Raven said. Robin would be exuberant to spend more time with her.
She had nothing to worry about.
Starfire wasn't the only one flying through the clouds that night though. Millions of other minuscule beings were sharing in her enjoyment.
These beings already had plenty reason to be excited that night. The music was pumping. The party lights were flashing. All of them were wildly dancing around.
This feeling of unbridled excitement was only added to when they felt Starfire's beautifully conductive skin brushing against them.
They started flying alongside Starfire and were attempting to persuade her to join their party.
They dazzled her with displays of light and turned up the pounding music for her to better enjoy. Before long they could no longer control themselves.
They realized that the only way to make sure that Starfire would join them would be inviting to dance.
Unfortunately, millions upon millions of them came to this conclusion at the same time.
Like an unfortunate soul being converged upon in a mosh pit, Starfire was jumped by the multitude of excited electrons in a phenomenon we like to call lightning.
With about a billion volts and a temperature hot enough to vaporize sweat into steam, the bolt was enough to kill a regular person several times over.
Not even a Tamaranean could survive one unscathed.
Her insides fried and skin literally on fire, Starfire plummeted toward the ocean.
The shooting star was immediately spotted by Robin from within the Tower. He quickly gathered the rest of the titans around the window, so that they could make a wish with him.
If Starfire hadn't been rendered unconscious by the lightning, she would have been astonished by her horrible luck.
Only a few feet inland from the ocean and the silky sand of shore did her flaming body land.
If she hadn't been unconscious she would have had a better chance of avoiding the island rock that nearly impaled her.
There were mixed emotions for the titans staring at the smoldering crater.
Cyborg was interested in studying the foreign metals in the apparent meteorite.
Fresh from a marathon of horror movies, Beastboy was terrified at the prospect of it being some sort of alien life form.
Not only was Robin amazed that it landed so close to them, Robin was also fascinated by the opportunity to see a real meteorite up close.
Whatever their reason, they all rushed downstairs to look at it.
"Cyborg, go get Raven. Quick!"
"Told you it was an alien."
"Now's not the time Beastboy."
"Jokes are better than nothing. We have to wait for Raven anyways."
"No we don't. Help me carry her to the medical wing."
"She looks happy."
Robin and Beastboy finished carrying Starfire up the hospital bed and were observing her lifeless body.
"Stop looking at her."
"Right." Beastboy sheepishly snapped his head away.
Starfire's clothes had been disintegrated from the blast of lightning. Of course, Robin had taken off his cape and wrapped it around her before they took her up,
but it still didn't leave much to the imagination. There were hospital gowns in the ward, but neither of the boys were willing to dress her.
It would be less weird for Raven to do that.
"You needed me?"
Raven appeared at the doorway with her hood up.
Raven shrugged off the question and approached the injured girl.
"He'll have nightmares for the next few days, but ultimately he'll be fine. What happened to her?"
"We have no idea. Can you heal her?"
"I'll see what I can do. Why don't you two wait outside."
Robin was startled and nearly screamed in fear when Raven abruptly entered the hallway.
Beastboy was snoring loudly, but was soon jolted awake by Robin before Raven gave her report.
Cyborg was babbling in a corner somewhere.
"As Cyborg would tell you if he could still talk, I was attempting a powerful spell earlier today. So I wasn't able to heal her much.
However, by my estimate she should be able to recover by herself in due time. She'll be awake by tomorrow. Perfectly fine in about a couple of weeks.
You know how Starfire is. Resilient, and much tougher than she looks.
In fact, I have a feeling that this injury won't even be her biggest disappointment when she looks back on this night.
Nothing to lose sleep over. Good night."
Still a bit groggy, Beastboy gave a big yawn and said "Yep, good night everyone."
"Wait! Raven, I need to talk to you about something."
Raven made sure the hall was clear of all but the two of them before she addressed Robin.
"Don't worry, I already tossed your cape down the laundry chute. I know how obsessed you are about the cleanliness of your things.
The blood will come right out with the new detergent."
"Thanks, but that's not it. It's about Starfire..."
Raven held up her hand for Robin to stop. "I've heard enough about that for one day. Why don't you talk to Starfire when she wakes up?
Trust me. It'll be much better that way."
Starfire woke up to see Robin darting over to her with a tray in his hands.
"Here you go. Breakfast in bed. How are you feeling?"
"Thank you. Umm... I guess I'm feeling pretty good. What happened?" Answered Starfire in a weak voice.
"We have no idea. You sure that you're okay? You were in pretty bad shape when we found you last night."
"I feel fine." Lied Starfire.
"Did you," Starfire shifted around to see Robin better. "Did you come looking for me?"
"More or less. Raven said you shouldn't sit up like that yet."
Sure enough, the arms trying to prop herself up gave out and she collapsed back into her bed.
"Why do I feel so weak?"
"Just eat your breakfast. It'll help you regain your strength."
Robin sat down on the side of the bed and handed her a spoon.
He ignored the loud slurping she made and was silent while Starfire ate the cereal. She was injured after all. He could correct her table manners some other time.
"Do you want anything else? Hot soup, or ice cream, or, *gulp* sickness pudding?"
"No, no. I wouldn't want to take advantage of your kindness." Starfire turned her head away from Robin.
"Are you sure? 'Cause it would really be no trouble at all."
"Who are all these from?"
Starfire motioned at the "get well soon" cards on the table next to her.
"They're from all of us. We all can't wait 'till your up and about again."
Starfire could barely hear Robin's softly spoken words. She was busy looking over the various cards. One was made out of construction paper and crayons.
Probably Beastboy's she thought.
There were marks where too much glue was used and most of the glitter seemed to have fallen off the card, but she could still tell that a lot of thought was put into it.
The one next to it wasn't as poorly constructed.
It has to be Raven's.
There were several good luck charms attached to it and the paper was completely blank except for the words "Get Well Soon" written on the front in impeccable cursive.
Cyborg's, at least the one she assumed to be Cyborg's, was store bought with lots of words written on the inside.
Glorfnog, he must have terrible handwriting.
Even from where she lay, she could tell that the sentences either crawled up or down the page.
The whole thing was written with the penmanship of a preschooler with no thumbs.
Looking past that and the vase of freshly picked flowers, Starfire saw Robin's card.
Like Cyborg's, it was store bought and had paragraphs of writing on the inside. Unlike Cyborg's the writer experienced holding a pen before.
The handwriting couldn't hold a candle to Raven's, but it was lightyears away from Cyborg's caveman sketches.
"Everyone made me a card?"
"Yep, we are all very concerned about you."
"That's so nice of everyone."
"We do what we can. Are you sure you don't want anything?"
"I am most content with what you have already given me."
"Ok, I guess I'll leave you to get some rest then. But if you need anything, just let me know."
Right before he closed the door, Starfire cried out
The boy wonder stopped in his tracks and peeked his head back in the room.
"Yes?" Starfire looked at the concerned expression on his face and sighed.
"Never mind. It's not that important."
A confused look came over Robin's face, but he quickly shook it off.
"Ok, Buh bye then."
Starfire sat up painfully in the empty room and whispered to herself.
"I wouldn't want to take advantage of your kindness."
Fighting off the pain in her entire body, Starfire reached out and grabbed one of the cards.
/ / Happy Summer!