A punctured heart endures a long recovery. Process is made, process is lost. Although the journey is long, whatever has been harmed will recover—in due time. For this, the princess was to stay upon her home planet through the next few months by the side of her father and brother. She was to be the icon of peace—the one who reminded the rest of the planet to stay connected to another and to not separate like they had done before. However, she was not alone.
"Oh Beast Boy!" Starfire gladly proceeded to her friend. She had emerged in a lilac gown and white gloves traditionally worn by the newly wedded bride. "I have been searching for you and—Wildfire?" She questioned, becoming suspicious as they crouched low upon the floor, sneaking quick peaks around the corner and at the red string that straddled the hallway, low to the ground. She followed it up the wall and to the ceiling, finding it attached to a poor piece of paneled wood that buttressed a bucket suspended in the air and filled with some suspicious substance.
"Shhhhh!" He cupped her mouth hastily, waving his hand through the air. "I am teaching."
"And I'm learning!" Wildfire chimed, taking the butt of the string and nailing it to the wall with a hammer.
"Oh God." Raven appeared. "Starfire? What's the death penalty here?"
"You understand that the placement of the bucket is precarious." She pointed to the ceiling. "Is that even a bucket?"
"A bucket of 'what-part-of-shh-don't-you-understand?'" Beast Boy recoiled back, threatened them with a point, and then turned back to Wildfire. "Now, are you sure the guards come this way?"
"Yes. About this time every evening. But why do we wish to cover them in 'the goo?'"
"But, it could fall the other way—and hit you two—" Starfire added.
"Shh! Shh! Shh! I hear someone coming."
A voice started from down the hall. "Usually I connect the centron piece with the chromium dialect and fuse the gigawatts to produce the fast pace in the ship. You say it can go faster than that?"
"Our technology runs firmly on solar light as we do. At the energy produced with three suns, we can race light's speed. The galaxy in which you speak of runs on one sun, yes? I am sure our technicians could construct a new ship that could exit the Vegan Galaxy in such speed. However, such speed will cease once the ship enters the galaxy of the Milky Way."
Cyborg and the Grand Ruler and a row of technicians behind them—their entrance into the hall, nearing the red string thrusting anxiety amongst the connivers who clutched at themselves in fear, Starfire and Raven to watch.
"That's incredible—y-your majesty."
"You are a bright boy, Sir Cyborg. It's not every day that a guest—" He took a quick glimpse at the ground before him as well as the red line, "It's not every day that a guest shows," he slammed a fist into the wall, toppling the poor wooden buttress, spilling the bucket of goo onto the two boys. "—much interest in proper science." He continued on his way, leading Cyborg who looked back incredulously at the four. Down the hall, the Grand Ruler's voice echoed: "I would go with the purple string next time. They blend in more with the carpet."
"Hmm," Robin appeared at the side of Starfire, his arms buckled around his torso. "Goo trick?"
"Failed attempt." Raven retorted, staring at the two boys.
"I believe Beast Boy was doing the teaching while Wildfire was doing the learning."
Oddly enough, the Titans had stayed within the palace by the royal family's request. In part of the treaty, the United Forces of Earth and their President were peacefully escorted out of the Vegan Galaxy not long after the wedding, the complete team of the Justice League by their side. There was no victory to be owned, but that part of the story was to be twisted by both sides. However, most considered the victory the Princess's. For the five Titans, they had stayed side by side as if a ribbon tied them together—a bit paranoid as if someone was ready to break the ties between their wrists. However, Starfire's nights belonged to Prince Robin.
They had taken their marriage slow. Things were to escalate with time, but for the time being, slow was sweet. It was kind. It was gentle. Robin's weakness for her—the break in his bitterness—was now long revealed and he was careful like she. The nights they spent together those first few months consisted of innocent touch. And such innocence was enough. Allowing the evening to drown her room with the night and the faint traces of starlight, they did the 'catching up', staring at the ceiling that could unfold and display the heavens. They spoke in tones that really needed to be hushed while everyone slept. He told her about their long journey, he to gesture with extravagant hand motions depicting everyone's story during the war in which she marveled at. Occasionally, lights from an adjacent palace room flicked through her window and into their room, causing Robin to cup his hand over her mouth as she struggled not to laugh. During a dear moment's touch and the simplicity of sweet silence in between, she rose from her place among the wispy sheets, looked to him innocently, soon to catch his attention—oh the grin he wore—slowly came to his chest quite curiously, and laid a gentle kiss upon his mouth, he to hesitantly receive it. The haunting of undetermined separation invalid, the anxiety conceived by the fear of losing her to the war deceased, he found himself pressing her kiss forward, heart beating violently, clasping his hands her soft cheek. A kiss was tearful and the truth that he was alive and well held her to him as it held him to her during those nights.
However, a distant Jump City lingered on their minds.
Protected by a Tamaranean custom which had been long overdue, it was time for princess to be handed over to her husband and the world he belonged to. Indeed, the goodbyes were long; however, they were not permanent. When the princess and the prince stepped off the planet and onto the space craft with their friends, their power became dormant—no longer responsible for the condition of the Tamaranean planet. They were to belong to the distant planet called Earth. Waving goodbye as they floated to the heavens, she met the devastation of her mother's murder, she met the tears of her kidnapping, she met the once-held fears of the next Gordanians to visit her cage, she met the despair in containment under Kro'ka, and she met the speed she once flew to get to ground zero. However, she smiled at it all, pressed a hand to her cheek, and tucked a loss strain of hair behind her ears, standing before the window, leaning on her friends who held her up. Together, hands intertwined, Beast Boy to Raven, Raven to Starfire, Starfire to Robin, and Robin to Cyborg, they watched the world go, the star-sprinkled skies of space to blanket the pink as it merged with the distance. And on that seventh month, they saw their beloved Titans Tower.
Beaming brilliantly through her window and at the roof of the launch pad, she sat in her control chair, her legs tucked to her chest, arms firmly locked around them. Warmth for such a home overflowed into an endearing smile, she to gaze across the large span of ceiling. She wondered if the others had vacated the ship when there was a tap at the window behind her. However, she went to meet him this time.
However, one problem remained. No teenagers belonged to the Teen Titans Tower anymore: their youngest was technically an adult now: a problem that led to a later solution. The Titans received massive publicity. In those four years following the war's end, Jump City hit its highest population rate ever. Tourist poured into the coast and onto boats to take pictures of the T-shaped tower. On a lighthearted, quite comical note, criminals got bored trying to rob tourist who insisted on being robbed and became frustrated when holding hostages that volunteered to be held hostage for the chance of being saved by the Titans. The crime rate when down which evidentially did disappoint Robin. He found he and his team settling down a bit. In addition, it allowed for some changes to be made.
"What about May? The month we came home?" He broke the silence of the morning, his voice contemplative as he eyed the ceiling. His voice woke her from the in-between realms of sleep and waking, she to flutter, her eyes to open, then fall upon him. A brilliant flash of daylight had broken beneath the heaviness of the curtain and casted a thick beam that fell across his eyes, highlighting the bare rim of his face, his eyes to descend down and gazed to her.
"Yeah—doesn't sound right, does it?" He slowly shifted onto his stomach to where she lied, having his bare arms outline her frame in the sheets.
Although he had abandoned the hero's name not too long ago, she would always call him Robin. Robin's brow was heavy, letting a thick shadow fall upon his eyes when he grew stressed with work or grew in thought, complimented by a contemplative expression. However, his blue eyes shine through such shadows when he did not cover them with a mask. They held the expression of the child still. His bones shaping his cheek grew defined as well as his chin. However, his black hair still remained a mess without gel. He beamed down at her—always to call her Starfire.
"I thought about Hope—Raven too." He thought for a moment. "There was also Luna—after your mom."
Starfire beamed, closing her eyes for a moment. "They—" She began, "They are all glorious."
"But there is something else you are thinking about."
"Yes." She smiled. She placed a hand on his cheek.
"Starfire—" He furrowed, "I am surprised that you haven't mentioned 'Blackfire' yet."
Blackfire's memorial was held seven days after the wedding and three days before General Kro'kas. The service was held during the brightest of nights in honor of her name. Perhaps black's fire was the moon itself—the moon that undergoes various phases, sometimes even falling to darkness, but always manages to refill itself with light again. During the war, a villain became a hero revered for her sacrifice to save her sister. Her name was forever to be sacred, her past to be forgotten, and the memory of her to be loved—especially by a sister who clutched her heart throughout the whole ceremony. Often, Starfire found herself singing her song.
"'Blackfire' is glorious too." She assured, wrapping her arms around his neck, he to pull her up right. From him, she looked to her hand now tracing the sheets. "I have thought about her name many times."
"But?—" He retook her attention.
Her words were replaced with sirens that screeched throughout the room and hallway, they to quickly rise and scurry to the window, brows pushed down suspiciously. She turned back around and met him, his eyes high above her still looking on the horizon.
"I can go—I am well enough." She confirmed.
His expression was 'no way'—serious, fear hidden. However, he looked to her, hesitantly nodded, then dashed to the wardrobe. They raced for the balcony, Robin to jump of its edge, Starfire to catch him mid-flight, swiping him from gravity, a golden belt strapped around her waist. To the Titans' Tower, they went. Two year after the World's end, Robin and Starfire moved out of the tower, seeking more privacy from a certain few they liked to call the Titans—Raven was no exception. However, they did not make it too far: a giant metal island that had once fallen from space and into the city's bay now held their home.
Fast flying, they in seconds hit the rooftop, bolted to the latch to undo, then dove into the depths of the Tower. To the Ops Room, they ran, Beast Boy to slam his cards down when they arrived, huffing.
"Trouble Team!" Robin violently paced to the computer.
"Trouble?" Beast Boy pouted. "The trouble is that I lost the bet! Really?" He turned to Starfire. "No way you guys got here that fast. And it's Sunday! Team bonding day, team?"
"He's just mad because he lost twenty bucks to Raven." Cyborg rose, arms crossed.
"I bet thirty seconds—" She stoically ran her finger through a page of her book. "Beast Boy bet the minute. It's your fault anyway. Who bets twenty bucks?"
"Stop with the bets!" Robin punched his fist to the alarm, silencing it on both islands. "And stop sounding the alarm when there no crime activity! It's not to be played with."
Well—it got them out of bed." Cyborg mumbled to Raven and Beast Boy.
"What was that?" Robin retorted, glaringly, he to pace out of sight and dispose the clean dish in his hands.
"We didn't touch it." Beast Boy fell back into his chair, propping his feet upon the table. "City sounded it anyway. It's just a robbery. We let the tykes get it. Okay, Raven—how's this for a flush?" He pinned his cards proudly to the table.
"Do you even know what a flush is?"
"Guys," Robin stomped over, sat himself at the table, and eyed his team intently. "You are getting lazy. You always send the tykes to get them. Why don't you put down the chips and get to work? Beast Boy? I am looking at you." Oh, his look was stern.
"Hey, they need the training. Oh, and that's changeling, to you Robin."
"Yeah, sir?" A red suited boy stepped into the room. His uniform was baggy like his mask.
"That was quick." A sweet grin rose from Robin.
"Not really, sir. We were just in that area anyway. Just a burglary anyways."
"'Bout to do the paperwork and files. We will see."
"Sounding like a Robin, that is." Beast Boy muttered.
The past Robin rose, walked his way over to the boy, and fixed his mask, securing its position across his face. "You know." Robin spoke to the boy. "I wouldn't let these guys know your real identity. They could be the real enemies. Worst kind too—."
For a year now, Robin, Beast Boy and Cyborg second in command, had been training a new team of supers: a strong child, a super boy, a green alien with a voice like Starfire's, a wonder girl, and a special guest who bounced between Earth and Tamaran every other year. Robin was proud to place his brother-in-law on the team. However, the strong child's hard work and lack of powers earned him the Robin identity. Though his name was Tim, Robin was happy to hand down his name and begin the era of Nightwing. The lack of crime in post-war Jump City allowed the new team to rise, train, and take on the name of the Teen Titans. In addition, they took on the majority of the work. Their mentors though, the original five, still hung around. In the next year, the Tower would become the new team's. As a response, the original team soaked up the remaining minutes in the common room.
And in the common room, they remained.
That night, when the titan tykes had gone to sleep, they found themselves lying on the floor like the always did on Sundays—team bonding days, they called it. It was now a forever tradition engraved into the next generation of heroes. As the boys disputed, Starfire took a deep breath and flashed a gaze at the window, catching her reflection spilled upon the ground. Robin lied near. Looking out at her city, she recounted the times she's been there—in that very spot. For, each time carried a memory—a story attached to it that led with her returning to that same spot. She would always return—she knew this well. A smile rose from her. In the reflection's glare, Raven appeared and caught her attention.
"I sense seven in the room," she began, her voice calm. "But, I can only count six."
Slowly turning to her, Starfire's eyes against the ground, she smiled. Then, she proceeded to face her team. Robin drew up from his spot on the ground and drew near.
"Well—" Starfire began, the expression of her family gone wide, but ready to here this news. "Uh," she blushed, her words lost. "Friends, I am elated to inform you that I am with child. I am with child and she will be a girl." Happily, she looked to Robin who returned her gaze. "I apologize. The reason why we were late this morning was the for the sake of naming. Her name will be Mary—for Robin's mother and the meaning of the name. 'Of the stars and of the oceans,' it means." She beamed downwards, gently placing her hands upon her stomach. Her family gathered together jubilantly. "It is a symbol of the marriage of two worlds different than others." She paused, drew up her gaze, and smiled at her family. "Yes?"
Yes, a punctured heart endures a long recovery. Process is made, process is lost. Although the journey is long, whatever has been harmed will recover—in due time. Time was gone, time was then, and time was to come. Although time slipped through their fingers, time had secured Starfire into her home permanently. As well, time was to welcome the bond between two worlds who began the trouble's end: a child who bore the traits of Tamaran and Earth. Victorious, the heroine lied amongst her friend, embraced in their arms, her arms embracing them.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading. Refer back to chapter four for fully realized foreshadowing. I would like to redo this story in due time. However, I am working on a new story now. I call it "Touch." It will be dedicated to Robin and Starfire as well as the Titans' very beginning. Once again, thank you!