A/N: Hello my lovelies. This is fanfiction for one of my absolute favorite shows as a kid (really only for the who Starfire/Robin relationship shhh don't tell.) So read away! Yeah, it's really long. Sorry, I'm not great at this, but enjoy or not enjoy or flame me because flames roast my marshmallows and who doesn't like s'mores? NOT ME! Loves, Ana
Kori Anders woke on Sunday morning cheerier than usual. Usually she woke up rude and sarcastic, which she is known to be as a rule. Instead, she reveled in the peek of sunshine filtering through her curtains and rubbed the sleep from her eyes with a smile on her pretty face.
She rose from her cushy queen bed, which was built into her powder blue walls. She loved her cubby, the way she felt protected, nestled in the wall. She even had a screen she could slide across the opening, patterned with blue and white flowers, and she loved it.
Kori stretched and entered her bathroom, where she brushed out her long black hair. She opened a drawer and removed a metal tin, which she knew contained her blue eye contacts that she wore each day to cover her alien green eyes. All part of the act.
Next she donned her outfit of choice for the day—a pair of cuffed jean capris, her cream tee shirt with the blue bejewelled peter pan collar, and her blue boat shoes. She pulled her black locks into a high ponytail, and slipped in her favorite earring in the world.
It was a cuff earring that fit into the hole in her cartilage, with a chain that traveled from the cuff to a stud that she fit in her second ear lobe piercing. She had gotten it from Bruce for her seventeenth birthday, and she wore it often. She did her makeup, which was light. A shimmering peach on her lids, thick black liner as usual, and a hint of cherry lip gloss.
When Kori looked in the mirror after finishing her primping, she saw a gorgeous girl, with a punk rock style and a small diamond in her nose. No one would ever guess her who she was before.
Kori decended the stairs of Wayne Manor and searched for her family. She finally found them on the veranda, eating breakfast over a view of the maze of hedges and the skyline of Gotham City looming above.
Kori leaned on the open doorway and knocked softly. Her three family members smiled at her. Bruce spoke.
"Good morning, Sleeping Beauty. Won't you eat with us?" Bruce gestured to the opposite head of the table, across from him, where Alfred soon laid a steaming plate of Eggs Benedict.
Kori sat and looked around the table. To her left sat Selena, Bruce's girlfriend who lived at Wayne Manor and was loved by everyone. Selena had been there even longer than Kori. Selena was absolutely beautiful, and was like a big sister to Kori. She loved parties and social events and adored dressing up.
To her right sat Tim, Kori's adopted little brother. He had been adopted by Bruce when he was three, and he was a handsome fourteen year old now. Sweet and handsome, all the girls loved him and the tabloids never had a bad thing to say. Kori was where they tried to find their news, though Kori rarely did what the tabloids said she did. The tabloids said she was a wild party animal, which wasn't true. Kori didn't have time for the childish raves her model peers held, hard as they tried to get her to attend. Imagine, having Kori Anders, the fashion queen of Gotham, at your party. They also said she was a rebel. That was true. She rarely did what people told her. But most of the time, she was focusing on her modeling career and her little side job that the entire family took part in. The only people she had time for were her family and her best friend Dani. Dani Zurich was also a fashion icon of Gotham, and fit more to the wild party animal typecast, always urging Kori, the mysterious one, to get out more. But her agent said being mysterious will get her more jobs, so she didn't really do much.
Then there was Bruce. Bruce Wayne was the king of Gotham, if anyone was. He owned most of it, and knew it too. He was known to be a playboy and an arrogant jerk, but that wasn't it at all. They all had their covers. This was Bruce's. Kori was the arrogant punk supermodel, Tim was the sweetheart of Gotham, Selena was the shallow model, and Bruce was the jerk playboy who acted like he owned Gotham. Which he did, in more ways than one. In truth, Bruce Wayne was Batman, the Dark Knight who kept Gotham safe, with the help of a few others. Selena was Catwoman, the mysterious shadowy villain, who had actually changed sides and fought alongside with Batman now. Tim was Robin, Batman's willing side-kick. And Kori was Catgirl, Selena's beautiful, mysterious, shadowy, side-kick.
The gang would split up the work. If it was a high crime night, they would all take different solo jobs. If it was a medium crime night, they would team up in pairs of two. If it was a low crime night, only one of them would have to take out the criminals around the city. Their system worked well.
When Kori was done with breakfast, she looked up to see all three of her family members staring at her. Bruce cleared his throat, and immediately Kori's mood darkened. He was yelling at her.
"What?" Kori snapped. Tim and Selena looked at Bruce, who cleared his throat again and folded his hands on the table, preparing to speak.
"Alright, Kori. Now, when a family splits up, one never forgets the other part of the family, correct?" Kori nodded her head, warily. "Yes, so you don't stop loving the part of the family you don't see anymore, and—"
Kori was getting irritated. "Bruce, could you just spit it out?" Bruce sighed, having given up on the heartfelt, well rehearsed speech he was planning on giving.
"My adopted son, Richard Grayson, is going to be visiting Wayne Manor this week with his friends and I expect you to be on your best behavior."
Kori's jaw locked with anger. "But isn't Richard Grayson..." She trailed off. There was no need to finish the sentence. Everyone knew exactly who she was talking about.
Bruce nodded, and Kori took that as her cue. Kori abruptly sprung from her chair, sending the chair scraping forcefully on the porch's gray stone, and stormed from the table. She ran all the way up to her large white and powder blue room, slamming the door behind her.
Kori sat cross legged on her powder blue couch, holding a picture in her hands. It showed five teenagers. Two girls, one with blue hair and one with fiery red, and three boys. One boy was green and short, and one was a giant African American half-robot. And the third had raven hair, gelled up, and a mask that hid his eyes. Kori felt her throat close.
The memories came rushing back.
"Teen titans, go!" As Robin delivered the usual line, the five teens sprung into action to take down Plasmus, only soon they realized that there was nothing to take down. Instead, a girl stood covered in maroon goo, smiling and waving.
"Hi, my name's Kiki!"
Kiki told her story, of how she had been struck by lightning as a child and had gained the ability to electrify whatever she touches. She had taken down Plasmus singlehandedly.
Kiki was gorgeous, with platinum, thin blond hair down to her shoulders and doe brown eyes. Her lips were a faint pink, and she wore little makeup.
They had invited her to live with them.
She got along with everyone, even grouchy Raven. She meditated, she loved video games, she was a killer combat partner, and she was a vegetarian. She really was a part of the team, more than Starfire. And when Kiki paid her a visit after dinner, it just proved her right.
"Hey troqqie." She giggled her derisive little laugh. "Now, don't you belong somewhere else, like that filthy planet you came from?"
Starfire went to bed with tears in her eyes.
Kori rose from the flashback with tears prickling her eyes that were not memories at all. She had thought they were her friends. She was sorely mistaken. She felt her mind go back in time once again.
They were all fighting cinder block when it happened. Starfire had been doing well. But them she felt something electric course through her body and cause her to fall through the sky, knocking down Raven in the process. Raven's blast of energy was thrown of course by Starfire's fall, and was instead sent at Beast Boy, who was, at the time, a T-Rex. This caused Beast Boy to trip and fall on top of Robin, who was on his R-Cycle, mid-ride. Robin tumbled off the R-Cycle, which then spun free of him and drove right into Cyborg, who was knocked down. Cinderblock escaped while Kiki feigned unconsciousness on the ground.
In the dust from the mishap, the five others rose, quiet. And then all of a sudden, Robin started yelling his lungs out at Starfire, and the others looked on silently. Kiki sniffled as if she had been injured, even though Starfire knew for a fact that Kiki had caused her to fall mid-air and ruin the entire mission.
Starfire flew home as fast as she could, Robin still shrieking. The one thing she couldn't stand. The one thing she hated, was that as she heard him yelling at her, she had heard the word 'troq' more than once.
Kori was crying for real now. She picked up another picture, this one with Kiki in it, and everyone was smiling except for Starfire. Robin and Kiki were kissing in the photo.
Starfire didn't leave her room the evening of the botched mission. That afternoon, Kiki had told her friends that Starfire had hit her with a Starbolt and knocked her unconscious. Starfire kept telling them it wasn't true, but no one except Raven would believe her. They all told her that the least she could do is be honest about accidentally blowing the whole operation, but no amount of words could convince them that she already was. Kiki was too good an actress.
At eleven thirty at night, when she was sure everyone was asleep, she headed to the kitchen to find something to eat. She ate her food silently and quickly, and headed back to her room. As she headed back, she heard voices. She ducked behind a door, the training room, and watched two figures pass.
Starfire slunk behind the figures. It was Robin and Kiki. Starfire followed behind them all the way to the roof and felt her throat close. That was supposed to be her and Robin's place. Why was he taking Kiki, a girl he'd barely known for a week, there?
At the top, she listened to the conversation.
"I can't believe that troq actually tried to kill me. I was so scared." Starfire waited for Robin to defend her, to say that she would never do that, but it never came. Instead, Robin gathered Kiki into his arms, comforting her.
"Hey, hey, it's okay. I will make sure she doesn't hurt you again. Shh, it's okay."
And that's when she watched Kiki pull Robin into a passionate kiss. At first Robin seemed startled and tried to get her off his face, but then he melted into her. Starfire left and cried herself to sleep, more depressed than ever.
As the weeks passed, Starfire's powers waned. Robin eventually banned her from missions, calling her a troq and saying she wasn't pulling her weight and had grown weak. Kiki and Robin became an official couple, even thoguh all they did was kiss and kiss and kiss all the time.
Starfire planned her escape late one night, but her efforts did not go unnoticed by a certain half demon.
"Star? Can I come in?"
"Yes, friend Raven, you can come in."
Raven entered her pink room and sat next to Starfire on her bed.
"Please don't go, Star."
"You believe I did not actually hit friend Kiki with my starbolt, yes?"
Raven was silent for a moment. "Of course. But why else would she fall to the gorund?"
"I do not know, Raven. I just know that I do not just fall for no reason. Why was I knocked out of the sky? What could've knocked both Kiki and I from our flying positions?"
Raven didn't say anything.
"See? That's why I have to go. I am not trusted anymore. Do me a favor and not tell anyone I am gone for a week. I'm sure no one will notice."
Starfire picked up the bag she had so carefully packed. It held all the pictures of the team together, even when Starfire was unhappy. It had her old uniform, and Starfire wore a pair of normal clothes and sunglasses so she wouldn't be recognized on her way out of the city.
Raven grabbed her arm the second before she left her room.
"Starfire, I won't stop you from going."
"That is good. Because you would not be successful anyhow."
"But I want to tell you how sorry I am. I am sorry we didn't trust you, sorry we mistreated you so badly. Sorry we ever trusted Kiki."
Starfire smiled. "Thank you, Raven. I will miss you, sister."
With that, Starfire left her room, and the tower, unnoticed by anyone.
Kori thought back to when she had reached Gotham and had stumbled onto Batman in action and he had taken her in. She regained her powers eventually, but she rarely used them in fear of being recognized. In fear that somehow, the Teen Titans would find out that Kori Anders, Catgirl, and Starfire were all the same person. And now it seemed they were sure to find out.
Meanwhile, at Titans Tower, the gang was packing. Or well, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven, and Robin were packing. Kiki was flipping through a fashion magazine. On the cover was a picture of Kori Anders, unsmiling and looking beautiful.
Raven and Beast Boy entered the room and their eyes fell on the magazine.
"Woah, who is that? Talk about a babe! Mmmm, cut me off a piece of that."
Beast Boy drooled over the picture of Kori, naturally not recognizing Starfire behind the new features and the heavy makeup.
Robin and Cyborg entered just as Raven responded in her normal monotone.
"She most likely has the IQ of a pile of rocks. And I wouldn't get too attached. What makes you think she would go for you?"
Kiki rolled her eyes and moved, so that the two teens wouldn't be peering over her shoulder.
"That's Kori Anders. She is the most famous supermodel of this century, next to Selena Kyle, of course. But she's rarely seen in public, and no one even knows where she lies. She doesn't even go to school. Her and her best friend, Dani Zurich, who is also a supermodel, take lessons from a private tutor."
The team dropped the topic and put on their disguises. Kiki needed none, and neither did Robin or Raven, save for changing into civilian clothes. Cyborg and Beast Boy donned the rings that changed their appearances. Cyborg became a fully human, gigantic, muscley, African American teen, and Beast Boy became a scrawny, tan, blonde boy with a sort of surfer air about him.
They all left the tower, ready to meet Robin's past.
Kori's pity party was interrupted by a knock on the door at noon.
"It's Tim. Please let me in."
Kori sighed. She loved her little brother, and couldn't say no to him. She opened her door and let Tim in.
"How are you?"
Tim and Kori sat on her blue couches, while Kori flicked on the television to a 90's sitcom.
"How do you think I am? I was under the impression that I would never have to see them again. Bruce promised I would never have to see them again."
Tim sighed. "You didn't think you could hide from them forever at Batman's house, could you?"
Kori grumbled and looked away.
"Well, anyway, Bruce is giving you permission to not be around when they arrive. Thanks to me. But he said you better be on time to dinner tomorrow night or he will personally murder you and make it look like an accident."
"As I would expect. Tell him... tell him I'm sleeping over at Dani's, 'kay? And when they come tomorrow, don't let any of them in my room, got it?" Tim nodded and gave her a hug to comfort her, then disappeared. Kori called her best friend. She answered on the very first ring.
"Hey, bitch!" Kori laughed. Caller ID always let Dani know it was her favorite bitch in the world calling.
"Dani? I need a distraction. Can I crash at yours tonight?"
"Duh! Oh, except I have this photo shoot in three hours. Tag along?"
Kori smiled. "You know, I think that's exactly what I need right now." She needed to immerse herself back in her business. Something to remind her why she is so much happier here than she was in Jump City.
"Awesome! I'll pick you up and we will go shopping before we head to the shoot. Bring your credit card! See you in twenty."
Kori hung up her phone, excited. She quickly packed up an overnight bag filled with all her makeup and her change of clothes for the next day.
Twenty minutes later, Kori and Dani sat in Dani's Ford Thunderbird convertible. Kori loved the car. It was old fashioned, and in a light sky blue.
The two sat singing their lungs out to the song on the radio, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," and Kori couldn't help but muse about how fitting a song it was for her relationship with a certain boy wonder.
Kori and Dani hit all the good stores, accumulating entire closet-fulls of clothes, most in dark colors and rock styles.
Dani Zurich had gorgeous, waist length, white blonde hair, with dyed blue ends about two inches thick. Her hair was currently tied up in a messy bun. She wore a black crop top, highly distressed super light wash jeans, with a pair of red pumps with a studded heel. The two of them together were fashion icons even off the camera.
While shopping, the girls also bought multiple chick flicks, popcorn, ice cream, and bucket loads of candy. Normally they wouldn't be such pigs, but Kori had told Dani that she was under a shit load of stress and that she seriously needed a distraction. That was true. She just didn't elaborate as to what that stress was caused by.
"Alright, so the shoot today is for Avarice, got it?" Dani sipped the caramel macchiato they had gotten on a coffee run. Kori nearly choked.
"Holy shit! You got a shoot with Avarice Magazine? That's awesome! That's like, the fashion bible for every model and designer out there!"
Dani squealed, something she didn't normally do. "I know! And guess what! I called ShiShi, and she called Avarice, and they said they would be ecstatic if they could do a shoot of the both of us! Like a model best friends thing! We are going to be on the cover of Acarice magazine!"
This time Kori squealed too, something even more rare than a Dani squeal.
"You know what we have to do, now, don't you?"
Dani smiled and nodded, and changed their course from the photoshoot to a tattoo parlor.
Every time one of them past a fashion modeling milestone, they got another body piercing. They started with matching nose rings and then first piercings in the lobe. They they just worked their way up their ears.
They both had seven. They held hands tight as they got their cartilage pierced at the exact same time. This would be their last piercings. You couldn't get any higher than Avarice.
They cried after, the both of them. They signed autographs, they sang at the top of their lungs in their car on their way to the photo shoot, and Kori remembered why she would never ever go back to the Titans.
The photo shoot started at three with hair and makeup. Normally hair and makeup is a long and dull process, but it was fun to laugh and chat with Dani while they were primped and preened. Not to mention the stylists kept cracking jokes and joining in the conversation.
Next they got dressed. Their first outfits were party dresses. Dani's dress was a backless black halter with a belly button-low v neck line and embellished pockets. Kori's was completely sequined all over, and had three quarter sleeves and a boat neck neckline. The skirt was full, and fell above her knees, with a fat black sash around the waist that made a huge bow in the back. She wore with the dress a pair of to die for multi-color heels in shades of blue and purple.
Next they changed into pantsuits. Kori's black pantsuit's blouse had a scandalously deep v neck on the front and high waisted pants and black heels. Dani's was exactly the same except hers was light beige. They wore fedoras and held fake shotguns, as if they were policemen.
Then they wore casual outfits. Dani wore a bright red skirt that fell to her knees in the front and touched the floor in the back, with a white button up blouse. On top of that she wore a long brown coat and a red scarf around her head.
Kori wore a white tee shirt with a faint yellow tinge to it, with a blue pleated skirt. She also wore a fat necklace with both yellow and blue beads and a black leather jacket. Both girls wore high heeled boots, Dani's ankle boots, and Kori's combat boots.
The shoot continued as such.
The next morning Kori arrived at Wayne Manor at noon and didn't run into anybody on her way to her room.
She and Dani had stayed up all night watching horror movies and eating candy, so Kori's eyes drooped unattractively.
Once in her room, she literally collapsed in her bed, sliding the screen shut, and sleeping until five in the evening. Then she had to get ready for dinner, where she would meet her old friends for the first time in years.
She started by picking a dress. She chose one of her favorites. It was a strabless dress with a sweetheart neckline. The top was pristine white, and the skirt, which fell to above her knee, was black lace. A thin white belt cinched at her stomach.
She then did her makeup. She chose a smoky eye, with heavy winged black eyeliner and dark shadow that brought her crystal blue eyes magnificently. A dark red lipstick added to the look.
She pinned back the front of her waist length black hair to her temples. She curled it so that it bounced in waves.
She painted her nails cherry red and slipped on a pair of black heels. She added a pair of fierce red gigantic drop earrings and a matching necklace. Her heels were classic black stilettos with red layered cloth on the top of the heel. She looked in the mirror. She looked hot, and was ecstatic with the final result. Robin would eat his heart out, not that he would know it was her.
She wondered what they were doing right now. It had been difficult to enter Wayne Manor, in fear that she would run into the Titans who arrived earlier that morning. But mysteriously, she had not seen a soul as she hurried to her room, laden with her shopping bags from the day before.
As dinner approached quickly, Kori picked up the phone and called Bruce.
"Bruce, where are the Titans? I came home and nobody was here..."
"I took them around town to see the sights. One of them seemed very excited when she saw a spread of you in a magazine. She doesn't know that you are my adopted daughter. She will probably be very surprised."
Kori grimaced. It's gotta be Kiki.
"Well Bruce, would you mind if I asked Dani to come to dinner, too? Just for emotional support? I haven't told her anything, I will just tell her that they are some old friends who I don't like."
Bruce grumbled. "Kori..."
"Alright fine, but she better be on her good behavior too or you will both be in trouble."
Kori exhaled, relieved. She would need the emotional support.
"Thanks Bruce, see you in an hour."
Then Kori texted Dani, who arrived a bit later in a gorgeous red halter dress with a white, yellow, and blue geometrically patterned skirt.
You're coming to dinner, bitch. Look pretty or face the mighty wrath of Bruce Wayne.
Both Dani and Kori looked amazing, and with their grand entrance quickly approaching, they both got very excited.
The time had come. It was six thirty, and Bruce had called for Kori and Dani to join them in the foyer so they could all enter the dining room together.
Dani went first and Alfred helped her down the stairs, but Kori froze when it as her turn. She couldn't move. Dani called up the stairs.
"Bitch get down the stairs before I come up and kick your sorry ass down them."
Kori took a deep breath and made the first step.
Down the stairs she went, steady on her feet, a stony expression on her face. They wouldn't recognize her. If it weren't the new appearance, it would be the new attitude. Her English was better. She swore. She was rude. They would never recognize her.
Her chin in the air, she saw the first glimpse of the Titans.
Robin looked handsome in a black suit and tie with a red dress shirt. He wore no mask.
Cyborg's pinstripe blue suit and blue tie were classy.
Beast Boy wore a green dress shirt and tie with a brown leather jacket, and a pair of khaki's. He looked handsome with his blonde hair gelled up.
Raven looked absolutely stunning in a navy blue strapless dress with a full skirt and black heels. Her hair was as usual.
And lastly Kori's eyes fell on Kiki, wearing a skin tight, strapless, hot pink dress that looked like a band-aid and white heels. Her eyes stared at Kori and Dani adoringly, and Kori was disgusted. Kiki was hanging off of Robin like he was the second coming and Kori felt bile rising in her throat. She looked away from the scene, though Robin's eyes were boring into her own.
Bruce spoke to break the silence. "And this is my daughter, Korina Anders." Kori nodded to the group as Kiki erupted in squeals.
"Oh my gosh, I can not believe that you are Bruce's daughter! You are my favorite celebrity ever and I loved that spread you did in Hotbox Magazine! I personally wrote a letter to Avarice magazine to let you be on the cover, but they never answered..."
Dani interrupted. "Maybe it was the annoying attitude. That would drive me to drink spending time with you. Besides, Kori and I just did a cover shoot for Avarice without your help."
Dani crossed her arms. She clearly didn't like Kiki any more than Kori did. Kori smiled and dragged Dani by the arm into the dining room, holding in a laugh.
"C'mon, Bruce. Let's eat." Kori laughed with Dani as they sat.
Dinner went fairly smoothly, but only because Dani was there to pull Kori through. Every time Kiki made a disgusting kiss ass remark, Dani would have a clever snub in her pocket and Kori couldn't be more grateful.
As much as Kori wanted the dinner to be over so that she could go to bed, Selena's beeper went off and she shot Kori a furtive look. The night would be extended; there was trouble, and Catwoman and Catgirl would have to be on the case, unwilling though they may be.
Selena leaned over and whispered in Bruce's ear, whom then leaned over to Kori and whispered in her ear.
"You've got to get rid of Miss Zurich, Kori. I don't care how, just do it."
Then he wiped his mouth with a napkin.
"What was that?"
"He said he wants you to clear out so that my 'friends' and I can catch up. Sorry, he's a bastard, I know."
Dani smirked. "Whatever. I'll go." Dani stood up and addressed the dinner party. "Now I hear that I have to kick my own ass out, so see you. Great meal, though, Alfred old buddy, old pal. You've truly outdone yourself."
Dani patted Alfred on the back as she strutted out the door, and Kori had trouble suppressing a laugh.
Once the door was sufficiently closed, Bruce turned to his dinner guests. "Alright, we have some pressing matters to attend to, so we will have to make up for this another night. I am deeply sorry."
Robin turned to Bruce with a sly smile. "C'mon Bruce, that trick won't work on me. I know you too well. Don't worry, we brought some things in case something like this occurred."
Ten minutes later, dressed in her Catgirl uniform, Kori was exiting her room when she ran into Raven. Great, the one person who had the power to figure out who she was if she looked hard enough, the empath, was the one Kori had to run into.
"So you're Catgirl…" Raven looked her up and down incredulously.
"Don't look too excited. Where are your little friends, Raven?" Kori put on her best bitch face. The less 'Starfire' she acted, the better.
Raven looked affronted. "Let's see how little they are when they end up doing your job. I should think it would be too dangerous to let Catgirl Barbie out of her box." Raven delivered her line in her trademark monotone, which made it seem all that more insulting to Kori.
"You're gonna regret that later, demon girl."
Kori walked away, sort of hating herself for what she had said to Raven, the only friend she had back at the Tower when she was still Starfire. But then again, what had changed? Starfire and Kori had the same face and body—why was Kori only recognized as a Barbie doll now?
Raven was wondering something very different. Like how Robin promised he wouldn't tell Bruce about her being part demon. And how a girl they had only just met could figure that out from one conversation and a quiet dinner. Her eyes drifted to Kori's door, which stood ajar.
"I think I'll sit this mission out." She said to no one in particular. "Hey, Robin?"
After Raven watched the Batmobile disappear from view, she hastened to Kori's door, which was still wide open. Quietly, even though there was no one in the house but her and Alfred, who she could hear fiddling in the kitchen, Raven tiptoed into Kori's room, desperate to find anything on her, anything at all. She used her powers to pull out drawers, open locks, and sift through papers. That was when she found the box. Hidden in Kori's closet, no amount of Raven's magic could open it. She jiggled it to figure out what sort of things were inside it, and she heard the slither of papers shifting.
And then Alfred walked in. "Miss, I say this keeping in mind that you are the Wayne Family's guest. I must ask you to leave Miss Anders' room."
Raven frowned. "She's hiding something, sir, in this box. Why else would she make it so impossible to open that even I, with my powers, can't open it?"
"Miss Anders likes her privacy."
"Well, if she's a danger to my team, then I have a right to know."
Alfred paused. "I assure you, you are the last person on this planet that Miss Anders intends to harm. She is no more a threat than I."
Raven nodded. Alfred clearly wasn't telling her something, but there was nothing she could do about it. If she ignored his request, it would be blatantly rude. She would have to approach Kori later, do her best to subtly grill her.
Maybe she would find something out, maybe she wouldn't.
Kori and the rest of them got all the way out to the bank, beat up the bad guys, and they were out of there in a matter of minutes. As much as Kori hated admitting it, the Titans were a big help. They cut the work in half, at least, even without Raven. Kiki hung back to talk to her after, but Kori ignored her, hopped on her motorcycle, and got home before everyone else.
When she got home, she immediately took a shower to clear off all the dirt and rubble from her skin. When she got out, she found Tim sitting at her desk, waiting for her.
"Are you going to tell them, Kori?"
Tim was holding a picture in his hand, a picture from the box. "How did you get that?" Kori grabbed the picture from his hand and put it back in the open box.
I found your necklace, the Tameranian one. I just wanted to see what you looked like before all this happened. I wanted to see what you looked like when you were happy."
"I am happy, Tim." Kori sighed and held the box in her lap.
"It doesn't seem like it. Can you even make starbolts or fly anymore?" Tim stared at her in disbelief.
"Of course I can. I am a little rusty, but I still can. I choose not to. Too many bad reminders…"
Tim sighed. "I'm not saying you should forgive them, but you could try explaining to them why you left, instead of leaving them wondering."
At this moment, Raven was passing by, and she paused when she heard her name.
"Raven already does. I think she told the rest of them, but I don't know. Honestly, I don't care."
"Alright, Kori. I can't force you to do anything, and I won't say anything if you don't want me to. But I think you should. That's all I have to say."
Raven backed from the door as Tim left, and she vanished back to her own room to think about what she'd heard.
Meanwhile, Kori opened the door to her balcony and stood looking up at the stars, doing nothing but staring at the stars. She thought about all the happy times with Dani and when Bruce and Selena adopted her. It was enough.
Her feet rose from the ground a few inches, but her hands would not glow green with energy. Patience was a virtue Kori didn't have, unfortunately.
And the next window over, Raven watched with her eyes wide.
The next morning at breakfast, Kori was tired, more tired than usual. Her head ached, and she was pretty sure it had everything to do with her using her powers for the first time in years. It felt great having power again, but she should've started smaller instead of flying around her room for an hour the night before.
She was surprised she had enough happiness while her ex-team mates were boarding in her house to let her fly. She could only get about an inch or two off the ground, and her starbolts still weren't working, but flight certainly was a start.
But was the headache worth it.
After breakfast, where Kori ignored the Titans, she went upstairs and opened her box.
The box was a Tamaranean specialty, only able to open to a Tameranean with powers. However, when Kori's powers first started vanishing, when she was still trying to get over the Titans, she put as much of her power as she could into a key, so that if her powers didn't come back, she could still open the box. It was fully functional as a keepsake treasure chest, and she hid the key with its chain around her neck. The day before, when she went to take a shower, she must have left it on her desk, meaning Tim had access to her box.
As she looked through all the old memories, she couldn't help but wonder if she ought to tell the Titans whom she was, why she never came back. But how would they react? They would want her to come back, she was sure of it. But she was never going back there. Ever.
There was a quiet knock on the door and Raven's head peeked in.
"Hi, Kori. I just wanted to apologize for fighting with you last night. Can I come in?"
Kori sighed. "Why not?"
Raven sat on a couch, and Kori hastily tried to put the box away. But she watched Raven's eyes fix on it, and she knew what was coming.
"What's in there?"
"Nothing. Old junk."
"So why is it so heavily protected?" Raven's arms were crossed. She didn't feel like being subtle anymore.
"I thought you came in here to apologize."
"Don't change the subject. What's in there that I apparently already know about? I heard you and Tim talking about it. About something I already know about, something I 'told the rest of them."
Kori was getting angry. "You were snooping at my door?"
"No, I was passing by and I heard my name. Now tell me what is going on."
"It's none of your business, Raven!"
"You made it my business when you started being a female dog to my team and I!"
"No more of a female dog than you, Raven? Catgirl Barbie? That's low, even for demon spawn!" Kori's hands were heating up.
"How do you even know that? Have you been spying on my team, looking for weaknesses to take us down?"
"Oh give it up, Raven! I couldn't care less about your little team of misfits!" Kori's hands were full out glowing green, and Raven was staring at them, at Kori, making the connection. "I haven't cared for two years. Two years! And now you all decide to come back into the life I so carefully tried to build, without you guys might I mention, and it seems you are all just trying to remind me why I was never a real part of the team anyway. I'm Catgirl Barbie, remember? The one who shouldn't even be allowed out of her box. Are you happy now, Raven? Now that you've discovered my secret?" Kori was breathing heavily; Raven was staring at her in awe.
"Starfire? What happened to you?" Raven didn't make a habit of crying a lot, but tears were gathering in her eyes. "What have we done to you?"
"It's Kori now. Kori Anders, or Koriand'r, my birth name. In English, it means Starfire." Kori sighed. "Raven, it took all my willpower to treat you the way that I did. I needed to be the opposite of Starfire, the fumbling weak alien. I had to be tougher than that. You were never bad to me Raven, and I was never angry with you. I knew you of all people would figure out that there was something different about me, so I had to lead you off my case. What happened after I had gone?"
Raven smiled through the tears. "Well, we all sort of freaked out on Robin. Beast Boy and Cyborg don't really talk to him all that much anymore. We still fought and won battles and there were times when everything felt okay, but it wasn't the same with you gone. You were what brought us together in the first place, remember?"
Kori nodded. "After I left, I flew for days until I wound up on a rooftop here in Gotham. Bruce saw me, recognized my name when I told him whom I was, and he invited me into his home, as his daughter. I dyed my hair, and I became a model. Everything was fine until you guys showed up again."
Raven nodded. "I'm sorry we ruined it. I won't tell the rest of them. But I was wondering, are you going to tell them?"
Kori shrunk back into her shell. "I don't know. Maybe Cyborg and Beast Boy, but I don't think I could handle telling Robin, not after…"
Raven nodded. "What do you want me to do? I don't think I can keep a secret like this from Beast Boy or Cyborg. I mean, they would realize that something was up."
"I won't ask you to lie, Raven, just promise me you won't tell them anything. If they are suspicious, just send them to me and I will try to explain. I just want to do this on my own terms."
Raven nodded. "Do you want to go out, get away from the mansion for a bit? I know I'm going to regret this later, but would you want to go to the mall? Do something you used to love? It might help you get your starbolts back…"
Kori was wonderstruck. "You're kidding. You want to go to the mall?"
Raven rolled her eyes at Kori's astonishment but smiled a teensy weensy bit.