The night time air was fresh and cool with just a hint of salt, the breeze flowed across the ocean and through the city. Cars beeped, people moved along the streets, traffic lights changed colour. Everything normal and quiet.
She was watched, she could feel the gazes resting on her back, that itch between her shoulder blades she'd been told. So many eyes lurked in the city and tonight was no different.
No. That was a lie. Tonight was different because she was different.
She'd trained for this. She'd trained hard for this. Her whole life, an assortment of techniques, no quarter given for her powers. Hand to hand combat, grapnels, throwing stars, pressure points, communications, computers, analysis of scenarios, body language, weaponry. They wouldn't let her attempt this until they were sure she was ready.
There were vicious discussions, arguments and tears, but she said she was as old as he was when he started. It wasn't fair to keep this from her.
Even now, she knew on the night of her big debut, all her aunts and uncles, all her family, all of them would be watching from the shadows. To witness.
That was okay, because she was ready.
Even Damian would be watching. Damian who had already voiced his displeasure at her chosen outfit with his trademark click of his tongue and a cutting remark about how ill-suited and inappropriate it was. She wasn't going to let him get to her. He was so rude, just because he was a year older. Tonight was her night and he would eat his words.
Mom would be proud of her. She'd heard the story so many times, it was often used as an example of why she shouldn't want this, but it only made her want it more. She was sure she could change it. One day, one day she'd find her. One day she'd find a way to go back and stop what changed her father's life so dramatically. One day, she'd meet her and have a chance to know the wonderful woman her family talked about for herself.
Because that's what heroes did. They changed the world.
First, she had to get stronger. Older. Prove herself.
She crawled along the awning toward the edge, peering down into the city which was her home. Tonight was the night she would soar above it as someone new.
"Are you ready, Nightstar?"
She turned her head, smiling at her father. "I was born for this," she said and leapt over the side.
The night went green.
INSERT SEQUEL HERE
Yes. This is the last chapter of A choice made. But, it's okay. Look at that foreshadowing! Bask in it! –mad finger waving and oooh noises which would make Sokka proud-
From this point, it's not about Dick anymore, but Mar'i and her journey, which makes it prudent to end this story here.
I always intended this end, with Mar'i taking to the sky and stepping into Starfire's mantle. It did involve a rather snarky comment from Damian about her outfit and banter, and Nightwing being all parental and 'stop ogling my baby girl, you fiend, she's only ten!', but it didn't really hand the story over to Mar'i, so I removed it.
I've spent the last few chapters setting things up. Blackfire is back. Jason is back. Damian exists (for those who don't know, Damian is Bruce's one biological son, from Talia Ah Ghul). There is a complete lack of Babs (look at that suspicious absence, look at it.) Donna helped raise Mar'i. Raven thought about a deal with the devil. There were mentions of other children starting to appear.
The sequel would have been called 'A daughter's choice', and I have it half written in my mind. Blackfire would have featured prominently. So would Donna. Damian (Romance). But it would have been Mar'i's story to tell, and since that's technically no longer Teen Titans cartoon… well… I said this was my last and I mean it. All that good foreshadowing to waste. =(
'A choice made' evolved into a lot bigger of an undertaking than I expected but I have thoroughly enjoyed writing it. But, all good things must come to an end and thus my fanfiction career is at its end.
So, thank you for letting me share my imagination with you.