Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ Astarte Of Azarath ❯ Astarte and Neith ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The rain beat furiously against her black hood as she floated above the small island. A sharp crack of lightning lit the sky and the stranger's shadowy figure. Her face was scarred with worry and her arms and legs hung limply as if their owner couldn't be bothered with them at the moment. Shabby purple bangs hung delicately in her bright green eyes as she scanned the T-shaped tower below her. She blended back into the night as darkness settled in around her once again. Only her pale face showed her whereabouts. Not that anyone would be looking for her. She knew the one she sought was there. She had to be there. But would she help her? Could she dare hope she would be happy to see her again? Or, as was more likely, would she be furious at her for wandering so far from home? Would she be scolded for seeking help?
"She can't scold you." she reminded herself quietly. "You're the oldest."
She lowered herself to the large window on the vertical part of the tower and peered in. She marvelled at the objects inside for a moment, noting that she was certainly living in comfort here. A horror movie was playing on a big screen TV and someone was sleeping on the couch, one leg thrown over the back in what surely must have been an uncomfortable position. She phased through the glass silently and floated daintly over to see who the occupant was. She recoiled slightly at the sight of a green boy drooling as he clutched a throw pillow. As strange and interesting as this sight was she didn't have time to stare. She wouldn't want to be discovered before she found her. She lowered herself to the floor gently, feet silent as they touched the soft carpet. Just as she was walking away a scream erupted from the TV and the boy let out a cry of surprise as he fell from the couch. She phased into the aforementioned piece of furniture just as he popped his head back up to look around.
"Funny." he muttered, climbing back onto the couch. "Thought I saw someone."
The girl crouching just beneath him listened as footsteps approached and faded halfway through the floor in fear.
"Beast Boy! What's wrong?" a boy's voice called as the footsteps stopped.
"Yes please tell us, are you injured?" a concerned voice followed. A girl this time.
"Nah. It was just the movie I guess."
"You should have gone to bed like the rest of us." a cool voice scolded.
A voice she knew well. She gasped in surprise at the sound of it and fell face foreward. Before she could catch herself her head hit the floor outside the couch and everyone stared down at her in utter shock. Beast Boy's jaw hung open at the sight.
"Astarte!" Raven exclaimed.
"Umm....hi Raven." she whispered, blushing.
She was halfway through the floor and only her head was emmerging from the back of the couch. This was definently not the way she had wanted to make her prescence known. She had wanted to find her room and wake her up so they wouldn't have an audience when they reunited. A fair thing to ask for when she wasn't sure how Raven was going to react to her visit. What's more all the excitement and her surprise at hearing Raven's voice once more had thrown her powers off.
"Can you give me a hand? I think I'm stuck in your floor."
Raven's eyes were full of fury as she gazed down at her. So she was angry. She never should have expected anything else. She averted her eyes as she kneeled in front of her and pushed her hood back to expose her short purple hair, a shade lighter than her own. She was making it alot harder not to look at her and she could feel her eyes boring into the top of her head as she studied the carpet intently. Finally she spoke with such authority and anger that she was forced to meet her eyes.
"Astarte. You shouldn't be here."
"Could we talk about this after I get out of the couch. Please?"
"Do it yourself." she whispered.
The other Titans watch as she stood and took a few steps away. Tears filled Astarte's eyes as she tried to tug her legs free. Her attempts proved futile and she collapsed to the floor again in frustration.
"Raven, please?! I'm stuck!"
"Raven, maybe you should-"
Raven turned to glare at Robin, her four demon eyes glowing red.
"She has to do it herself!"
"Raven!" she sobbed. "Please Raven?! It hurts! Please come back?! I'm sorry! Please help me!?"
Raven's shoulders drooped as her face returned to normal, human eyes softening slightly. However she still refused to look at Astarte as she sobbed and pulled at her legs. She didn't even flinch when the radio flew into the wall and shattered. The couch sparked black and beams of energy suddenly shot from the cushions, throwing Beast Boy into the TV with a scream of agony. He fell to the ground and didn't move, black energy flickering around him like electricity. Star Fire let out a squeek of surprise as she barely dodged a stray bolt of energy. All the smaller objects around the room suddenly rose and began to circle around the couch on the current of her energy. Raven's face suddenly became shrouded in shadows though she wasn't wearing her cloak. Her eyes began to glow red again and her voice, when she spoke, was one of a demonic tone.
"Astarte, calm down this instance! Remove your legs from my floor and explain yourself now!"
The objects spinning around their heads suddenly fell to the ground as Astarte gasped and looked up into Raven's enraged face. The torrent of energy had stopped and she was shivering under the couch. However it didn't seem to help her concentrate on freeing herself. Raven's face returned to normal once more only the expression was apologetic now. She kneeled in front of her and placed a hand on her head gently.
"I'm sorry Astarte. I didn't mean to frighten you."
Astarte only squeezed her eyes shut tight and disappeared into the couch again. Her usual reaction to Raven's anger was to run but that didn't seem to be an option at the moment. Hiding was almost as good though. Her security was short-lived however because when she opened her eyes again Raven was standing in front of her, legs as far into the floor as her own.
"I said I was sorry."
"It's okay." she muttered, still slightly frightened.
"Concentrate Astarte. You can do this. You've gotten stuck before and you always get out. You just have to concentrate."
"Kay."
She took three deep breathes and closed her eyes before attempting to clear her mind. She tried to let her thoughts run their course until they faded away into nothing but the fury on Raven's face was burned to the back of her eyelids and a cold voice was echoing through her mind. She tried again but that voice was coming out of Raven's demonic face now. Raven was taunting her. Insulting her. In that voice. That horrible voice.
"I can't do it! I can't find the Perfect Peace!"
"Calm down. You won't find it shouting."
Astarte opened her eyes and stared down into Raven's sadly. Her voice came, barely a whisper.
"Please...I keep hearing his voice. I can't do it. Please?"
Raven wasn't quite sure whose voice it was that haunted her. There were so many possibilities with a person like Astarte. She didn't even want to think about all the people she'd met since they'd parted ways. But whoever it was she took pity on her and grabbed her arms. As she floated out so did Astarte, her legs finally free from the cold painful grip of the floor. Raven released her arms and she rubbed one of them, casting her gaze downward. She didn't want to look at any of them, most especially Raven. Surely she was even angrier now than she was before. The demonic voice she'd used had frightened her and now these strangers were staring at her. She'd never felt so uncomfortable in her whole life. It was a timid cheerful voice that rang through the silence first.
"Shall we.....shake the hands?"
"Yeah Raven. Introduce us to your friend."
"This is Astarte. Astarte, this is Robin, Cyborg, Star Fire, and Beast Boy. He's the one you injured by the way."
Beast Boy was sitting on the floor in front of the TV, rubbing his head in confusion. Small bolts of energy were still sparking around him from time to time. Before anyone knew what was happening Astarte had leapt over the couch and thrown her arms around his neck.
"I'm sorry Mr. Beast Boy! I didn't mean to harm you!"
The others gave Raven questioning looks but she merely rolled her eyes and grabbed Astarte's hood, jerking her away from a grinning Beast Boy. She turned her around so she could stare at her and she turned her eyes away again.
"Why are you here Astarte?" she demanded. "You know you shouldn't be here. Go back to where you belong."
"I can't." she whispered. "I need your help Raven."
"Why don't you ask the aid of your many friends? Have they all deserted you?"
"I....need your help. Please?"
"What is it you need help with?"
"Can I...stay with you for a little while?"
"Why?"
"I need help."
"With what Astarte?!" she shouted in frustration.
"My powers!" she squeeked. "My powers."
"You always need help with your powers. I'm not the only one that can help you. Go home and seek help there."
"I can't go home. I need your help." she repeated firmly.
Robin grinned and put a hand on Astarte's slender shoulder, causing her to flinch slightly.
"Any friend of Raven's is a friend of ours. We don't mind, right guys?"
"I know I don't." Beast Boy said, grinning again as Star Fire and Cyborg nodded.
Raven stared at Astarte with what almost seemed like hatred before turning her eyes away. She sighed slightly before turning them back to her.
"Stay then. But if you endanger my friends...."
She let it hang and Astarte shook her head frantically.
"It won't happen! I promise! I don't do that anymore!"
"Uh....why don't we show Astarte the guest room." Robin suggested. "She can sleep-"
"No!" Raven interrupted. "She sleeps in my room."
"But we have plenty of-"
"No." she whispered, glaring. "I have to watch her. She's my responsibility. As usual."
Astarte's eyes were downcast again as Raven turned to leave. Her wet cloak flopped around her legs as she followed her, leaving the others in bewildered silence. Once the door closed behind them she dropped the cold cloak to the floor and practically pounced on Raven who as perusual did not return the affectionate embrace but tolerated it nonetheless.
"I missed you!"
"I missed you too I suppose." Raven admited begrudgingly. "It's hard not to miss a sister. No matter how annoying."
"I agree! Why didn't you tell the others who I was? Haven't you told them about me?"
"No!" she snapped, causing Astarte to let go in surprise. "I haven't. Why would I?"
"Do I bring you that much shame Sister?"
"Yes! I know there's more to this. You've gotten into real trouble this time, haven't you? That's why you want to stay here. Or would hide be a better word? Change and come to bed!" she snapped, leaving no room for a reply.
She turned her back to her so she could change and waited a moment. There was a prickling sensation in her skin and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. She turned to see Astarte reaching into a black hole in the middle of the air. Raven's eyes got wide and she threw a hand out at her sister, pushing her to the ground. She was grasping another black cape and a necklace in one hand. The hole automatically closed when she hit the floor. She sat up and rubbed her elbow, tears gathering in her eyes.
"Raven, you hurt me." she whimpered, hugging the cloak close to her face in attempts to hide her tears.
"You shouldn't use that here! You know it's dangerous!"
"But I needed clothes."
"I meant my clothes, Astarte! My clothes! That thing could hurt my friends! I couldn't care less if you want to risk your life but you won't risk theirs!"
"I'm sorry."
"You never think before you act Astarte! You're so....stupid!"
"I'm not stupid! Stop calling me stupid! I hate you!"
She gasped and covered her mouth with her hands, dropping her cloak and necklace in the process. The small black jewel hit the carpet and bounced under the bed as Raven's eyes filled with surprise and pain. Astarte scrambled to her feet and threw her arms around Raven's stiff shoulders.
"I'm sorry Sister! I didn't mean it! I promise! I didn't!"
"You've never even...gotten angry with me before." she whispered, still not returning Astarte's affections.
"I'm sorry. I....I've just been having mood swings since you left."
Raven pushed her arms away and crawled into bed silently, back turned to her once again.
"Just don't use that thing here. It's dangerous."
Astarte sighed and changed into some of Raven's clothes which were a little tight around the chest area but she could deal with it for now. She would have to. She crawled into bed beside her and they slept with their backs to one another. Neither even said goodnight. Astarte doubted Raven would have said anything in return if she had. But despite the fact that they were at odds at the moment Astarte couldn't help but feel at ease for the first time in a long time. She couldn't ever remember sleeping so well and she almost wished the night would never end. Unfortunately time control was not among her many half developed powers and the sun soon found it's way into the room through a crack in Raven's heavy curtains. It shone directly into her eyes and she couldn't ignore it for long. She sat up slowly and rubbed her eyes. She almost couldn't remember where she was. Raven was gone and so were her wet clothes. Her wet cloak had been dried and was folded at the bottom of the bed with her other one. She stands and stretches. As she bends over to touch her toes she caught a glimpse of black and dropped to her knees to retrieve the small jewel she'd dropped last night. She held it in her palm and watched as the sunlight played over the surface. Black shadows shimmered over her fingers as it emmited a small bit of energy, the feel of which she knew well.
"Oh Heka..." she murmurred. "Why?"
There was a knock at the door and she threw her cloak around her shoulders, still clutching the jewel as she approached the nearly invisible opening.
"Who is it?"
"Robin. I was just wondering if you were up or not. I'm making breakfast so if you're still sleepy I'll just make sure to save you some bacon and eggs."
The door cracked and the right side of Astarte's face could be seen. Aside from the green eye peering out at him timidly and the slight height difference Robin could swear it was Raven looking out at him.
"I don't eat meat." she whispered. "Do you have any fruit or something?"
"Beast Boy can make you a vegeterian breakfast. He's one too so he has to make his own anyways."
"I'll be down shortly then." she hesitated before closing the door. "Do you....like me Mr. Robin?"
"Sure. Why wouldn't I? You're very nice Astarte. I don't know why Raven never told us about you before. Were you childhood friends or something?"
"Yes. I suppose you could say that."
The door closed and Robin stood there staring at it for a moment before returning to the kitchen to cook for the others. Astarte slipped the necklace around her neck and hid it under her cloak before opening the door completely and making her way to the kitchen, which she'd notice was very close to the living room so she didn't have a hard time finding her way. When she walked in Star Fire, Robin and Cyborg were already sitting down to eat their breakfast and Beast Boy was just starting on their's.
"Mornin' Astart!" he chirpped. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yes. Better than usual actually."
"I don't think I could sleep at all in Raven's room." Beast Boy said with a laugh. "Breakfast will be done soon."
"Oh. Where's my....Where's Raven?"
"I think she's up on the roof. Meditating or something." he said with a sniff.
"Oh. I think I'll go speak with her for a moment. I'll return shortly."
"Kay. Hurry though. Wouldn't want your tofu eggs to get cold."
She gave him a brief smile and tilted her head slightly before making her way to the ceiling. Rather than search endlessly for the stairway that lead up she simply rose through the ceiling and emmerged on the roof, quite a distance from Raven. She was floating crosslegged near the edge and Astarte smiled at the familiar pose. She'd seen Raven in that pose more than she had standing or lying down. She suddenly began to run over the large expanse of roof happily and grabbed Raven's arm as she fell to her knees beside her. Raven's eyes snapped open and she glared at her silently. Her face fell and she lowered her gaze once more.
"What do you want?"
"I just....wanted to say good morning."
"It couldn't wait until I was done?"
"I'm sorry.....Your friends made breakfast. Do you want some?"
"No."
"Do you want me to make you some?"
"No."
"We could go out and eat. You could show me-"
"No!"
"I just-"
"Why aren't you meditating?! No wonder you can't do anything right! You can't even sit still long enough to take control of your powers!"
"Please Raven...Don't shout. I'm sorry I disturbed you. I wasn't thinking."
"Sit down and meditate."
"But I told Beast Boy-"
"Sit down!"
"Ahem."
They both looked behind them to see Star Fire standing there uncomfortably. She'd never seen Raven shout so much; not even at Beast Boy. And even then it was not in such fury. She was slightly confused as to why they were friends when Raven abused her so.
"I wished...to accompany you in meditation. But if you are busy-"
"Not particularly." she whispered, glaring at Astarte angrily. "Go eat then come back and meditate. If you made any plans with Beast Boy you can just cancel them. You came here to gain control didn't you?"
She nodded her head slightly, tears filling her eyes as Raven went back to meditating. Star Fire gave her a sympathetic look before assuming a similiar position and closing her eyes. Astarte stood behind them, staring at their backs through blurry eyes. Did Raven hate her so much? If she hadn't come here herself she wouldn't have believed her hatred could get any deeper than it was before. Now she'd found out her stolid sister had opened up to so many new friends. How could she love this Star Fire more than her? She was Raven's sister. Not this strange alien girl. Why wouldn't she love her? Tears pour down her face silently and she dropped through the roof, falling all the way to the basement where she crumpled to the floor beside a box and sobbed loudly into her hands. She moved her hands to her temple and began to emmit a strange growling sound. There were a couple of voices she noticed as Robin and Cyborg. They were looking for her. She wanted to call back to them but everytime she opened her mouth she coughed. They must have heard because soon they came wandering around the stack of boxes timidly.
"Hey. You okay Astarte?" Robin asked.
"I'm f-fine." she managed to choke out.
"What happened? Are you hurt?"
"N-no Mr.Cyborg. I'm fine."
Cyborg reached out to touch her but she suddenly jerked away, growling visciously. Her eyes were glowing red and her teeth had gotten substantually larger. Cyborg gasped and stepped back. Her face returned to normal and she shook her head,closing her eyes tightly. When she opened them again there were four red eyes this time. She shook her head again as she growled and pulled her hood over her face where her demon eyes glowed brightly.
"Yo, Astarte. You gonna be okay?"
"I'm FINE!" she shouted, the last word coming out in a demonic voice that sounded much worse than Raven's.
"Go get Raven Cyborg! Quick!"
Cyborg took off up the stairs and Robin held his hands up as Astarte growled at him. She suddenly grabbed her hood and pulled it much tighter around her face so he could no longer see her eyes. She collapsed to the floor completely and Robin gawked as she writhed and screamed.She seemed to be fighting for control and when she grew still he thought she'd manage to subdue whatever demon was taking over her mind. She stood slowly, her back to him and he reached out to touch her shoulder but she started growling again. She turned around to stare at him out of her demon eyes and he took a step back.
"Astarte. It's me, Robin. We met last night remember? I'm Raven's friend."
Astarte laughed maniacally then jumped at him. He pulled his staff out and blocked as she descended on him. Her fingers had become sharp and they raked deep gauges in the steel. He gasped and kicked her in the stomach. She hit the ground and he scrambled away, trying to reach the stairs. She grabbed him by the ankle and pulled him back, crawling over him and sitting on his stomach. He stared in shock as she held a hand over his face and a hole began to form in the space below it. Just a hole in mid-air. She bagan to lower her hand and the hole came closer to his face. His face was completely taken over by horror as he looked into it and saw a beast of unspeakable terror. It growled and the hole began to expand. Astarte rose into the air as it became as large as his body and laughed. Robin tried to roll away but tendrils of black energy shot from the floor and wrapped around him. Just when he thought he was a goner Astarte went flying into a stack of boxes. Raven lowered to the ground and pulled Robin to his feet as the energy around him disappeared. Astarte jumped back up and grinned maliciously.
"Raaaven." she whispered in the most horribly quiet voice Robin had ever heard.
Raven's eyes darkened and her face became angry. Before Robin could say anything she pushed him back and he went sliding towards the stairs. As she did so Astarte leaped at her. Raven raised her arms and Astarte hit a shield. She pushed off and landed in front of her.
"Go back to where you came from." Raven whispered.
Astarte let out a blood-curdling scream and energy burst from her entire body. Raven raised another shield and braced herself as the force of the attack pushed her back. As it dissolved she gasped and raised her arms in defense. Astarte's fist hit her crossed wrists and sent her sliding again. She stopped herself and black energy flew from her fingertips, wrapping around Astarte. She smirked and tried to pull her arms away from her side but found that she couldn't. She began to struggle and fell to the ground, writhing and screaming at the top of her lungs. Raven loomed over her, breathing hard.
"I hate you!" Astarte screamed. "Release me! I'll kill you! Damn you Raven! Damn you to the deepest portals of hell! Half-breed bitch!"
Raven kicked her in the side of the head and Robin gasped in shock. Astarte went out like a light and the energy around her dissolved. They turned to look as the others came running down the stairs.
"What happened?" Beast Boy gasped.
"Yes. Someone please explain to me what has happened to our new friend."
Cyborg picked her up and Robin tilted her head to the side. There was a bruise covering half her face. He winced slightly at the horrid yellow and blues then turned to look at Raven, eyes slightly narrowed.
"Did you have to hit her so hard?"
"Yes! She would have killed us all!"
"Raven! You've gotten very agressive since Astarte came here. Why don't you tell us who she is and why she freaked out like that?"
Raven turned her eyes away, ashamed of her actions. She pulled her hood over her face and turned her back to them. She didn't want to admit to having a sister. She didn't want to have to share the secret of Astarte's hatred for her. But she knew it wasn't right to hide things from her friends.
"Astarte....is my sister."
Beast Boy gasped and looked from Astarte to Raven. They'd all noticed the resemblance between the two but they had merely assumed that all of Raven's people looked similiar. Like Star Fire's people. Robin sighed and put a hand on his hip.
"Well?"
"The creature you just witnessed escaping is called Neith. Astarte did not learn to control her emotions as I did. Instead she bottled them up inside. This is the reason her powers are all unstable and most are very dangerous for her to use. There is one emotion that is so strong an entirely new entity was created from it. And that emotion is hatred. Her hatred for me to be more specific."
"You mean.....like a split personality?" Robin asked.
"Yes. Neith wants nothing more than my death. She told me it didn't happen anymore. Otherwise I would have sent her away last night. It's obviously gotten worse."
"But...." Star Fire whispered. "Astarte doesn't seem to hate you. She was very saddened when you screamed at her."
"I told you she holds it in."
"But...."
"She'll be leaving the minute she regains conciousness. It's too dangerous to keep her here."
"You're going to kick her out?!" Beast Boy shouted. "After she came to you for help?! What kind of sister are you?!"
"That's not why she's here! I know my sister! She's only gotten into trouble back home. She just wants to hide here. She's never wanted to control Neith before."
"But why would she want to keep such a beast within her heart?"
"Neith comes in handy during a battle. All she has to do is awaken her hatred for me and Neith is released. She'll cut down anyone in her path to get to me."
"This isn't any of our business Raven." Cyborg said gently. "But maybe you and your sister need to work out your issues. She's obviously messed up and I doubt she could get rid of that thing without your help. Ya'll can't stay mad at each other forever."
"Yes. We can." she whispered icily. "Just watch."
She turned with a swish of her cloak and walked through the back wall.