1964-12-08 - Honesty
Summary: Gwen and Starfire both come clean about their respective secret identities.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
starfire gwen-stacy 

Koriand'r tends to keep to herself, and Gwen doesn't try to hover. Gwen's quite comfortable in making sure she has the staples stocked (including mustard—that disappears like you wouldn't believe for some reason) and making sure Kori has clean linens and soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.
But occasionally, she has to inform Kori of certain details, so she has adopted the practice of slipping notes under the door. Notes in envelopes for non-urgent missives, open sheets of paper for stuff she needs to know fairly quickly. (She opts not to knock unless it's serious.)
Today, Kori will find a note, no envelope, slipped under the door.

Not willing to disturb her landlord, Starfire spends most of her time reading and occasionally listening to a little light music. Today she sits cross-legged in a pool of sunlight idly leafing her way through a library book.

After a little while the alien princess carefully tucks an old envelope to mark her page and floats over to inspect the piece of paper, holding it up to skim read each side.

The note is fairly simple and direct.

When you have some time, I'd like to talk to you about a few things. Nothing bad has happened, but I think you have lived here long enough that I should tell you about recent developments.
I'm currently in the back yard. Hope to talk to you soon.


Starfire opens the bedroom window and pokes her head out. "Excuse me Gwen," she calls. "Are you still out there?" Then, having glanced down to make sure nothing is below, she simply drops out of the open window and falls to the yard below. After all she can always just float back up if the answer is no.

Gwen can be seen in the back yard. Unladylike grunts of effort can be heard, and Kori can see whythe girl is punching a 5-foot-tall cylindrical object. Gwen had showed her the back yard with all the training equipment, had called it a 'heavy bag.' It did look heavythere was another one next to it, but they both hung in a steel-pipe brace, and the one Gwen was punching was hanging from a rope made of interwoven steel cables.

"Excuse me Gwen," Starfire calls, stepping barefoot onto the yards grass. "You left a note? I hope nothing bad has happened." She takes a few steps closer, keeping back far enough to avoid interrupting Gwens work out routine.

Gwen hites the bag again, then flexes her fingers and smiles as she grabs a towel. She is wearing green sweatpants, a green sweatshirt, and a headband. Her trademark boots are replaced by Converse tennis shoes. "Hey, Kori." She rubs her neck with the towel. "You've been here a few weeks. The first thing I want to know is how things are working out for you here. Are you getting everything you need, or are there certain things that you would like to share or say? I hope we can be completely honest woth each other."

"Oh," Kori responds tentatively. "Everything has been okay for me so far.. I am doing a lot of reading about the pyramids. I think perhaps I might fly over to see them some day. As I am sure they are much grander in person than in books." She glances around nervously. "Things I would like to share.. Are you asking this because of.. because of some of the recent news stories? If so I promise I am not involved. Although I can travel into space I haven't done so in a while."

Gwen smiles reassuringly. "I never assumed you were, Kori. And it does involve recent events, but you're not involved in them, either. The one involved is me." She paused. "I told you that my father was killed in the line of duty. What I didn't tell you was…he was killed because the assassin wanted to hurt *me.* I had ruined hin plans to steal something, and he intended to make me pay for it. He also killed my best friend, but me and some friends stopped him…"

Starfire blinks a few times, then gasps. "Oh that is /terrible/," she exclaims. "I hope you are okay. But.. I do not see how anyone could be okay after such an event. Is there.. is there anything I can do to help?" Her hands ball into fists. "This assassin has been apprehended? I could challenge them to a duel of honor on your behalf perhaps."

Gwen leans against the wood railing of the deck. "He killed himself rather than be taken into custody. What my father would call 'suicide by cop.' He drew a gun while forty cops had their weapons drawn on him. That is definitely suicide." She shakes her head. "He was…he was crazy, Kori."

Starfire slowly unclenches her fists. "I do not think I understand the culture here enough to be sure but… for some people the thought of death is preferable to captivity. But at least he can no longer do anything to harm you." She lets out a sigh. "If only I had known, I would have been able to help you somehow. I hope you will forgive me for being unaware of the danger you were in."

Gwen smiles wryly. "Well…I didn't tell you because I didn't feel it was right to involve you. I did not want to ask too much of you after only coming to live here a week or two." She pauses. "But…I feel I should be honest to you about something. You met the person known as White Widow, right?"

"It would not have been any trouble," Starfire points out. "I am largely immune to most conventional weaponry after all." She nods. "Yes, at a bank robbery of sorts. Or it may have been a trap for a man wearing a cape… The situation was complicated."

Gwen nods. "Well…I bring her up because…well, *I* am the White Widow. As far as I can tell, I was remade as some kind of…spider/human hybrid. I'm still trying to understand what happened to me, but I know I can't simply do nothing. I have to do *something.*"

Starfire tilts her head to one side curiously. "You are? Do you know who or what did that to you?" she wonders. "It seems far beyond the typical level of science on this planet." She takes a few steps closer, then reaches towards the punching bag. "May I?" She asks and, when no objections are raised the alien princess gives the bag a little shove. "That /is/ unusually heavy."

"If we are having the.. How is it called.. The heart to hearts? I am.. from a little further away than I may have originally claimed. Please do not be shocked but I am also not one of the mutants either."

Gwen looks around. "Well, in late August, there was a bombing at a pharmaceutical company that was working with genetic manipulation. Some sort unknown…substance…absorbed a radioactive-altered spider, then bonded with me. It was…it was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy." She blinks, then looks to Kori. "Well, I would like the truth, but telling me that you can't tell me is *also* the truth. If you have to keep something to yourself, I won't make you tell me. Just, when you DO tell me, let it be the truth."

Starfire takes another look around the yard, as if checking for nosy neighbors. "I have told other Earth friends before so… the short version is I am Princess Koriand'r from the planet Tamaran. Rightfully next in line to the throne and currently in exile after my sister betrayed my world to our enemies." She shrugs. "It may perhaps sound crazy, but I can assure you I am not telling a tale of tallness."

Gwen blinks. "Wow…you're ROYALTY?" She smiles widely. "I *knew* it! You just had that kind of demeanor. I saw a TV broadcast with Queen Elizabeth of England, and you and she had the same quality. That same kind of…star quality."

"Oh, it is really not a very important thing. My home is very far from here," Kori points out earnestly. "And as an exile I am probably not supposed to make claim to the title. But anyone who would dispute the claim is more likely to try and kill or capture me than raise a formal complaint about protocol."

Gwen stands up straight. "Well, I'm sure as shooting not going to allow that to happen as long as you're living here." She steps forward. "Well, princess…you don't mind if I call you that in private, do you?…you are welcome to stay here as long as you need." She leans forward. "And if you want to join White Widow on her own occupation as vigilante superheroine, let me know."

"That is very sweet of you to say but… It would be extremely dangerous for you to get involved. You might be very capable by the standards of an Earthling, but the forces of the Citadel and the Psions are beyond anything in your nightmares. So I hope you will consider your own safety first," Starfire says solemnly. "You can if you wish but it.. it reminds me of home and that is still quite upsetting."

Gwen looks to her. "I'll do what I can." She smiles suddenly. "The good thing is, I'm not alone. I know of a few others who I believe would do the same thing I would. One of them might even be a match for what you are up against. Her name is Supergirl?

Starfire laughs. "I also have made some Earth friends who could help in an emergency," she assures. "I suspect Thor and his warriors would offer me refuge in an emergency. They would not appreciate hostile aliens invading in force as they claim to protect this realm." She frowns. "The name Supergirl is not familiar to me."

Gwen smiles. "She's…new to this. And she needs friends. Ones who can understand what it's like to have special abilities." She colors slightly. "She and I agreed to partner up. I even put together a special code book so we can work together. Names, locations, how to read police shorthand…I gave her the book, but just just…read it. In like, five seconds." She ohs, looking startled for a moment. "Listen…it sounds like you have people to work with, isn't that right?"

Starfire blinks a few times and frowns in confusion. "Work with? No I am not currently employed. Or do you mean fighting crime with? I have not really done much of the fighting against crime. I worry I will hurt someone by mistake as… and I do not wish to be rude but… people on your world are very delicate."

Gwen nods. "I found out I can lift ten tons. But that also meant I could kill someone by mistake." She points to the heavy bag, then a hook next to it. "I am having the other bag repaired. I use a normal bag as well, to train myself to control my strength. So I can fight regular people without killing them by going too far." She pauses. "You could use these to train. The lead beg to train your strength, the normal one to train your control.

Starfire giggles. "Oh that bag is probably too delicate for me to train with," she points out. "But I appreciate the offer! I have been working out by flying to places which are uninhabited and punching solid rocks. Then I can lift the pieces of rock which split off." She gestures at the nearest of the neighbors houses. "It is probably for the best that I train far away from people." Her hand flares with green energy. "Because my combat training includes energy blasts that would startle your neighbors."

Gwen blinks. "Wow." She chuckles, looking sheepish. "Yeah…I can see how that would be a problem. Still…if you ever want to assist, then I'd be glad to have you with me. Starfire…that's a pretty cool name to use as a superhero name. Starfire and the White Widow…" she muses with a wry smile.

"Well, if I could be of use some how… That would be good I think. Perhaps if I do enough good then people will gradually begin to welcome me to the world and I will be able to offically find work." Kori muses. "But this means more things for me to learn. I will have to study Earth laws and gain a better understanding of Human biology. So that I know what locations are vital or easily damaged."

Gwen grins. "Follow me, princess." She opens the back door, leaving it open for Kori to follow. "My father was a police captain, and a damn good detective. He has a complete set of the New York City penal code, updated for 1964. Includes the new "Stop and Frisk" protocols. I'm sure he would approve that they got some use out of them."

Starfire floats along behind Gwen. "I shall try to learn them as best I can," she promises. "But… I am not sure what situation could require me to frisk someone. At least not to prevent crime anyway."

Gwen looks behind her. Flying must be fun. But GRAVITY was fun, too. Once you knew how to have fun with it.
"Suppose you saw someone that was acting suspiciously. If the person was doing something very unusual, you were legally allowed as an officer of the law to stop and check them for suspicious things, like weapons or drugs." She opened the door to her study, which she had apparently co-opted, with her own notes and notebooks. Along one wall was a set of 12 black books, Volume 1 through 12. "There you go. As long as you put them back where you find them, you can look at them any time you want."

"Oh but I am /not/ an officer of the law," Kori points out solemnly. "And people will probably assume I am attempting to somehow engage them for romantic relations. Surely it is much easier to simply ask if they have a weapon?"

Gwen raises an eyebrow. "People lie, princess. They may say they have no weapon when they do. You are pleasantly forthright, Kori, but people can and do lie."

"I can be very persuasive when I need to be," Starfire promises. "Besides, I am probably much more suited to more… overt crimes. I stand out too much for anything discreet and people would almost certainly not believe I was a police officer."

Gwen eyes Kori up and down. "You know, you have a point there." She smiles crookedly. "You're probably right about the more overt crimes. Ones already in progress. Those tend to be…BRUTALLY honest. The other stuff should still be informative enough to help you with knowing what laws are being broken. BUT…if you have any questions about anything in particular, let me know. If I don't know, I know a few cops who would be happy to help with your education in the hope it would make THEIR job easier."

Starfire hmms. "I do not think it would be best for you to introduce me to police officers," she points out. "At least not until aliens are seen in a more favorable light. I would not wish you to put your friends in a position where they would have to choose between their jobs and their friendship to you."

Gwen chuckles. "Well, we could just call them. They wouldn't have to know anything about you. If anything, we could simply say you need the info for a project for a subject you are learning about."

"Oh yes, sometimes I forget that your communications technology only does real time audio. I will first have to see how complicated these law books are. I can't imagine they are any harder to learn than the laws on Tamaran… There are no poetry sections are there?" Kori wonders. "If so I should be fine."

Gwen smirks. "There's only references to poetic justice. You'll be good." She looks around. "Spent a lot of afternoons here. Doing my homework. Hoping my dad was okay if he wasn't here. He was…" She sniffs once, but just once. "…he was the bravest man I've ever known. And I think he'd help you any way he could. So I will, too."

"That is very kind of you," Starfire says with a smile. "And I am sure he is very proud of you. I hope perhaps some day I'll have the chance to show you my own world, although it seems unlikely your people will develop the means to travel that far anytime soon."

Gwen shrugs. "Well, it's a damned shame about your exile, Kori. You're classy, regal, but aren't enamored of yourself. I hope that mess with your planet gets sorted out."

Starfire wipes her eyes with the back of her hand. "Well, it was to protect my people so… it's a small price to pay providing the rest of the planet is okay."

Gwen can't help it.
She steps forward to hug Starfire, provided the girl allows her to. If she reacts as if drawing away, Gwen won't push the issue. But she looks like a woman who needs a good, warm hug, and race and powers be damned.

Starfire tentatively accepts the hug, although it's a little awkward. After all Gwen might be strong for a Earthling but she's still comparatively quite fragile. "I am surprised you are taking all of this quite so calmly."

Gwen looks into Starfire's face and chuckles. "After all the stuff I've seen and experienced, this isn't as surprising as it would have been six months ago. Besides, Dad taught me to keep an open mind about a lot of things. To change your mindset if what you think doesn't fit the facts."

"I think six months ago I was still in space," Starfire muses. "And space, despite what you might think, is generally quite a dull place to be. The view is sometimes quite nice but mostly it is just empty."

Gwen chuckles, her arms warm around Kori's waist. "Well, we have a LOT of things to do in New York, and very little of it is dull. And I am willing to be your guide, should you need one. And if you want to meet other supertypes, like Supergirl, I'll try to make it happen. She and I seem to be working together well, actually. She also has a lot to learn, but she has a very quick mind, like you."

"Thankfully at school I had classes in understanding alien cultures. So while it is not /easy/ learning a new world from scratch I do at least know the correct way to go about integrating myself into society. It helps this country has free libraries I have been able to visit for more hard to ask information," Starfire says with a giggle. "And even now I do find some things about this place quite silly." She nods. "Meeting new people is always a good thing."

Gwen shrugs, then realizes she still has her hands around Kori. "Uhm, would you prefer to stand like this, or would you prefer I not be in your personal space?" She asks a little self-consciously, but doesn't pull back yet. For all she knows, Kori's people don't have a personal space rule.

Starfire blinks a few times. "Oh. Is this uncomfortable for you? I do not really mind physical contact, but from my time here I believe your culture is a lot less… open? I must admit I did not really think about it until you mentioned it…"

Gwen smiles lightly. "I think it's okay if it's just us. In public, however, it's distracting or offensive to others. Two girls walking together is acceptable, to women holding hands and embracing is not as acceptable." She shrugs. "We've got a ways to go yet, Kori. We just need some time."

"I think perhaps things are a /lot/ more open back home. But perhaps that is a conversation for another time!" Starfire muses thoughtfully. "After all I could hardly explain a whole culture in a single day. At least now you know my background I shall feel less awkward about eating the mustard by itself."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License