Teen Titans/Batman: The Animated Series
Epilogue: The Sunrise of the Soul
But often faltering feet
Come surest to the goal
And those who walk in darkness
Meet the sunrise of the soul.
- Henry Van Dyke
I've had many names and many faces. As a child, I was comfortable in bright red tights and a mask. As an adult, I fled to the shadows, to darkness and black shades of justice. But I kept the mask.
Now I don't wear the mask anymore. I don't need to. After all, Starfire could see through me clearly when we were friends. Why should I wear it now that she's my wife?
I've lived on Tamaran now for a year. It's a bright, beautiful world with friendly people and fragrant winds, and, frankly, I don't even miss Earth.
But I do miss Alfred. And a part of me does wish that Bruce and I had parted on friendlier terms. He didn't want me to go. I'm sure of it. There was too much left to do on Earth, in Gotham. I didn't need to be running off with Starfire to the other side of the universe.
He didn't exactly say all that, but I know that's what he was thinking.
He didn't say goodbye. He really didn't speak at all when I left. Just shook my hand, wished me well, and retreated to his cave.
Star's expression told me that I should have gone after him.
I couldn't. I wasn't ready to give up that part of my heart yet – the part that wants to stay away from him. Maybe someday I will, but not that day. And not today, either.
But probably not.
I wasn't sure how Starfire's people would react to me. That's why we didn't elope immediately. I wanted to make sure she would actually be happy with me there, that her people wouldn't hate her for bringing an Earthling home.
I guess they were all happy with me. Within months of my arrival, they began pressuring us to marry, encouraging us that they didn't mind having an Earthling for a king.
Who would have ever guessed it.
Since we've been here, the Titans have visited twice. Beast Boy spent a week trying to imitate a Tamaranian dargstorp. Yeah. That didn't work out too well. Cyborg hooked up with the royal mechanic, and together they came up with some enormous engine that could cut the travel time between Earth and Tamaran in half. Raven and Starfire spend a lot of time together. I wonder what they talk about sometimes. It has to have something to do with Blackfire.
Starfire had nightmares for months after that last battle, but now she seems to be recovering. Slowly, but surely.
And, now, Star's pregnant. Our first child. I'm going to be a father.
As if being king wasn't hard enough.
Barb and Tim send communications from time to time. Alfred talks with the palace cooks quite often, making sure that I'm eating right and enough.
I miss Alfred.
I never hear from Bruce.
I look up from a treatise for the preservation of Fenjarkian Zimbars as Star comes into the room. Her hair is styled high on her head, and she is wearing a white robe. It does not hide the bulge in her stomach.
"You are still working at this time of night?" she levels an appraising gaze at me.
"There's no bad guys to stop," I tease in return and stand to draw her into a loving embrace. My hand strays to her belly and stays there, feeling the kick of the child inside her. "What are we going to name him?"
"I'm not sure what we should name her."
"A good, strong name."
"A passionate, righteous name."
"Solid and manly."
"Gentile and feminine."
I grinned broadly, and she giggled, snuggling deeper into my arms. "Perhaps," she breathes against my neck, "the name will come to us. Let us just wait."
"I can do that."
We reclined on the balcony in each other's arms and watched the sky above us. Long ago I had learned where Earth was in the wide spectrum of diamonds in the velvety Tamaranian sky. It shone brilliant blue in a field of ebony.
"Do you miss it?" she asks me, once she saw where my gaze had stopped.
"No," I answer truthfully. "My place is with you."
"But it was your home."
"I've had a lot of homes, Star. Gotham. The Titans. My loft. Tamaran. But the one thing that's tied them all together and made them home was you. Either yourself or your memory. I never forgot you. Not as Robin. Not as Nightwing."
"Not as Dick Grayson?"
"Especially not as him."
"I am happy that you are home."
"Me too, Star. Me too."
Above us, at the other end of the universe, the planet Earth twinkled brightly in the Tamaranian sky.
- The End -
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A/N: I know this isn't how the comic book ends, and it isn't how the television series (B:TAS) ends, and it isn't how TT probably ends – but this is how Firestorm ends. Thanks to everyone who reviewed (and I mean EVERYONE). . . . There's a lot of people who commented on this one. I'm still in shock. And if anyone is wondering I do have a sequel planned for this, but I don't know when I'll get to it. I want to finish by Cowboy Bebop story that's been on the back-back burner for months. AND I want to write a Christmas story commemorating my year anniversary at FFN. So – keep checking back! And thanks again! You all are the best!
Another A/N: oops . . . .I meant epilogue . . . . not prologue . . . . . stupid . . . .