Hi! This is my first Teen Titans fic. In fact, I'm a TT "newbie", but I hope you folks won't hold out on me for that. I'm really loving this show. And after watching tonight's episode, I had to do a Robin/Starfire. Or maybe, in this case, it's a Nightwing/Starfire.

This is the result of my enthusiasm. I hope you'll enjoy this little one-shot.

Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans and am making no profit off this fan story.

Time Is A Curse

By Gundam Girl

It is dark in here.

I almost forgot that tonight. How strange. Me, of all people, forgot that I am not meant to be anything but the night any longer. Everything about me, my appearance, my actions, my very name; all reflect my forever-laid destiny.

I know the cause of my forgetfulness of course. Your presence always cancelled out anything negative around you. And for the most part, my entire life has been negative. I guess for a little while, you drove that away. Made me think, as you always used to, that I was meant for more than this…non-life.

Once you wear the black, you live in it. Bruce said that once, though at the time it was about himself.

You would have liked Bruce Wayne, Star. He's a good guy. He's still living in his manor in Gotham. Alfred died seven years ago. I bet he's up there, waiting for "Master Bruce" to make it so he can serve him again. He was buried in his tux. So now Bruce is alone. Never married; I used to wonder if maybe Barbara would be wearing a ring by the time I went to work for him, but no. She married another kind of rising businessman. One that didn't stalk the after-midnight hours. Right now, Bruce is taking a punk under his wing. Sometimes I wonder if he misses me and this McGinnis is his way of replacing a sidekick. But that's a "no" too. Deep down, Bruce never really needed anyone. He had himself. He had Wayne Industries, but that was optional in his life. Just as long as he had that cape and mask…Bruce was fulfilled. God, I hope Terry doesn't end up that way. That's why I left, come to think of it. That old man couldn't give it up that my time as sidekick was over.

Time. That's what took you away from me – twice now. This whole night went by so fast, Star. At first all I saw was a bad-looking guy fighting with a small girl. How would I have guessed that the girl would have been the one that disappeared through a black hole twenty years earlier? Then I recognized Warp, and being me, I don't forget a bad guy. So I attacked; that's me too, always rushing in. And when I turned around to see the weak, defenseless girl he'd been attacking, I saw…she wasn't defenseless or weak at all.

The shock at seeing your face. You probably didn't see it; it's become a talent that I've mastered, hiding whatever I'm feeling from my eyes. But that shock was like the world caving in, enveloping me and not letting me breathe for a few seconds. The thoughts going through my head I can't even begin to sort. Most of them were along the lines of It's her. But I'm dreaming again.

Heh. You always were a little annoying. Even after twenty years, I knew you. How could I not? It was you, Star. You. If it had been Cyborg or Beast Boy or Raven who had gone through that hole, I might have needed a few moments to recall. But not with you. Everything about you feels like it's burned into my brain, there to forever scorch my memory with reminders of you in every other thing I look at.

You had seen the others. I could see it in your eyes when I first looked at you. Cyborg said he told you everything. How, without you around to remind us how important we were – are – to each other, we would drift away from each other, as you said we would on your Blorthog. I know I'll stay in some touch with the others from now on. Beast's going back to live in the tower with Cyborg. Raven said she would "remain aware." But we're old now, Starfire. Things that happened in this time can't be changed the way you intend to change it in the time we had together once.

It's amazing, isn't it? People can go through life believing that no matter the challenges, life will turn out all right for them. I try not to have an opinion on my life's turnout, but I know it's always going to be like this room I'm sitting in; dark, black, lightless. That's my destiny. If you can, Star, I hope you make it so that it's not my past Robin-self's destiny. I would have liked you to stay part of my world. I know he does, too.

There is just a little light in this room. It's coming from the display case in my "strategy room." I guess Bruce's habit of cherishing every chapter in his life rubbed off on me. I'm not sure I'm "cherishing" my time as Robin, but I do know one thing. When I was Robin, I had you. You were with me, Starfire. That takes some cherishing at least.

I can still see you staring at that suit, like it was some artifact from ancient history meant to be treated reverently. Some would say it is. It's not, not for me. That suit just declares a part of me I evolved from. Dick Grayson became Robin-the Teen Titan leader, the Titan leader became Robin-Batman's sidekick, and the Bat's sidekick became Nightwing; my current form. If I become anything else, I'll just tag it onto the line. It wouldn't need any fond reminiscing either, as I'm sure you saw tonight.

But if there's one thing I will remember when I shed this blue symbol, it will be: This is when I let her go.

You are not meant for me. You're probably back in the past right now, celebrating your Blorthog with Robin and the other Titans. We weren't totally dumb; we hopefully would have realized your need for your own customs. You've certainly returned the Clock by now. To think that I put that in your hands so that you could leave me again.

Speaking to you, telling you it was good to see you again, that was automatic. Placing my hands over yours, that was my action, one I had to carry out. Did you notice my fingers tightening impulsively as I wished you could stay, wished you could forget the past and take the future? You never would have. You loved us still, though, didn't you? Even though you didn't really know your future-form friends, you still loved us. That's why, Starfire…

I can't ever hope for you to love me again. My hard-heartedness, the disloyalty to Bruce that tore me out from under Batman's wing, those things make me undeserving of anything you would ever give me.

But there wasn't enough time. If I could have had five more minutes, five minutes to watch you watch me, to wipe the tears that fell as you stepped away…but then you were gone. And here I am. Thinking of you from the depths of the dark. Just like I have been for the last twenty years.

None of us, us who used to be the Teen Titans, will ever forget you. You're as much a part of us as our hearts. Even if our hearts are lonely and cold, you're there with them.

And that's why my short last time with you was such a curse. My memories were rejuvenated and I can remember all the more clearly now. And to that I say…

Thank you.


I realize it's not five-star material, but if you have any pointers for me, I'd really appreciate it. I don't know if I'll be appearing in the Teen Titan arena again as a writer, but let me know what you thought. Reviews are most welcome!