He never meant to

Feeling his boots connect with the coarse pavement below him, Robin let himself slide back a few feet, extending his bo-staff. With an anguished cry, he jumped forward, making as though to strike his opponent. A cackle emitted from the older man, as Slade stepped to the side, letting Robin's body overshoot his target and skid across the street yet again.

The Boy Wonder was persistent, however, and so lunged again at Slade, this time connecting his foot with the man's lower back. With a smirk of victory, Robin made to strike again. However, his Senior was just as quick, and without warning grabbed the Titan by his ankles and pulled, forcing him to the concrete.

Robin let out a grunt as his head made contact with the hard surface. Pain coarsed through his body and he tried to ignore it and fight back. Before he had a chance though, his arms were pinned beside him, and the man he hated so much stood above him, ready with another attack.

But the body weight of a young Tamaranian quickly overthrew Slade. She was not, done however. Eyes alight in fury, she raised her palms, green energy emitting from them, and blasted her enemy with a starbolt. The force of the blow pushed Slade's head back and he craned his neck, scowling in pain.

Within an instant he was up and upon the poor Alien girl. The sound of her painful cry reached Robin's ears, and the sight of her small body being hurled backward and into a pile of rubble reached his eyes. With a newfound energy, he sprung to his feet, throwing himself at Slade again.

He hit with all his might, multiple times.

"Face it Robin, I am your better. You cannot defeat me. You are no better than I," Slade hissed.

"But I am," Retorted the Boy Wonder. "In so many ways, I am." But a hint of doubt crept into his voice.

Slade took the chance to pry at it, Robin's fists making contact with his left hand as he caught a punch. "Or are you? Do you merely think you are? We are alike in more ways than different, and you have admitted so yourself. Bound, determined, willing to do anything to get our way…without much thought to the obstacles put in front of us, we leap and soar over them. We are empowered and gifted. We are talented and unique. We need no one else. We are one in the same."

"We are not!" Challenged Robin. With another grunt of effort, he flipped Slade over his back and onto the floor.

"Do not harm him!" It was Starfire's voice again as she furiously drove at least half a dozen of Slade's minions away from their target; Robin. The few times she was hit, she fought back all the harder. And when she wasn't, she took them down without the simplest implication she was putting much effort forth. So few were little match for her power.

She was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

However, as their numbers grew, her power weigned. Attacking herself and now Raven from all sides, Slade's henchmen obviously had been updated by their master.

Quickly leaving his arch-nemesis to lick his wounds for a moment, Robin jumped in to help his friends. The years of martial arts had paid off, as he punched, kicked, threw and all-together battered his foes.

Yet more and more seemed to be coming. And from the cries for help coming from the direction Cyborg and Beast Boy had headed off to, in order to take out Plasmus who had fallen to Slade's bidding also, Robin could tell the Titans were loosing momentum in their fight…and fast.

Slade retaliated, pulling the Boy Wonder from the aid he was providing his friends. "They're capable of taking care of themselves," He said smoothly. "But you and I have business to attend to."

In the moments that followed, things seemed to move in slow motion. Robin fell to the floor at one point. Blood running from cuts above his brow-line, his mask stained with the red substance, he struggled to find Slade's form. Body shaking in rage, vision blurred by a thirst for victory, he reached around his body for any weapon he might be able to scrounge.

He felt a form move closer to him. 'Slade,' He thought, as his hand made contact with something metal. He felt it out shakily, only to realize it belonged to one of Slade's henchman. His fingers crossed over the tip of the object as he realized it was sharp enough to easily pierce even the toughest of skin. Unable to see still, afraid to pull off his mask, he tried to squint and make out the figure still approaching him.

All at once, sure that his attacker was ready to deal another blow, he plunged the weapon upward, expecting it to make contact with Slade's familiar metal uniform, and drive his enemy back long enough for him to get to his feet. However, instead it met and punctured the soft surface of another's skin.

Utterly confused, Robin let go of it, trying unsuccessfully to wipe the blood from his mask. In his panic, he had failed to realize who was truly standing in front of him. That was, until he heard a soft breath drawn in and then a moan of pain.

A light weight collapsed upon him, and he instantly recognized the smooth feeling of her skin. The warmth of her body was slowly leaving, and all at once he knew what he had done.

If he could, he would've taken it all back.

"Starfire…" The words escaped his lips in horror, and he quickly tore off the mask with little regard to the fact that his identity was now open to anyone who wished to gaze upon his face.

He rolled her over, only to find his attack had made direct contact with her heart. Ragged breaths drew in and out of her mouth and the bright twinkle normally occupying her eyes was dying away. 'Why?' They seemed to ask him. 'Why have you hurt me?'

"I didn't mean to!" He babbled on, cradling her head to his chest. But it was too late. Her breathing had stopped; her body gone limp. Starfire was dead.

The world around him seemed to crumble away, and all he could hear was the distant snickering of a satisfied Slade. Fear and anger with himself shook Robin as sobs escaped him, his chest heaving. Tears poured freely from his eyes. 'She's dead.' He thought. 'I killed her.'

He never meant to.

Sweat dropped down from his face, as Robin quickly sat up, feeling around him. No blood or scars on his body; but also no mask. He looked up, realizing he'd rolled off his bed. The first thought that entered his mind was, 'Starfire!'

He picked up the mask and attached it quickly around his eyes, fleeing his own room in search of her's. Knowing exactly where it was, his socked feet met the carpet beneath her door quickly. He looked to the sliding door, and quickly punched in a combination beside it, having stolen the code from Cyborg's database a while back in case of emergency.

He found her lying on her bed peacefully. Her back turned to him, and her face tilted towards her night-light. He let out a sigh of relief, but still feeling unsure, walked over to her bed. He sat down beside her silently, careful not to wake her. He laid a gentle hand upon her shoulder, running his gloved fingers down her arm. "It was just a dream. You're okay." He whispered to the silent darkness of her room.

"Why would I not be?" Unbeknown to him, Starfire had been awake the whole time. Unable to sleep for…certain reasons, she simply chose to stare at her night-light, letting it's warmth give her slight comfort. She now turned her face up to meet his, a small smile plastered there. "Hello Robin."

He found himself in an awkward position now. With a nervous blush creeping into his cheeks, his hand quickly retracting from her skin, he stuttered, "Uh-um, Star! You're awake, still?" He glanced at a clock set up on her wall. "It's two in the morning."

This meant little to Starfire. With a shy nature overcoming her, she quietly replied, "I could not sleep."

"Why? Nightmares?"

She wasn't quite sure how to answer this one. Timid to admit to Robin that she was afraid of something as petty as the matter was, she kept her lips pursed tightly together. However, the kindness and concern bathing his face quickly caused her to cave in.

With another hesitant smile, she sat up, curling her knees to her chest. "I am afraid." She admitted.

"Of what?" The Boy Wonder asked curiously, moving closer to her. He tilted his head to the side, taking in the fear buried deeply in her pretty face. Normally cheerful and optimistic, he wasn't sure he liked seeing the apparent panic on Starfire's features.

"Of…the dark…" She replied. She slowly brought her gaze up to meet his.

Robin blew out a breath of relief that nothing was seriously wrong and chuckled. Seeing her grow slightly disappointed by his amusement in her grief, he quickly reassured her by tilting her chin up gently with his fingers.

Silently, she raised her own soft touch up to his glove, sliding it away from his hand, and bringing his bare flesh up to her jaw-line.

Her smile grew, and she finally settled back down into her mattress. She continued to look up at him though, as if beckoning him to lie down beside her.

Without a second thought to the matter, Robin contently slid down beside her, shifting his body so he was lying on his side and facing her. "Its okay, the dark won't hurt you," He reassured her. His thoughts flashed back to his dream and a shiver slowly made it's way down his spine.

"Friend Robin…" She started out worriedly. The words seemed to sting him. Friend. Friend Robin, that's what he was; nothing more. "You are sorrowed greatly by something. What is wrong?"

"It's nothing Star," he reassured her.

She giggled, "If you wish for a calming bed-time treat, we have a bottle of mustard in the kitchen…"

Robin's eyebrows rose up to meet his hair and he laughed softly again. "Nah, it's okay Star, I don't need any mustard." He told her. He heard a yawn escape her mouth and made as though to sit up a bit further. However, when he felt her head loll over into the cranny between his chin and his chest, and her hair sweep along his neck, he didn't dare move. "Star?" He whispered. No response came, other than her content breathing. Finally, she was asleep.

The Boy Wonder closed his own eyes and breathed out in content. At that point he promised himself never to let harm fall upon her. 'I'll keep her safe,' He swore silently. 'From everything, and everyone. Even myself.' He let his ungloved hand wander up to her shoulder, and the other one slip under her waist. With a small smile, he drifted off to sleep…but this time, he dreamed of only pleasant things.

A/N: Love it? Hate it? Yeah, um, it started out as a one-shot…But now I wanna' do a sequel. Perhaps a trilogy, I have a thought for each story. The thing is, I have to make them separate stories, because otherwise I'll never get through them if I string them all together as one. XD Besides, isn't it more fun reading them as separate installments? And that way, people can pick and chose in what order they want to read them. They'd make more sense separately. So drop a review, or e-mail me at A special thanks to Mary, my inspiration for this story. =)

Hugs and Kisses-Nacata