(I'm soo sorry to my author alert people that get this twice, it's just that chapter 11 did not show up on the site so many of my anonymous reviewers could not see it, thus the reposting)
A/N: So we have come to the end of a long journey… I feel like I have gotten to know you all just a little bit better and I am so overjoyed at the response that I have gotten to this story that I don't even know what to say other than THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!! I hope that this last chapter lives up to all of your expectations.
(I am working on another story right now, but it may take a little while only because, as I told you all at the beginning of this one, I am anal retentive when it comes to my stories so it will be done completely before I post it. I may throw a one shot or something in-between, just to keep your appetites satiated…)
HUGE HUGE Thank Yous to my 2 best Reviewers! kmc99! And Jadedea! You guys so rock. You have both been there with me and reviewed every chapter since the beginning! So cookies for an entire year for both of you!
For the rest of you: Big Thank Yous and I know that many of the rest of you have been there with this story through thick and thin also, and also deserve mentions and big cookies so: solodancer789, Aeris9919, StarfireFowl13, Shadow12002, Queen-of-Azarath, robin and star fan, Eyes of Nevermore (yay! 2flowers!), "foreverfree"(okay, no more torture!), "cookies", lil' LIK Star, PriscillaGirl, titanfan, and blackcatt. Also, my last 2 "Special Thank Yous" for this story again go to: "Savvy" and Scott Okragleski!
Emmery: It is totally okay…I'm obsessed with him too and actually so is DeathIsMyWayOut. You are gonna have to fight both of us if you really want Robin!
DeathIsMyWayOut: Oh my gosh I love reading your reviews. I laughed so hard. You know I don't think Robin would mind sharing us, it's just that Starfire would probably beat both of us out. So, if you could get me Red X then you could fight Star for him! (haha)
robin(plus)starfire: really glad I could help you out! Hope you like the ending.
"Ryan": hey, for some reason, I really like reading your reviews, so if you would like to email me with your mail address, I'll keep you posted on my stuff. (You don't have to, it was just a thought).
"this. is. stupid.": NNNOOOO! Not the Staplers!! I must avoid the staplers!! Oh, wait…call them off! I'm posting! I'm posting! (and thank you very much! I'm glad you really like my story).
Evilevergreen: I know you were really loyal also (I mean man, risking tardiness is right up there), it's just that I had the other 2 down for every chapter. And Yay! I'm so glad you liked that line! That was one of my favorites too! And the story 'Ship of Heroes' is on my Favorites (so glad you want to read it). If you click on my name and then my favorite stories, I think it's like the second one down.
Babi3 A: thank you so much. I feel so flattered. Yes, I am writing more as I said above, so don't come after me with an ice-pick or anything!
Bleeding Wings: those are wonderful compliments coming from you! I'm still very much enjoying your story by the way…and my next one should have a lot of Rob/Rae so I hope you'll like it.
Forlorn Melody: yep, I guess X is rubbing off on me, but I love him so (as you'll see).
"Yami-Mark": I'll email you everything you need as soon as this shows up!
--FINALLY! X and some fluff! Ahhh…
(and I was soo just teasing you all. Of course I was going to post this chapter!)
Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans X would be a much bigger "recurring character" and he's just not (Darn them!) so obviously I don't own the show.Though I do not profess to be great, I do not profess to suck either.
Robin was staring into the face of evil. And it seemed that this face was his creation. His crushing grip on the Bo staff was turning his knuckles white. He didn't know how much pressure he was exerting forth, nor did he care. All he could feel was the resentment and pure hatred he had toward this thing.
"Robin STOP!" Starfire yelled through the echoing warehouse. She came closer attempting to pull his arms back. He shoved her away, so she tried once more to verbally halt him, "Robin please, you must stop!"
Robin had no intention of letting up, not after what had been revealed to him, "You weren't here. You didn't hear him admit it! He kidnapped you…and that bitch that tried to kill Raven? He sent her too! His actions require consequences Starfire, and I intend to be one of those consequences!"
"ROBIN YOU WILL STOP RIGHT NOW!" She ripped the instrument of asphyxiation from his hands. X fell to the floor barely moving, but Robin could still make out his vehement gasps for air.
"Starfire!" he had turned his anger toward her at the moment, "Why did you do that? You of all people know that he deserves punishment." He glared at her and took back his staff. He would have gladly returned to his previous position if Starfire hadn't grabbed his shoulder and held so tightly that he couldn't even attempt it. "Let me go Star!"
Starfire spun him around and gripped both shoulders tightly. She held his gaze, "Robin, you must not harm him!"
Robin heaved a heavy sigh of animosity and seethed through clenched teeth, "Why, the hell, not?"
Starfire loosened her grip and stepped toward the now crouching Red X who was silently massaging his throat. She bent toward him, "Because he…" at this she reached down and with little resistance, pulled off his mask, "is you!"
Robin's jaw dropped to the floor. The only thing he could manage to do was point with his index finger. It was like looking into a mirror of the future. The hair was longer, the body broader, and the features stronger, but even with another mask covering his eyes, he could still tell that this was indeed his twin…only about five years older.
He remained stuck in his pose. No conscious thought came, so he concentrated on the actions of Starfire with Red…Robin…Him. Starfire whispered a long something into His ear, then walked to Robin's side placing her arm around him and her other hand on his free one. "Robin many things have happened that we both do not understand and I wished for the Red X to explain. I have made it impossible for him to refuse us." The last part had a malicious air.
He didn't know what Starfire had said, 'She probably threatened him with bodily harm and considering his weakened state, that would work nicely' but he wanted to hear this explanation as well. He picked his jaw up off the floor and crossed his arms, vaguely noticing Starfire still clinging to him.
"Who are you really?" Robin asked in a domineering manner.
He stood up, "She's right… I'm you."
"You of all people should know that nothing is impossible," He replied, still rubbing his throat.
"Then you better do some explaining." The "older Robin" glanced over at Starfire who gave him a stern "go on" look. Robin could see a small ball of green light forming in her palm for emphasis.
"I…came from a place where she," he nodded toward Starfire, "was no more."
"When I…" Starfire gasped then let out a heavy sigh.
"Yeah, you'd disappeared Star. -Year after year I searched for you. Everyone else had given up on you long before, but I knew that I had to find you again." He sounded angry and confused and distraught all at the same time, "It was five years before I even entertained the idea that you weren't coming back" he stepped closer to her. "You were special, you were the glue that held us all together, and you were, well…let's just say I never got over it." He stopped, then turned away and continued solemnly, "Another year passed and I had given up hoping. I gained no satisfaction from being a hero anymore. I couldn't even save my closest friend, so why should I? I had no one else, so I decided to look out for number one.
"I remembered back to the last time I felt empowered when I was alone…and it came to me. I went back to the tower and dusted off my old suit. I once again became Red X. This time, for good."
Robin stared at him skeptically not wanting to believe, "That's a wonderful story, but it still doesn't explain why you're here. If you're me, from six years after Starfire's disappearance, there's no way that you…"
He was interrupted by his "twin", "Why must you always doubt yourself? That's one of the reasons why being X is so much better than being Robin." He gave his hands a little wave as if he were dusting off something gross. "If I must explain, and if I know you –which I do- I must…A while back things started disappearing -little things at first, so to me it wasn't that big a deal. Just chalked it up to some guy starting trouble, but later bigger things went missing, later still whole sections of time were skipping in places. Soon, everything around me was missing pieces, like an unfinished puzzle.
"I researched, but found nothing useful, except for one thing: worm holes. I'd only seen one before-that day that Warp attacked and Starfire disappeared. I went back to the storehouse and sure enough, there was another. I escaped into it quickly. I don't know how long I was in there, but when I stepped out, I was here. With no suit and no idea where I was, I used my intellect and 'skills' to figure it out. I stayed with Krystal for a while, but when I found out you were here, I went back to get what was mine." He held out his hands and shrugged, "The rest, is quite literally history."
"So you are an aged Robin? You should not be here. For your sake and ours," Starfire glared at him, "and I do not care who you are, you should not have taken advantage!" She turned to him, "Robin I believe you were right. He does deserve retribution for what he did to me and to Raven, but I do not believe that he deserves to die. Especially at your hand."
He knew she was right and nodded in agreement, though he probably would have agreed with anything she said at this point because he was in a state of disbelief about what he had just witnessed. At the moment all he could do was rehash his previous encounters with Red X: ---"'Kid, you are taking life way too seriously."--- "'I'm not such a bad guy, once you get to know me.'"--- "'I thought you didn't like to play the hero?'…'Doesn't mean I don't know how.'"---The aid… the fighting style… All clues. 'I should've noticed something earlier!'
He chuckled to himself, 'I'm sure Beast Boy must've had this on his ridiculous "board" somewhere and I just dismissed it as one of his pointless ramblings.'
"Robin!" Starfire shook him, snapping him out of his dazed state, "We need to take the Red…you…Him to jail. We may sort everything out then."
"You can do that on your own time," X interjected flatly, finally back to his old self. Taking his only opportunity, he yanked his mask from Starfire's hand and pushed the button on his belt. He dissipated and Robin and Star looked around dumbfounded.
X fizzled back into view by the door and slipped his full mask on. As Robin and Starfire readied themselves for a fight, X addressed them, "Robin, you should've killed me when you had the chance, now this doppelganger will forever plague you - 'Cause there's no way you'll catch me again." He left and they ran after him, but it was too late.
Starfire started to fly up after him, but Robin held her back, "Starfire, let him go."
She stared at him with a raised brow, "But Robin, we must go after him. He must still be put into prison! And there should not be two yous running around the city."
"It's alright Star. He'll be back. I should know." He crouched down and grabbed a rock off the ground. He tossed it away then gazed upward, "And he isn't me any more Star. Now…he's just 'Red X'."
He was dressed in the black jeans and shirt he had planned to wear before. He looked at himself in the mirror and checked his hair to see if it was tousled correctly. He looked good -it was the least he could do, but something didn't feel right. After a quick double-check, he realized what was irking him: this time…he left his mask off.
Robin stepped out of the stairwell adjacent to the roof. He was looking for Starfire. Now that everything had settled down, he knew that it was time to talk to her. Even though she had most likely "forgiven and forgotten" in all that had happened, he would never forget. And he really did need her to know how he felt.
She was sitting right on the edge, swinging her dangling feet. He snuck up on her with out a sound and placed his hands over her eyes. "Guess who?" he whispered.
She stopped to consider his query, "Cyborg could not sneak up on me without large amounts of clamoring, Beast Boy has slightly clammy hands, and Raven would find this game too trivial. So you must be Robin!" She giggled and turned to face him. When she noticed his appearance, she gained a look of surprise and blurted, "Robin! I did not know that you had blue eyes!"
Robin smiled, but looked confused, "What were you expecting? Plaid?"
"No, it is just that you look so very good that I was surprised," she countered. Again he gave her a look of confusion. "It is not that you do not look good at other times. It is just that you look different," she caught another look, "in a good way. I wish friend, that you would have given me prior notice so that I may look as different as you!"
'Oh my gosh, she is soo cute. I love the way her broken English sounds.' "No Starfire, I did this for you because there's something that I want to talk to you about and I want to be as open as possible."
She expressed concern, "Robin, what is it that you would like to say that would make you dress differently?"
He sat next to her and let both of her hands to rest in his, "Starfire, I have already apologized to Raven for what I allowed to happen to her and I told her I would do everything in my power to find Krystal Ice and make her pay."
Starfire smiled, "Robin that is wonderful! I will be very glad to help, but I still do not understand. You could have announced that to everyone and you would not have needed to change your clothes…"
"Star, you may have forgotten, but I really need to apologize to you too. And not about something that someone else did, but about something I did." He looked down at his hands and continued, "Back when we were looking for Slade - when I was delusional, I hurt you. I know it's no excuse, but every thought in my brain was so focused on him that I didn't even realize it until much later when I saw that you were still so sad. Even then, I still didn't say anything!" He became aggravated and had take in a deep breath to mellow. "Starfire? I'm so sorry. I would never hurt you on purpose and I pray that nothing like that will ever happen again. I could not bear to lose you because of my stupidity. Not when I've already lost you once. I know that that cannot make up for what I did, but will you forgive me anyway?"
She gazed into his eyes and ran a hand through her crimson hair, "Robin I forgive you." She smiled at him, "I forgave you a long time ago." He smiled back and leaned closer to her. She obviously wasn't paying attention to his subtle sign because she continued talking, "Now, there is something that I need to tell you."
She let her eyes fall to the ground, "Please, I do not want you to be mad with me."
Now it was his turn to look concerned, "Why would I be mad at you Star?"
"Robin, the Red X, he…kissed me…" she paused, "and I kissed him back." She quickly tried to rectify her admission, "I did not know what I was doing." She stood up and started to fly off. "Please forgive me and we can go inside and forget that any of this ever happened," by then, she had her hand on the doorknob.
"No," he replied. Her eyebrows curved together and he could see her eyes cloud up. "…What I meant was, I forgive you, but I don't want to go inside just yet." He grabbed her free hand and spun her around so that she faced him. He wrapped his other hand around her waist.
She looked into his eyes, "The Red X? He said that he was driven to a life of crime because of his longing to find me and when we were together he had many passionate feelings toward me. I know that you said that he is no longer you, but he was. Does that mean you have the same feelings toward me?"
He laid everything on the table, "Star I've liked you ever since we met. You are very special to me. I've always entertained the thought of you and I being together, but I didn't want to ruin our friendship. X was able to let his feelings for you show because you were gone from him for so long and he thought he had a second chance with you. But you're here with me now and I don't intend to let this opportunity slide by." With that, he pulled her into a long deep sweet kiss.
When they eased back she tried to suppress a huge grin by biting her bottom lip, "So, you do feel like him?"
"No. I feel like me." He grinned back, "Now we can go inside, if you still want…"
"I think I would like to stay out here and admire the stars once more. How about you?"
He looked deep into her eyes and pulled her toward him once more, "I wouldn't mind that at all…"
A/N: Oh, how adorable huh? Not too fluffy, but still good!
I feel that I have to clear up one BIG question that I'm sure is lurking in some of your brains, right now. If I don't you all will probably be sending me a barrage of emails wanting me to answer you.
So, I assume most of you are thinking: "What the HECK?!? I thought that when Starfire went into the future, Robin was 'Nightwing'! Why would Robin be X and then be Nightwing?"
--First of all this is only my explanation of who X is. Secondly I am only placing X and his scenario in the "alternate future" 6 years down the line. That means that though Robin may have given up hope on everything after he realized that Starfire was finally gone, there were still another 14 years in which he could have come to terms with that fact and gone back to being a good guy and become 'Nightwing'. Cyborg did say, "If you're looking for Robin, you're on your own. We lost touch with him a long time ago." –Robin becoming X could have been a symptom of their separation.
--Remember again that this is only my explanation. But, I do like it a lot.
Again, THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! And I would still like to hear what you feel about my ending, so please Review!! -Even if it's a short blip, I don't mind.