Disclaimer: Don't own them. Which is crappy… but I suppose I'll get over it.
A/N: So this is my first attempt at something that isn't a one shot. It's only half-formed in my mind right now, but I'm really excited about it. Prologue is a little rough, but I think it's necessary for my story… you get all the background I want you to know when the story opens. So I hope you see promise somewhere. And don't forget to RR to let me know what you think!
Warnings: The story is very PG at the most right now, but it'll go up in later chapters. This is going to end up being a lot of various things, so I'm not saying anything about pairings… just wait and see, ok?
Do What You Have To Do
When she was warm and tender
And you held her arms around you
There was nothing but her love and affection
She was crazy for you
Now she's part of something that you've lost
And for all you know
This could be
The difference between what you need and
What you wanna be
What you wanna be
- Matchbox Twenty, The Difference
Somewhere a clock struck six and as if to emphasize the passing time, the setting sun snuck through the cracks in the blinds and fell just short of reaching the lone figure in the corner of the room. He sat opposite an outfit he affectionately referred to as his own personal torture chamber, but what everyone else just called a tuxedo. "One more hour," he muttered, his voice calm, stoic… and what anyone else would classify as uncharacteristic for the occasion he was supposed to be preparing for. He continued to glare at the lifeless clothing on the hanger, arms crossed in defiance. A sharp knock on the door distracted him from his personal silence.
"Rob, come on man! She's going to be out there before you are!" It was the baritone voice of Cyborg, his best friend and the one who through the entire process had kept Robin sane.
"I'll be out in a minute," he assured his friend. He waited until he heard the heavy footsteps of the half-man, half-machine recede down the hallway and then, defeated, got up and began to get ready.
The truth was Robin, though responsible for the events that had passed in the last five months, suddenly found himself doubting his decision. It was a rather safe choice, and that was a word the bird did not like to use when describing himself. Eight years ago he had seen things coming out much differently. In fact it had been exactly eight years ago the week before when his fate was, in his opinion, forced in a new direction. Because eight years ago, she had abandoned him.
Slipping on the uncomfortable pants, shirt, and jacket of the tuxedo, Robin allowed himself one last trip down memory lane before he would become someone completely different from the boy he once was…
At sixteen the young Robin thought he'd found his match in the dark empath of his team. Though it had taken quite a while, once the two stubborn birds had realized what they had, they had taken it and ran with it. Raven was the one who could understand his demons, because she had her own. They lived in their own world unbeknownst to their fellow Titans. She was always there, and always would be there… or so he thought.
Not too long after they had declared love for each other, Robin woke up one day to a note lying on his nightstand. It was on plain white paper, message written in her calm, fluid handwriting… and it told him she was leaving. Even now he wondered how a single piece of paper had managed to change the course of his life. I have no choice she had written; In time you will come to realize that this is the best thing for everyone… especially you. He had torn the letter up in initial anger, and later regretted it.
He had wondered, as he relayed the message to his teammates, if she knew how much her actions would affect the Tower. Robin knew that Raven had always considered herself an outcast, but she had been there, and that was what had been important to them all. The Tower had been uncharacteristically quiet for weeks following her disappearance, but slowly and surely things got back to normal and Raven became a memory.
A memory to everyone but Robin. Though outwardly he too moved on from the loss, every morning he hoped that he would wake up and she would be on the roof meditating, waiting for him. He fruitlessly tried to search for her, but she left no trail. The hope dwindled with the passing of years, and now all that remained was a single thread. A thread he was going to cut when he said the words "I do."
Finishing his preparations with a final tug at his bowtie, Robin stepped out of his chambers and moved down the hall to the sanctuary. As he approached he heard the voices of the guests, and a tiny voice in the back of his mind told him to run. He reached into his jacket pocket and took out a handful of shredded pieces of paper. He clenched them in his fist, and chocked back tears as her soft I love you danced across his memory. Then he looked beside him and saw the trash can. He had to keep moving. The church was only a few steps away. With one last glance at the words especially you, Robin deposited Raven's final words to him into the can and continued onward to the sanctuary where his future awaited him.
"Ready?" Cyborg questioned, placing a hand on Robin's shoulder. The groom nodded, though said nothing. He walked into the sea of white and pink that decorated the church and stood at the front, awaiting his bride. In the moments before the wedding march played, Robin took a survey of the crowd. All at once the sensation that he was being watched overtook him and with a glimmer of hope he looked up to the balcony. His rather unsociable mentor stood in the shadows that the upper level alone, and with a nod acknowledge his happiness for his protégé. Robin managed a smile for the Bat, though it hid quiet disappointment. If she would come he would… what would he do?
Then the music started, jolting Robin from his 'what if' scenario. Everyone stared in awe at the beautiful alien who was slowly beginning her voyage down the aisle. Robin, too, looked at the girl who was to be his wife and smiled at her as she got closer to him. Starfire had become to Robin the only other path he saw for himself after Raven disappeared. She was pretty, and he enjoyed her company… she was the safe life he couldn't believe he was letting himself venture into. As she finished her journey and stood across from him, her hands in his own, Robin tried to see into his future. As the minister began the ceremony, Robin only half-listened.
He would live a happy life with Starfire. He would be a good and loving husband. They could continue to fight crime and might one day have a family of their own. Then what was there to complain about? The answer hit Robin forcefully in the gut, though it was his heart that felt the pain.
Though he loved Starfire, it was a different love. Raven had made him complete and with Starfire he was still the same, broken, troubled man with a past Starfire's bubbly, optimistic nature could not grasp…
The question was asked at this point in Robin's thoughts, and the room awaited his answer. This is it… Goodbye, Raven… I will always love you. "I do." He offered a genuine smile to Starfire, who beamed back.
"You may kiss the bride."
Robin did as he was commanded, and as he and Starfire broke apart he heard a voice in his mind that he thought he'd just decided to forget. But this, he knew, was no figment of imagination. This was real. She was here and she was using their connection, still as sharp as ever even after not being used, to give him her blessing. I told you it would be the best thing to do for you. He felt her sigh and glanced up to the balcony in time to see black wings as they left the church, and his life, forever.
I know soon you will be
Over the lies, you'll be strong
You'll be rich in love and you will carry on
But no… oh no
No you won't be mine
- Matchbox Twenty, You Won't be Mine
A/N: Just to clarify… 16 when Raven left, 16+8 would mean that everyone is more or less 24 at this point in time. Okay, now feel free to let me know what you think! I'd appreciate it! Oh and thanks to those of you who reviewed my first ever story so nicely (Chica de Los Ojos Café, Tears of a Phoenix, Kast)! It meant a lot to me!