Waiting for you

Cyborg yawned loudly as the tv screen turned black and the credits began to roll, snapping Robin out of his reverie. He wasn't himself anymore, tuning in and out of reality, it was like a piece of himself was missing. The other three Titans stood up, stretching and yawning, but he remained seated, he always did. The traditional Friday night movie refused to die, just like Robin's own personal tradition. Or more accurately, obsession. Regardless, the others hadn't given up hope, and insisted on giving him the opportunity to change, but he never took them up on that offer. He could be really stubborn when he chose.

"Well, we're gonna head upstairs, you coming?" asked Cyborg, though he already knew the answer.

"No, I'm gonna stay down here a little longer." he muttered in reply. Cyborg sighed,

"Alright man, have it your way." His friends headed towards door, and as they went Robin heard Beastboy say to Raven,

"Why do we even bother?"

"If he wants to believe she's coming back, let him." Raven defended.

"Yeah, but it's getting kinda sad. It's been ten years, she ain't coming back."

Robin didn't hear the rest, and he didn't need to. He knew Beastboy was probably right, but he couldn't bring himself to accept it. He unfolded himself from his chair, and took up his post on the windowsill of the redecorated common-room of the Titan Tower. Every night he would sit on the wide sill of the window, looking out onto the path below. Watching, and waiting, for her.

Tonight the rain pelted the glass, running in thick rivulets, starlight catching in their angles, making the outside world look like it was studded with diamonds. The water below was black, except for the blue foam lapping at the shore. Robin let his head rest against the cold glass as Beastboy's words reverberated inside him. Robin had heard it all before, and they were right. Ten years was a long time, but sitting there, eyes focused and unwavering on the path leading up to the tower, Robin's heart calmed. This was what he needed. He sighed, he could still remember the night she left.

Flashback

"Starfire?" he called as he approached his team-mate's room. He was startled into stopping when he saw what was inside. Starfire was hurriedly packing things into an open suitcase on her bed. She had her back to him, and was rushing all around the room, collecting armfuls of possesions.

"Starfire, what are you doing? Why… where… why are you packing?" he asked, fearing the answer. She slowed, but continued laying things into the suitcase, without saying anything or even turning to face him. Finally, she pulled down the lid and snapped closed the clasps. Then she turned to face him. She smiled weakly.

"War has been declared on my home planet." she stated. Robin reeled, Did I just hear that right? he thought. Starfire continued, "I must return to Tamaran to take up my rank of Royal General and lead my people against our enemies." Robin frowned as he desperately tried to find something to say. Starfire turned back to her suitcase and hauled it off the bed. "I may be gone for some time." she said.

"You can't go." he said stupidly.

"Robin, I must. My people need me." she replied, imploring him with her eyes to not make it any harder than it already was.

"But I need you." He only faintly registered that he maybe shouldn't have said that, but it was what he was feeling. She walked up to him until they were only inches apart. She laid her free hand gently on his cheek.

"I know, and for that I promise I will return." Her emerald eyes blazed with sincerity as she spoke. Then she quickly kissed him on the cheek, and darted down the hall before he could regain his senses enough to go after her. But once he had, he ran down the corridor trying to catch up with her, but he was only in time to see her space-craft disappear into the sky above.

End flashback

He could still remember her. Her laugh, her shimmering eyes, the way her hair shone in the sun, the way she saw goodness in everything and everyone, the way she had never given up on him, even when it seemed hopeless. She had said she would come back, and he believed her. And so he sat, every night for ten long years, waiting for her until he couldn't wait any longer and his eyes drifted closed.

Even so, there was a nagging voice in the back of his mind, one that told him she couldn't come back if she was dead. It was, after all, a war. The odds that she made it through were slim. But his heart wouldn't let him believe it. He just missed her so much. But he was tired of missing her, tired of the dull ache he felt whenever someone said "star" or he passed a girl with red hair.

Maybe the war is still being fought he thought, but if that was the case then why no messages? Why hadn't she tried to contact him? It seemed Robin would just have to accept it. Everything pointed to her being dead, or captured. Either way, she wasn't coming back. It was time he stopped kidding himself. It was time he stopped putting himself through this, staring at that same tile in the path for hours each night, before trudging, disappointed up to bed, where he would lie awake and tell himself Tomorrow, tomorrow just so he could get some sleep. He would just have to accept the facts, and forget what his heart was telling him, however hard it may be.

Robin gently touched his fingertips to the glass, before lowering his legs to the floor and stepping away from the window, turning his back on the blind hope he had held onto for the past decade. But as he did so, his eyes met with the most beautiful, welcome and unbelievable sight he would ever see.

There, just in front of the door, stood Starfire.

She was almost unrecognizable, but Robin knew it was her. Her violent red hair was pulled back tight in a high ponytail, with braids, feathers and beads woven into the tumble of silken locks that cascaded down her back. She wore a huge, latex-like, midnight-blue trenchcoat that fell to the floor and was adorned with gold clasps and trimming along with numerous colourful bars and shapes on the wide, pointed shoulders, that accompanied a high collar. Her knee-high combat boots were the same shade of dark, dark blue.

Underneath the coat, skin-tight purple trousers were visible, riding low on her hips with a silver belt. The belt and trousers were lower in the middle of her stomach than they were at her hips, creating an alluring V shape, with a large, green stone set in at the lowest point. Her cropped top matched, being the same shade of purple, and having the same silver rimming with the green stone. It mirrored the trousers, in that it was higher in the middle than at the sides, so it bared her stomach entirely. Covering her neck and chest where the top didn't, was a silver chest plate, again with a green stone set in at the neck, this one however, had some kind of crest on it.

Robin was distressed to see a scar cutting through her right eyebrow, missing her eye, and continuing half-way down her cheek. Another scar was visible between her ribs, half covered by the purple material and accompanying metal. Robin also noticed that the little finger on her left hand was missing, the hand that was holding the same suitcase she'd left with. She was an impressive sight to see, and there was no doubt that she was a very high-ranking soldier. Robin was almost afraid to approach her, especially since he couldn't rule out the possibility that he was imagining her. That was of course, until he heard her voice.

"Robin?" It was still the light, innocent, melodious voice that he remembered. His memories didn't do her justice. His heart twinged when he heard the fearful apprehension her voice held. He wanted to chase away whatever doubt she had that she was anything but incredibly welcome. This was her home. Robin took a step towards her.

"Starfire? My god, you're a sight for sore eyes." he said.

"I have returned, just as I promised." She still looked unsure.

"I knew you would. For ten years I sat on that windowsill, waiting for you, and here you are." Robin paused as he considered the best course of action, the best way to show her how much he needed her. The rain seemed to echo their wariness of each other. Starfire broke the silence first,

"We won. The war I mean…" she drifted off. Robin met her eyes, and they shared an obvious burning intensity, in that second Robin understood. And acted. He marched quickly across the room, barely giving her time to register his movements. When he was a step away, his eyes drifted close, his arms wrapped around her slim waist under her coat and he captured her in a fierce kiss. He heard the suitcase fall to the floor a second before he felt her elegant fingers balls into fists in his long hair. Her leg wrapped itself around his, pulling him closer. They kissed with all the passion and love they had kept hidden for the years they were apart, and then the years before that. The only thing that drove them apart was the need to breath.

Robin looked at the girl in his arms. God only knows what she's been through. He wanted nothing more than to hold her until she was her innocent, kind, loving self again.

"I missed you." he whispered.

"I missed you too, Robin, more than you can imagine." Starfire replied, tears in her eyes.

"You wanna talk about it?" he asked tentatively. Starfire shook her head.

"No, right now I just want to go to sleep, I haven't slept right in ten years, and I'm so tired." She looked jaded, as if her weariness went down to the bone, and couldn't be solved by a good night's rest. But if sleep was what Starfire wanted, then sleep was what Starfire was going to get. There would be time for other things later. In one fluid motion, Robin bent down and picked her up, bridal-style. Starfire stiffened and looked shocked, this was not the way to treat a general, not that she minded.

"Relax, Starfire," he said, "You're home" She relaxed a little, and allowed herself to be carried to Robin's room. She couldn't remember sleeping better.