Chapter 1: "Dragon"

Disclaimer: Teen Titans does not belong to me by any means. It is owned by DC Comics and Warner Brothers.

Spoilers: None in particular, but there will be references to events in the first four seasons, as well as drawing upon spoilers from Season 5.

Timeline: This story takes place after Season 5.

Author's note: Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for something radical from me. Something very, very radical. Something only a select few before me have had the courage to do. If you can't guess what that is, I'll tell you.

A Robin/Blackfire pairing.

Yes, that's right, a Robin/Blackfire pairing. Doubtless, those of you who are rabid Robin/Starfire fans will take offense to this story simply because of who I paired Robin with. I give those people a double middle-finger salute . . . because this is my story . . . and I decide what happens and who gets paired up in it. I will not be intimidated into stopping this story no matter how loudly you protest because I am armed with a WMC – weapon of mass chaos. If you threaten me, be warned: my dorm room and my house are both wired to set off lethal booby traps should anyone attempt to break in seeking my life.

With this, I advise you to enjoy this story . . . or just get the hell out if you don't, because I don't wanna hear you whine about how Robin belongs with Starfire.

Now let the ride begin.

Robin glared at his opponent through the flexible white lenses of his mask.

"You're going down," he whispered.

His opponent didn't respond to that at all, as though silently taunting him.

Robin clenched his fist, which was wrapped in white exercise tape, and viciously struck his opponent, smirking in triumph as his opponent flew back. Not yet done with his opponent, Robin rushed forward and delivered a swift kick to the offending being with a foot that was also wrapped in white exercise tape.

"That was a good workout," he mumbled as he turned away from his opponent, only to smack the offender without even looking as soon as the being came back for a surprise attack. Then he heard a hiss as sand poured out from his opponent's body. "Damn. Looks like I need to get another punching bag."

Robin walked out of the gym and to the boys' locker room. He unwrapped the exercise tape around his left hand and arm, and then did the same for his right arm. Upon unwrapping his right arm, Robin gazed at the serpentine scar around it.

He'd had that scar for as long as he could remember. His parents had said it was a birthmark when he asked them about it. It was a strange thing, really, a slightly scaly scar coiled around his right arm like a serpent. It was rather easy to hide, as his glove took up most of his forearm and his sleeve covered much of the rest of his arm.

Taking his mind off his musings, Robin stripped off his workout pants and unwrapped the exercise tape around his feet. His boxers were the last to go and then he wrapped a towel around his lower half before going to the shower area. He hung the towel up on a rack and then turned the "hot" and "cold" knobs until the water was at a suitable temperature for him.

The masked boy – closer to man, actually, since he'd recently turned 18 – let out a brief sigh of contentment as the shower water massaged his aching muscles. He squeezed a glob of shampoo out of the shampoo bottle and then lathered it into his spiky black hair, which was now plastered to his face. After five minutes of lathering and rinsing, he picked up a bar of soap and worked up a good lather before rubbing it all over himself – his arms, his torso, his legs, etc.

Five minutes later, Robin was as clean as a whistle, dried off, and in a bathrobe. Robin walked out of the shower, picked up his discarded clothes, and went back to his room, dropping his clothes into the laundry chute for later cleaning on the way. As soon as he entered his room, he removed and hung up his robe in his closet, then opened his uniform closet and removed one of his uniforms from its hanger.

First, he put on the green pants, which were made out of a special armor-like fabric nicknamed "modern chain mail." Next, he donned the green-sleeved armored red tunic with the golden R on the left breast. Following that, he snapped on the golden utility belt around his waist, feeling the familiar weight of all his tools secreted within it. Then he put on his steel-toed black boots and his green modern chain mail gloves. The last item of clothing to come on was the polymerized titanium cape, ten times stronger than steel and yet light enough for him to move comfortably.

Robin removed his mask, which was still damp from the shower, briefly revealing teal eyes before replacing it with a new, drier mask. He picked up a bottle of hair gel from his dresser and opened it, then removed his gloves and poured a glob of gel onto one of his exposed hands, rubbing that gel into his hair and styling it into his traditional spikes. He cleaned off his hands with an antiseptic wipe and then put his gloves back on.

No sooner was his ritual complete than the alarm blared. Robin ran out of his room and into the main room of Titans Tower.

"What is it?" he asked.

"Trouble," Cyborg replied. "Apparently, someone's started a fire downtown."

"Where downtown?" Robin asked.

"Quentin Towers," Cyborg answered.

The command burst from Robin's lips without him even really thinking about it.

"Titans, go!"

The R-Cycle blazed through the streets with a helmeted Robin at the handles, Cyborg right beside him in the T-Car and Raven, Starfire, and Beast Boy keeping pace with him in the air.

They were the Teen Titans, five teenaged superheroes who banded together to not only protect innocent life but also to find their place in the world apart from the adult heroes that some of them had been affiliated with in the past.

Robin was their leader, a young man with no superhuman abilities whatsoever but who fought crime with a combination of martial arts mastery, an impressive array of gadgets, and wits sharpened by his time with Batman, the Dark Knight of Gotham City.

Beast Boy was the youngest of the team at fifteen years old, a small green shape-shifter with a knack for telling bad jokes on a near-constant basis, which led many people to not take him seriously. Those people were soon proven wrong in their estimation of him whenever they saw him in battle, though.

Cyborg was, as his name suggested, an amalgam of flesh, blood, and metal, the end result of a terrible accident. He still missed being a full flesh-and-blood human, but his trials with the psychic mastermind Brother Blood had helped him realize that he was still a man, metal parts or no metal parts. When he wasn't agonizing over his half-machine existence, he was a technological genius who had built a lot of the Titans' arsenal by himself.

Starfire was a princess from the planet of Tamaran. Like the rest of her people, she could channel emotions into power – joy for flight, righteous fury for energy blasts called starbolts, and boundless confidence for superhuman strength. As her people didn't believe in restraining their emotions like humans did, Starfire wore her feelings on her sleeve, whether they be joy, sorrow, or anger.

Raven was the most mysterious of the Titans, possessing the power to move objects through a living darkness that she could manipulate and empathy, the ability to sense and manipulate the emotions of others. She was the daughter of a mortal woman and a demon lord named Trigon and had spent her whole life fighting his influence. When Trigon had finally made his way to the human realm, all was thought to be lost until Raven realized her inner power and used it to annihilate him, or at least send him back to the hell that spawned him. Now she was free to express emotions, but she still had a hard time doing so because she was simply unused to it.

They were friends. They were family. They were the Teen Titans.

And right at that moment, they saw something that shook them to the core.

Quentin Towers, flames sticking out from the windows like malevolent tongues out of demonic mouths. The firefighters were doing their best to put out the fire, but the fire seemed impervious to their best efforts.

"What's going on here?" Robin asked the apparent leader.

"We don't know," the firefighter replied. "We've spent the better part of an hour trying to put this fire out, but it's like it doesn't want to go out."

"That's because it's not earthly fire," Raven stated.

"Then what kind of fire is it?" the firefighter asked.

"Not the kind that comes from this plane of existence," Raven replied.

"There are still people trapped inside!" another firefighter shouted. "We got some of our people in there trying to get them out, but with all that fire . . ."

The Titans moved to get inside the apartment complex and help the firefighters inside rescue the innocent people trapped inside, but Robin was hindered from following by a blast of flame that knocked him off his feet.

"Nice to see you again," a cold, malevolent voice drawled.

"Slade!" Robin spat. "Did you set this fire!"

"Yes," Slade admitted and as he spoke, Robin got the chilling feeling that Slade was smirking underneath his bisected mask.

Starfire looked back at Robin in concern. "I'll be fine, Starfire!" Robin shouted. He unsnapped his cape and threw it to her. "Use this to protect the people inside from the flames. I'll handle Slade."

Starfire hesitated for a moment and then flew into the burning apartment complex.

"Now it's just you and me," Slade purred. He charged at Robin and delivered a vicious kick to his solar plexus that knocked the breath out of the young hero and sent him flying back.

Robin swore under his breath. He hit me harder than he ever has before, even when he was working for Trigon, he thought.

"Surprised?" Slade asked. "I'm not playing with you anymore . . . because your value to me has reached its end." He raised a fiery fist and launched the flames at Robin, slamming him into the wall of a nearby building.

Robin got up with an angry snarl and whipped out his escrima sticks, lunging at Slade and beating him viciously with each stick. Slade simply took the hits . . . only to rise up again and give Robin a vicious beating, his gauntleted fists and armored feet slamming into Robin's torso over and over.

The armor can't take this forever, Robin thought. It's made to stop bullets, not beatings from super-strong psychopaths.

Fire coiled around Slade's right arm and shaped itself into a sword. "Now it's time for you to go."

"You first," Robin retorted, spitting out blood and drawing two bird-shaped boomerangs out of his utility belt, then slamming them together so that they combined and extended into a sword. He charged at Slade and slashed at him with the sword, but Slade moved out of the way as though the swing had come at him in slow motion.

"What demon did you bargain with this time for those powers?" Robin asked angrily.

"I think I'll keep that my little secret," Slade replied coolly. "Besides, you have worse things to worry about right now."

Then he slashed Robin with his fiery sword, burning through the armored cloth and to the more vulnerable flesh beneath. Robin fought the urge to scream in pain, as the burn went deeper than just skin and muscle and bone . . . it went straight to his soul.

"It's amazing how much damage hellfire can do to a person," Slade mused. "Far more damage than a mere third-degree burn."

"Am I . . . supposed to be . . . impressed?" Robin spat in between gasps for breath.

"Most people would be screaming their lungs out in agony," Slade continued, "but not you. No . . . you'd never show pain in front of me. Too galling for you to let me know that I can hurt you." He chuckled sinisterly.

Robin pulled out four disks and threw them at Slade. As soon as the disks impacted against him, they released a Freon-like gas that hardened into solid ice around him. Unfortunately for him, the ice structure that imprisoned Slade began to shake, a sign that Slade was generating so much heat so as to cause hyperactive molecular activity in the ice. Eventually, it grew to be too much for the structure and it shattered into pieces, releasing Slade.

"That was refreshing," Slade remarked before shooting a bolt of unholy flame at Robin in the shape of a claw. Robin jumped up to escape the claw, but the claw just bent upward and grabbed Robin, yanking him back down and pinning him to the wall.

"What do you want?" Robin managed to inquire despite the pain Slade's hellfire claw was causing him.

"What do I want?" Slade echoed. "Why should I tell you that? It's not as though you'll be around long enough to stop me."

"The others . . ." Robin started to speak, but Slade cut him off.

"Are too weak," he finished. He placed his free hand on his chin as though he was deep in thought. "I wonder what'll happen when they see your charred corpse. How will they react when they see that sight?"

"I think they'd kick your sorry murdering ass," Robin spat out contemptuously.

"Still defiant as ever," Slade mused. "To be honest, Robin, I'll so miss our encounters."

By now, Robin was certain that his armored tunic was all but useless against Slade's hellish flames. This is it, he thought. I'm going to die. I'm really going to die . . . and I never told her how I felt. Hopefully, she forgives me for being such a stubborn jackass.

Just as Robin was making peace with himself in preparation for his approaching death, he felt his right arm burn. At first, he thought it was Slade's hellfire, but he soon realized that the burn was coming from within. He spared a glance at his right arm, only to see the serpentine birthmark glow black and burn through his glove and sleeve. The black glow ignited into black flame and Robin felt a new strength course through his veins. He drew back his flaming right arm and karate-chopped the hellfire claw pinning him to the wall, causing it to dissipate.

Robin fell to his feet, revealing that his red-and-green tunic had been burned away, exposing a lean yet muscular chest that was an unnatural pinkish-red from exposure to hellfire. The black fire coiled around his right arm, taking the shape of a dragon.

"What is this?" Slade asked, his left eye widening in surprise.

"Don't know," Robin admitted calmly, "but I know I can use it to take you down."

"Come on, then," Slade challenged.

Robin sprung at Slade with a fist wrapped in black flames as Slade sprung at Robin with a fist wrapped in hellfire. The two flaming fists collided with each other, the respective powers behind those fists clashing against each other. Both fighters strained with the effort of piercing each other's shield of flames to reach each other. Finally, there was an explosion of black and orange flames and both combatants were thrown back.

"That was something I hadn't anticipated," Slade murmured.

"Robin!" Starfire exclaimed. "Are you uninjured?"

"Not really," Robin replied, "but I'll live."

"Dude!" Beast Boy exclaimed. "How did you do that! You were wielding fire just like Slade!"

"You saw that?" Robin asked.

"Yeah," Cyborg replied. "We managed to save the people in that complex while you and Slade were busy with your little dance. We came to see if you were still alright, but . . ." He trailed off.

Slade let out a hissing growl. "I'll see you later." A fiery warp opened in the ground beneath him and he sank into it.

"No!" Robin yelled angrily. "Get back here, Slade!"

Unfortunately, Slade wasn't listening, as he'd already finished sinking into the fiery warp.

"Forget it," Raven stated. "Slade's gone. We already saved the people in the Towers. Right now, we need to get home and regroup."

As the Titans walked back to the vehicles that had brought them to Quentin Towers, Starfire couldn't help but look at Robin as it occurred to her that she had never before seen him shirtless. She gave him short, embarrassed glances, admiring the muscle definition of his exposed upper body.

Unbeknownst to her, Raven was doing the same thing, only she wasn't being nearly as obvious about it as Starfire.

"Star?" Raven uttered.

"Yes, Raven?" Starfire asked in a tone that suggested barely repressed panic, as she feared that Raven had caught her ogling their leader.

"He might be cold without his cape," Raven answered tersely.

"Oh!" Starfire exclaimed in realization and rushed over to Robin, draping his cape around his shoulders.

"Thanks, Star," Robin said.

"You are welcome," Starfire responded.

Upon arriving at Titans Tower, Beast Boy turned to Robin. "Where did you learn how to make fire?" he asked.

"I don't know," Robin replied. "I just know that it came from this." He held out his bare right arm, exposing the birthmark to the prying eyes of the other Titans.

Raven grasped his arm and examined the birthmark. "When did you get this mark?"

"I don't know," Robin replied. "I've had it for as long as I can remember."

"It's the mark of a darkness dragon," Raven stated, "a creature so ferocious that even Trigon feared him. The Azarathian monks used to tell me stories about how the dragon was sealed inside a human so that he couldn't cause any more harm, but I never knew who that human was."

"Until now," Cyborg added solemnly.

Robin took his arm back from Raven and hid it underneath his cape, which he had wrapped around his body. Without saying a word, he walked away from the other Titans and back to his room.

Slade hadn't shown his face at all in the week following his attack on Quentin Towers. In that week, Robin had busied himself watching footage of his fight with Slade. This day was no different.

"What do I want?" Slade echoed. "Why should I tell you that? It's not as though you'll be around long enough to stop me."

What game are you playing at now, Slade? Robin wondered. What demon have you sold your soul to this time?

After one last viewing of the footage, Robin turned off the screen and went to the gym, changing out of his uniform and into a pair of sweatpants. He wrapped exercise tape around his left arm, having already used it to cover his right arm as he'd been doing ever since the birthmark's power had made itself known. Then he wrapped some more exercise tape around each foot.

Robin punched and kicked the gym bag brutally, the aforementioned gym bag shaking with each strike. As he punched and kicked the bag, he imagined that it was Slade he was fighting. The more he continued, the angrier he got until his fist ignited into black flame and he knocked the gym bag off its chain. The gym bag flew into the wall and crashed against the nearby weights.

"This isn't healthy, Robin," Raven spoke up, making her presence known.

"I have to stop him, Raven," Robin responded.

"You mean we," Raven amended. "Haven't you always told me that I can't do everything on my own and that it's good to let other people help once in a while? Now I'm telling you: Don't go after Slade on your own. He is not someone to be trifled with and the only reason he was stopped before was that we worked together to do it."

"Are you afraid of me, Raven?" Robin asked.

It wasn't the question that astonished Raven so much as the tone in which he asked it, a tone that reminded Raven of a lost little boy.

"No," Raven replied. "I'm afraid for you. You have a control over your emotions that I don't see in most people. When it comes to Slade, though, you lose it. You get obsessed with him and in that obsession, you become a danger to yourself and everyone around you. It could be even worse now, since the power inside you is triggered by your darker emotions."

"I can't help it, Raven," Robin murmured. "He taunts me, night after night, whispering, laughing, telling me that I could be so much more than I am now but only if I submit to him."

"And you feel that taking him down is the only way to stop those nightmares," Raven stated.

Before Robin could formulate a response to that, the alarm blared.

"Titans, trouble!" Cyborg shouted over the intercom.

Ten android commandoes were in the Jump City Museum, having already overpowered the guards there, but not before a silent alarm had been triggered. The aforementioned silent alarm was hooked up to Titans Tower's computer mainframe, so the Titans had been alerted to the break-in and now they were in the museum.

"Museum's closed," Robin stated. "Come back in the morning . . . or don't come back at all. Titans, go!"

The five Titans charged at the androids, each taking on two.

Cyborg fired his Sonic Cannon at one android, but the android flipped out of the way before shooting a laser that pierced through his armor. The other android tagged him from behind with a taser in its palm, eliciting a scream of pain before his systems were forced to temporarily shut down and reboot.

Beast Boy lunged at an android as a bull, but that android grabbed him by the horns and kicked him into a wall, leaving a much disoriented changeling back in human form.

Starfire fought her two androids hand to hand, as she could not risk using her starbolts and accidentally damaging the exhibits. However, the two androids were programmed with expertise in virtually every martial art known to man, as she discovered when she attempted to kick an android, only for that android to grab her ankle and twist hard. Starfire managed to recover, swinging her other leg up to kick it. Unfortunately, the other android grabbed her other leg and now both androids had her legs.

Meanwhile, Raven was busily generating shields to block her two androids' attacks. Unfortunately, the androids were cutting through her shields with laser blades, so she created shields on top of shields to buy her some time until she could come up with a way to attack them.

As for Robin, he was fighting his two androids with an almost inhuman ferocity, chopping one android's head off with his flaming right hand and putting a hole in the other with his foot. Despite the hole in its chest, the surviving android kept fighting, swinging at Robin with its laser blade. Robin moved his head out of the way of the blade, finally catching it between his hands and wresting it from the android's hands. Then he swung the laser blade and decapitated the android just like he'd done to its partner.

Starfire shot both androids holding her with her starbolts, scrambling their circuits just long enough for her to break free and blast them both to pieces.

The first two androids were about to dismantle Cyborg when his systems finished rebooting. Then he punched one in its "face" and struck the other in its chest.

"Booya!" he exclaimed.

Finally, Raven had had enough hiding behind her shields. She withdrew the energy from them into herself and then released it as a serpentine blade that skewered the two androids.

Beast Boy lunged at one android as a lion and sliced through its chest with his claws, only to be shot in the side by that android's partner. The changeling roared in agony.

"Beast Boy!" Robin shouted, his anger upon seeing his friend harmed feeding the dragon inside him. Without thinking about it, the black fire coiled around his arm in the shape of a dragon and leaped at the two androids, incinerating them completely. He ran to Beast Boy – who had changed back into human form – and asked, "Are you ok?"

"Yeah . . ." Beast Boy replied slightly shakily, although it didn't escape Robin's notice that his green friend's shakiness had more to do with his proximity to someone that had just annihilated two killing machines with a mere gesture.

"Looks like we beat them," Cyborg remarked, "but what were they here for?"

"They're Slade's foot soldiers," Robin answered. "So that means they were here to steal something for him."

"Correction, Robin," Slade purred as he stepped out of the shadows. "They were here to distract you while I made my acquisition unmolested." He raised his right hand and opened it, revealing a black gem in his palm, "Now that I have this, the first stage of my plan is complete."

"What is that gem?" Robin asked angrily.

"I don't think I'll tell you now," Slade replied. "You'll find out when I'm good and ready. Until then, a parting gift." Demonic fire formed in his left hand and he shot it in a wide spray at the Titans. The dark draconic power activated inside Robin and formed a shield to protect him and the other Titans from Slade's attack. When the two fire powers canceled each other out, the Titans saw that Slade had vanished.

"He got away . . . again," Robin murmured.

Three more weeks passed and in those three weeks, Robin began noticing changes in the other Titans' behavior around him.

One day, he'd decided to take Raven's advice and unwind a bit. In the service of that end, he'd asked Starfire if she'd like to see a movie with him, the aforementioned movie being about a man who moves into an apartment and meets the ghost of the girl that used to live there. He'd explained that it wasn't a horror movie but actually a romantic comedy. She'd seemed to brighten up, then, but he couldn't help but notice that she was nervous about being near him. At the time, he'd attributed it to mere jitters.

During the film itself, Starfire hadn't held Robin's hand as she usually did whenever they saw a movie together. In fact, she had kept her hands to herself the whole time. This disconcerted Robin, as Starfire was a very touchy-feely person, especially where he was concerned.

Then there was the day he'd tried to play video games with Cyborg and Beast Boy.

"Hey, guys," he said as he approached the back of the couch the two were sitting on as they played their fighting game. "Mind if I play the winner?"

"Ahhh!" both boys had yelped. Then they turned to face Robin.

"Dude, you scared us!" Beast Boy yelled.

"Yeah, man, don't sneak up on us like that," Cyborg added in a slightly calmer voice.

"If you two weren't so distracted by your game, you would have noticed him approaching you," Raven stated.

"Sorry," Robin said. Then he repeated his question, "Mind if I play the winner?"

Cyborg and Beast Boy hesitated for ten seconds.

"Fine," Robin conceded. "I'll leave you two alone." He walked away. Raven glared at Cyborg and Beast Boy and walked after Robin.

"You feel it, don't you?" Raven deduced.

"That they're all afraid of me now?" Robin responded. "Yeah, hard not to notice. It's like they don't want me near them anymore."

"I understand," Raven said. "They were the same way with me when they found out about my father. As much as they tried to be understanding, they couldn't understand and it scared them, made them afraid of me."

"Starfire won't even touch me anymore," Robin said. "We went to a movie together two weeks ago and the whole time she never reached out to hold my hand once."

Raven squashed the stirrings of jealousy inside her and not for the first time she wondered if Starfire really was deserving of Robin. At first, Raven had thought that they should be together, simply because she felt Robin needed someone who could love him without needing to hold back. Now that she could feel emotions without running the risk of destroying everything around her, she was beginning to grow uncertain as to whether or not her best female friend truly deserved to be Robin.

"She just . . . needs time to get used to you," Raven surmised, trying to offer Robin some comfort.

"It's been almost four weeks since my new powers came and everyone's still looking at me like I'm gonna turn around and kill them," Robin griped. "It's like Red X all over again."

"There's a difference between your ruse as Red X and now," Raven stated. "With Red X, you brought it on yourself by not trusting us to help you stop Slade. This time, you're not at fault for what happened. You didn't ask to have a darkness dragon hiding inside you for all those years, just like I didn't ask to be born the daughter of an inter-dimensional demon. We all just need some time to adjust." She smiled, something that was becoming more common with her since Trigon's defeat, although it wasn't as though she smiled on a regular basis. "Come meditate with me."

The next morning, Cyborg's computer flickered to life, stating, "Sleep cycle complete."

"Time to start a new day," a newly awakened Cyborg said with a grin on his face. He left his room and went to the bathroom to brush his teeth. Upon coming out, he saw Starfire and Raven going down the hallway toward the dining room for breakfast.

The female Titans sat down at the dinner table while Cyborg went to work on his waffle maker.

"Mmmm, waffles!" Beast Boy exclaimed as he finally arrived. "Wait a second. Those aren't tofu waffles!"

"Of course not," Cyborg answered.

Just before the two boys could get into their daily argument over tofu and meat, Starfire spoke up. "One of our communicators is on the table."

"Beast Boy could have left his here after dinner by mistake," Raven suggested. "We all know his record for getting things lost."

"Hey!" Beast Boy protested. He reached inside his belt and pulled out his communicator. "My communicator is right here."

The four Titans gathered around the table as Raven picked up the communicator and pressed the blinking red button on it. Instantly, the screen flickered to life, bearing Robin's image.

"Hi," he spoke. "By the time you get this message, I'll be long gone. I wish it didn't have to be this way, but that's how things turn out.

"A leader can't lead a team that is afraid of him. If he has to rely on fear to get people to follow him, then he has failed as a leader and cannot be trusted to lead anymore. You all fear me now, because of the mark of the dragon I bear. I can't lead a team that's afraid of me, because you're more than just a team to me. You're my friends . . . and in many ways, my family, which is why it hurts so much that you're scared of me.

"Cyborg, you're in charge of the team from this point forward. Lead them well. Take care of them.

"Maybe I'll see you all again one day. Maybe not. Good-bye."

The screen fizzled out, ending the message.

Starfire gasped in sorrow and turned away, holding her hand over her mouth as small sobs began to escape from it.

Raven was silent as her tears flowed down her face. Robin, she thought. I'm sorry I couldn't help you. After all the times you were there for me, I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you. I'm sorry I couldn't tell you how deeply I felt for you . . . and now, I might never see you again.

Cyborg and Beast Boy said nothing, but Beast Boy wrapped an arm around Raven, trying to give her as much comfort as he could.

Dressed in normal clothes, Robin rode the repainted R-Cycle through the city of Los Angeles. He would have cried . . . if he hadn't felt so numb that tears wouldn't escape his eyes.

The City of Angels, he thought. A good place to start over.

End Notes: All right, so Blackfire didn't show up in this. Don't worry, she'll show up in the next chapter. Whether she meets Robin in that chapter or the next . . . even I don't know, as I'm writing this story by ear.

I'd like to know what you think of this story, so please review, but judge the story based only on its merits and not based on your personal pairing biases.