10 Leisurely Days

by Blue Ten

Summary:

Robin finds out that Starfire will be leaving for Tamaran in 10 days. Keeping his discovery a secret, he has a little over a week to give her a reason to stay. But when things keep getting in the way, will he even get the chance? RobxStar, BBxRae

Disclaimer:

I do not own Teen Titans. However, I do own the song "As Long as We're Together."


Epilogue: The Hardest Thing To Say

Robin found himself awake, though his eyes refused to open. Contrasting to the darkness he had seen before, the area was lit up brightly in radiant white light. Soft winds could be heard passing through an open window... the sounds of the sea carrying in along with it. There was something else... a familiar voice speaking to him, though he could not understand the words as they seemed to be fading into earshot.

"...I must leave now." Robin could hear Starfire's beautiful voice penetrate through the blinding light like music to his ears; euphony, however, this song carried words he could not stand to hear...

'Please... don't go.' he tried to speak, but only thoughts could escape; he attempted to move, but the darkness seemed to envelope and restrain him. 'Stay with me... Starfire...' he pleaded; mustering all his strength, he could feel only his fingers moving. Robin felt a soft touch on his forehead--it warmed him amidst the wintry emptiness; a kiss from an angel.

'Starfire...'

- - - - - -

"Starfire!" Robin sat up quickly, tearing the white sheets from himself. Looking down, he saw his wounds had disappeared, the shirt of his tattered uniform replaced. Bright white light was streaming in through the windows of the infirmary at Titans Tower, washing out his vision with blearing luminosity. Nearly every object in the room was struck with a radiant glow, from the tiled floor to the bed sheets at his feet. It was quiet, soft winds whistling through the open windows, bringing in a brisk flow of air that nearly shocked Robin's system at its presence. The ocean, too, announced its bearing with a constant and subtle crashing of waves far below. From his position on the bed, though the intense light impeded his vision, Robin could see there was no one else in the room.

Robin squinted his eyes through the stinging light, "It's morning..." in horror, he looked at the rays shining through the window, "No..." he said, stepping down from the bed in a hurry. In his blind rush, Robin paid no regard to his weakened state. Before he could take even one step toward the door, his legs gave way beneath him, sending him to the ground where he collided painfully with the cold tiles. His muscles burned and his lungs seemed to sting with every breath, however no pain could compare to what his heart was feeling.

Straining himself to move, Robin stared at the door leading out of the infirmary; it was but a few feet away, though it might as well have been on the other side of the world. "Get up!" he yelled out loud, causing his pulse to quicken Clenching his fists, Robin forced his body to comply, lifting himself with unsteady arms. Standing up, he ran as fast as he could to the door, looking as though he could trip and fall as he awkwardly moved along. With a thud, Robin came in contact with the door, resting against it for a moment as he drew shallow breaths. Shaking his head, Robin hastily slid the door open, staring into the hall as it became lit up by the sunlight. He had to be sure... what he heard may have been a dream... but he had to know. In his state, Robin found it difficult to remember his way around. After a few seconds of contemplation, he looked down the corridor to his left.

Bolting down the hallway, he passed several doors, coming to a halt as he found his way to Starfire's room; at the loss of his strength, he collapsed against her door. Gripping the handle, he slid the door open, focusing his blurry vision inside... The intense morning light created a glow across the floor where it found its way under the closed purple curtains lining one wall. The circular bed near to the windows looked untouched, its covers tucked securely under the mattress, its pillows positioned uniformly at the top... Empty; all of her things were still in the same place, looking like Starfire hadn't even been to her room. Robin closed his eyes, cursing his inability to think... of course she wasn't in her room, she was always awake by this time. But it was that fact that had him worried... had she left already, or was he simply imagining things? One more place to check.

Turning around, Robin stepped into the hall, finding himself too diminished to run any more... though that didn't seem to stop him. Moving as fast as possible, he made his way back through the halls, resting one hand on a wall for support. As the bright light from the living room crept into his sight from around the corner, Robin sped up, hearing several voices speaking. Stopping at the corner, Robin carefully looked around, feeling like the last thing he wanted to do was alert the others. In the center of the living room were two long couches which faced each other; Cyborg sat on one side of the living room, across from Beast Boy and Raven--who were positioned oddly close to each other on the same sofa... Though it caused an eyebrow to rise, Robin paid it no mind, deciding to listen in from where he was.

- - - - - -

"Well... I figured Robin wanted me to find out why Slade was really there, so I followed him to that big computer room... I never thought I'd actually find out." Cyborg looked to the ground as he spoke, his mind recalling the events with disquieted thought. "There was a lot of weird stuff there... We found out what changed all those kids... some kinda mutation caused by this chemical. But, that wasn't the least of it." Cyborg explained, looking up for a moment before he would tell his friends something he was sure would shock them, "There was a kid in there, held in some weird containment... Jericho."

Beast Boy's eyes widened, remembering the boy he fought alongside to defeat the brotherhood, "That's why you were carrying him out of there... You think they were trying to make him... one of them too?" he asked.

"No..." Cyborg responded, shaking his head, "Actually, he was the one kid they couldn't... They used him to create that army." he explained, looking across to gauge his friends' reactions. Raven's eyes widened upon the realization, now understanding why she had a connection with every member of that group. Beast Boy simply nodded with a stern face, leading Cyborg to wonder if he even understood.

"So, they used Jericho's powers to brainwash all those kids into mindless zombies?" questioned Beast Boy, his face contorting into a strange shocked expression.

"Uh... Yeah." Cyborg replied, sounding more surprised than Beast Boy.

"So why was Slade there?" Raven added, getting over her own surprise at Beast Boy's insight.

"Well... this part's still hard for me to believe..." Cyborg looked to the window for a moment. "You remember Slade's face right?" he asked, waiting for Beast Boy and Raven's positive responses, "When we found Jericho... I noticed he and Slade had a lot in common... and then it hit me. That's why Slade was so determined to get to that place... that's why he helped us... He wanted to find his son." he finally explained. Feeling like that was a lot to take in, Beast Boy and Raven--with minds obviously struck by deep thought--simply waited for Cyborg to continue. "We ran into some trouble, and Slade... couldn't make it. So I carried Jericho out of there... Slade wanted me to tell Jericho something... that he was sorry."

"...Did you?" Raven asked simply, still attempting to mull over the fact that Slade was there for unselfish reasons.

"Yeah... I contacted him that night over his communicator. I explained everything and I'm pretty sure he understood it... but he's not exactly a talker." Cyborg explained.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he got it." Beast Boy gave Cyborg a reassuring smile, "Hey, where's Starfire? I'm sure she'd want to hear this. And Robin too... y'know... when he wakes up."

"Star never left the infirmary. I went to check up on Robin a couple minutes ago and she was sleeping right there at the side of his bed. I don't think we should wake 'em up just yet." he stated. Beast Boy and Raven showed their agreement by nodding.

After a moment of silence, Cyborg spoke up again, "What I'm worried about is those kids... You remember what Grey said, right? That they were forgotten... war orphans. And now they're gonna get thrown right back into the world... and the worst part is, the guy was right... If the world didn't accept them before, how are they gonna live now?" he asked, looking to the floor.

"Look, if the world wasn't accepting of people like that... we wouldn't be around. In a way, Grey was right, he did give them strength. And if they use that strength as we have, there's nothing to worry about. Potentially, they're better off than before." Raven explained, giving Cyborg pause. "Besides, they'll be alright if they take a page from Beast Boy's book. If you can't fit in, stand out." she spoke in her usual monotone, turning to Beast Boy with a smirk.

"Hey--" Beast Boy started, about to protest. However, he stopped as Raven grabbed his arm and rested her head on his shoulder.

"Can't you take a joke?" asked Raven.

"Okay!" Cyborg quickly stood up, looking repeatedly from Beast Boy to Raven, "I've been shruggin' it off until now, but I just gotta know. What is this?" he asked, walking in front of them, crossing his arms with a sternly perplexed expression.

"What is what?" Beast Boy asked in response, looking clueless. Raven simply shared his look.

Without moving anywhere, Cyborg seemed as though he was about to trip over himself, his human eye twitching excessively. Cyborg's arms moved about wildly for a moment before he pointed them both at Beast Boy and Raven, "THIS!" he shouted.

"What're you talking about?" Beast Boy raised an eyebrow, looking to Raven for clarification. Raven shrugged, still holding on to his arm.

After muttering random words, Cyborg slapped a hand against his face, "...I need a glass of water." he said in defeat, slowly walking away to the kitchen. As soon as Cyborg was out of earshot, Beast Boy burst into a fit of restrained chuckles.

Letting go of Beast Boy's arm, Raven smirked at him, "Okay, I'll admit... that was kind of fun."

"So, who should we freak out next?"

- - - - - -

Robin stepped away from the corner, 'A few minutes ago?' he thought. 'There's still time... but where would she...' he looked down the hall, 'The roof!' it suddenly hit him. Where else would they come to get her? Robin felt his breath catch in his throat as he attempted to run; his muscles immediately burned, causing him to slow down. Robin knew he had lost a lot of blood, and his body obviously hadn't fully recovered from that. Still... there was no time to waste. Starfire could quite possibly be making her way up the stairs at this very moment. Gritting his teeth through the severe weakness his body was feeling, Robin held on to a wall, hastily finding his way through the stretch of corridor.

As soon as he saw the threshold to the stairway, Robin forgot about his pain and fatigue, racing against time to meet his destination. Reaching the steps, he ran up as many as he could. With his weakness catching up to him, Robin tripped over a step, grabbing the railing before he could tumble back down the stairs. Holding on to the railing, he forced himself to climb the stairs with the very last remnants of strength within him. Keeping his eyes on the door to the roof, he scaled the stairway, hoping that he was not too late. Reaching the top, Robin threw his weight against the door, using his momentum to open it. Radiant light and swift warm winds rushed through the open doorway. Shielding his eyes from the light, Robin walked out onto the roof, unsure of what was in front of him.

As his eyes adjusted to the light, Robin moved his arms away from his eyes, revealing the empty rooftop to himself. The bright orange morning sky above the sea was decorated by tall and pillowy clouds. Each enormous body reflected the dazzling light of earth's star, looking to the world like towers of brilliant white fire in the sky. The ocean, too, was affected by the light, each wave on the tangerine waters sparkling as it reached its height, rolling softly across the bay; a million pinpoints of light dancing across the horizon. Suddenly, something far off in the distance caught Robin's eye. Running to the edge of the roof, he examined the sky. A relatively small dark object was ascending into the clouds... was it merely his imagination? 'I'm too late...' he thought, falling to his knees in defeat.

Robin felt something welling up in his eyes, something he had been holding back his entire life. Looking down at the rooftop through increasingly blurred vision, Robin slammed his fist against it, "No!" he shouted. He only ever wanted her to be happy... and if this is what made her happy, then he knew he shouldn't have a problem with it... but he did. During that moment out at sea, he realized that he shouldn't have been trying to keep her on earth... but now, he wondered why he couldn't have been selfish... just this once. Why did the morning have to be so beautiful? It was painfully ironic... those three words he had been so afraid of, those three words he never got the chance to speak, proved nothing in comparison to that one single word... The hardest thing to say was not 'I love you'... but 'goodbye.' And now... he had missed his chance to say either.

Robin looked up to the sky, the sun causing even more pain to his eyes, "I won't stop you... if this is what you really want. But... I just wish I could have told you..." he spoke, closing his eyes slightly, "For as long as I've known you... and as long as I'm alive... I have and will always--"

"Robin, you should be resting... what are you doing up here? And... whoever are you speaking to?"

Catching his breath in his throat, Robin stood up, slowly turning around. Standing there, glowing like an angel in the radiant light of the morning sun, Starfire looked perplexed and worried. The mild winds that swept slowly across the rooftop picked up her hair, causing parts of it to drift in front of her eyes. As she awaited Robin's answer, Starfire lifted up a hand and gently brushed away the free strands of hair.

"I--" having stood up too fast, Robin felt dizzy... for more than just the one reason, he was sure. Losing control of his legs, he drifted back, feeling the ground disappear from beneath him.

"Robin!" shouted Starfire, immediately jumping forward and taking hold of his hand. Pulling Robin back to the roof, she looked him in his dazed eyes, "Why have you--" she stopped, immediately feeling herself embraced tightly. Her eyes widened for a moment as she attempted to contemplate what was happening. Was Robin hugging her?

"Star... I thought you... I mean, weren't you... You're not leaving?" Robin asked as he held on to her, feeling like some lost child.

"...Of course not. I could not leave you alone in your condition." she answered, still trying to understand what was making Robin act this way. She certainly wasn't fighting it... but it almost scared her.

Robin felt his neck tensing up, "You're staying because of me...?" he questioned, feeling immensely guilty. His condition had caused her to remain on earth... it was touching, but he didn't want it to happen that way. "Star, you can't stay because of that... I mean--"

"Yes I can. You are far more important to me than some foolish celebration." she defended her actions, hugging Robin in return.

Robin swallowed hard, "...Celebration?" he queried shakily, "I thought..."

"The Tamaranian celebration of the alignment of planets in the Vegan star system. It does not happen more than twice in a person's lifetime... but I could not care less about such a thing. I came up here to tell them I could not go..." Starfire explained, too shocked by Robin's peculiar gesture to wonder how he knew about those things.

"But... Galfore said we would be disappointed when you leave... didn't that mean--"

"Hm...?" Starfire squinted her eyes, thinking back to her conversation with Galfore, "Tamaranian law forbids outsiders from attending the celebration... I wanted to invite everyone... but it was simply not allowed. Galfore knew this, and so advised me to keep it a secret... for your sake. I thought that since it was merely a short celebration and he wanted me to attend... I could leave and come back without notice and..." Starfire trailed off, Robin's embrace no longer keeping certain things from her attention. Pulling away, she looked Robin in the eyes with a bewildered expression, "How do you know these things?" she questioned.

Feeling the blood rushing to his face from embarrassment, Robin managed a nervous grin, "I... I kind of... heard it through your door." he explained, suddenly cutting back in to say something, "I wasn't eavesdropping--I just... from what I heard, it sounded like you..."

"You were not... dropping eaves?" Starfire raised an eyebrow. Forgetting about that confusing word, a sunny look spread over her face, "All this time you believed I was..." quickly, the smile disappeared, replaced by a wounded expression. Starfire released Robin from her arms and stepped away as reality suddenly hit her like a frigid stone wall, "These days... all the time we spent together... the things you said..." she shook her head, looking and sounding genuinely hurt, "You were simply doing those things because you thought I was going to leave?" she asked, her eyes glistening.

"Star... I..." Robin didn't know what to say. She was right...

"I am sorry..." Starfire turned around, beginning to walk back to the door, "I wish to be alone now." she finished, her voice cracking as she made her way back through the doorway on foot, disappearing from Robin's sight.

Closing his eyes with pure disgust for himself, Robin turned his face to the ground as he listened to Starfire's footsteps retreating back into the tower. She was right... all that time, he was simply trying to keep her from leaving. There was one thing she didn't know, but Robin felt that now, as his bluntly selfish acts finally confronted him... he didn't deserve to tell her. Was it that he didn't trust her? Is that why he thought she would leave? Robin began to tear himself apart with these questions...

After several moments standing alone on the roof, Robin looked across to the stairs. Taking one step forward, he realized that Starfire wasn't going to leave... she never was. And now, though she would remain, he knew he had truly lost her. Everything... shattered in an instant because of his mistrust... his lack of faith in her. 'What kind of person am I?' he asked himself bitterly, finally making his way to the stairway.

- - - - - -

As Robin turned the corner to the common room, he heard confused and disquieted voices speaking. Slowing his walk as he stepped down into the living room, Robin was met by the vengeful stares of Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven. Swallowing a lump in his throat as though he was in trouble, Robin stood and waited for what appeared to be an impending verbal bashing.

"Oh no you didn't." Cyborg crossed his arms, staring sternly at Robin.

"Jeez... What did you say to her?" Beast Boy asked, looking more confused than angry, though both emotions were clearly visible in his expression. "She wouldn't even say anything... just stormed off to her room." he added, pointing to the hallway.

"Whatever you did, go and apologize for it." Raven, obviously the most adamant, spoke in a low and threatening monotone.

"An apology won't cut it..." Robin looked to the ground, avoiding the daggers being shot his way, "There's no forgiving what I did." he said.

"Mind telling us what that was?" Cyborg asked seriously, now wondering what Robin could have possibly done.

Robin let out a breath... there was no point in keeping it a secret any longer. "A while ago, I heard Starfire talking about going back to her planet. I... well, I didn't want her to leave..." he trailed off, looking up for a moment as each Titan in front of him raised their eyebrows simultaneously. "Over the last ten days... I've been doing things... trying to convince her to stay." he explained. The more he talked about it, the worse it sounded to him. "I found out she wasn't really leaving... and she found out what I was doing." he looked up to see his friends wearing unreadable expressions. "It's wrong... I know. I should have just talked to her about it, but I didn't." Robin turned away, "I'm an idiot." he finished, hearing footsteps approaching him from behind.

"Yeah, you are." came Beast Boy's voice, standing right behind Robin, "Believe me, I know a little something about that." he added. "But you know what idiots do?" he asked as Robin turned around to face him, "They make mistakes, and those can be made up for."

"Look... Beast Boy, guys... I don't think she even wants to hear from me right now." Robin retorted, imagining how much he must have hurt her... keeping it from her was as bad as lying.

"So that's it. You're just gonna give up?" one of Beast Boy's eyes began twitching, "Do you have any idea how hard we've been working on this?" he questioned loudly. As soon as he realized what he said, Beast Boy quickly slapped his hands over his mouth and backed away to a position between Cyborg and Raven.

"Thanks for that." Raven looked to her side at the sheepish changeling, "For a while there I was afraid you had control over your brain." she stated flatly. Hands still over his mouth, Beast Boy simply slumped forward in defeat.

"That's what you were doing?" Robin suddenly turned the daggers back on his friends. After a moment, his expression softened, "So, you all know about... that?" he asked, feeling as though his mask had suddenly been torn off.

"We'd have to blind AND deaf not to." Cyborg cut in, smirking a little at Robin. "But, man, that's why we can't stand to see this happen. You two are... well, you just shouldn't let a little misunderstanding get in your way." he said, pointing to Robin. "You should talk to her. It's probably a lot different than you think." with that, he took hold of Beast Boy and Raven's shoulders, forcefully leading them back to the couches thereafter.

Taking a serious expression as the others walked away, Robin opened a compartment on his belt, pulling out a reflective silver and blue object and bringing it into his view. "I will..." he said out loud.

- - - - - -

Sitting on the side of the couch opposite Cyborg, Beast Boy watched as the evening news began to play on the large television screen. The top story of the night was the discovery of all the money that had been stolen in the past few months during the 'invisible burglaries.' Found in an abandoned warehouse near the docks, every last dollar of the money was left as though no one intended to return for it. Seeing this, Beast Boy realized that those two kids they fought on that day must have been members... possibly voluntary recruits, seeing as how they were from the city... and stealing the money was some sort of entrance exam. The Tempest wouldn't have had any use for money... so it only made sense that they would leave it like that. Beast Boy shook his head, not wanting to think about that whole situation any longer; save for one uncertainty, they had all made it out alive and well, but most importantly... Turning away from the screen, Beast Boy looked over to the windows. Levitating with her eyes closed--wearing her regular blue cloak with its hood down--Raven meditated by the glass which looked out upon the ending day. The stars were beginning to show themselves, fading into view amidst the clear twilight sky as the sun continued to sink behind the ocean. Smiling, Beast Boy stood up and began walking in Raven's direction.

Raven took in a deep breath, "Azarath. Metrion. Zi--"

"Raven." came Beast Boy's unsure voice. Raven squinted her eyes open to see Beast Boy standing in front of her, tapping his index fingers together nervously.

To Beast Boy's surprise, Raven stopped her chant and turned to him with a subtle smile on her face, "What is it?" she asked in an almost sweet voice, her monotone still present.

"We haven't really gotten a chance to talk since, y'know... and I just wanted to--" Beast Boy stopped himself, turning to look at Cyborg. As though he didn't know what was going on, Cyborg simply stared at the television for a few moments.

Human eye widening as he saw Beast Boy from the corner of his vision, Cyborg grabbed the remote and speedily stood up, "Uh... I think the T-Car's about due for a tune-up." he spoke quickly. Turning off the television, Cyborg tossed the remote back on the couch, walking past Beast Boy to the hall. As soon as he came close enough to Beast Boy, Cyborg grinned evilly, "Go for it Casanova." he whispered, chuckling to himself as he continued on his way.

"Uh... heh, yeah." Beast Boy nervously tugged at his collar. "Anyway... I just wanted to tell you some stuff I've been thinking about." he said, sitting down beside Raven near the window.

"What is this all of a sudden?" Raven raised an eyebrow as she lowered herself to the ground and sat facing Beast Boy.

"Well, I figured since Robin is about to spill his guts to Star and everything... I should spill my guts too." he grinned, attempting to mask his anxiousness.

"Alright..." Raven furrowed her brow, almost afraid of having this kind of discussion with Beast Boy. But it was fear that held her back from feeling love; keeping this in mind, she decided to listen to whatever Beast Boy had to say, though she hoped it wasn't too serious. 'Please throw in a joke or something...' she thought.

Suddenly, Beast Boy took hold of Raven's hands. Surprised, Raven blushed bright red, frozen in place with a blank look on her face. "Promise me something..." he started, unsure of what to think from Raven's shocked expression, "Promise me you'll never change." he said, a serious look in his eyes.

"What?"

"Raven, I... I like you because of the way you are. And as much as things have to change, I don't want too much to change between us..." letting his speech trail off, Beast Boy allowed a mischievous grin to spread across his face, "Other than the occasional make-out sessions, of course." he joked, his grin now in full shine.

Blush disappearing from her face, Raven looked at Beast Boy through narrowed eyes, "Okay. First, if you ever call it that again, there won't be any. And second," leaning forward, Raven trapped Beast Boy in a rather strong embrace, "I won't change if you won't." she finished.

"But, isn't change kinda my job?" Beast Boy asked jokingly.

"Shut up."

- - - - - -

Unable to find Starfire anywhere else in the tower, Robin knew of only one place she could possibly be. Standing in front of the door to the roof, he took in a deep breath through his nose, letting it out in an unintentional sigh. Forgetting to breathe again, Robin took hold of the handle, turned it, and slowly pushed against the door. A strong whistling wind poured in through the increasing gap until the pressure finally equalized, allowing the door to be pushed open all the way. With the doorway open, the sounds of the outside world became present--from the soft summer breeze that swept gently across the flat rooftop, to the far off rumble of waves crashing effervescently against the island. Seeing the sky, Robin was reminded of the night he and Starfire spent simply gazing at the stars; they were just as beautiful this night, their otherworldly glow spread across the heavens in a brilliant sparkling banner. Looking away from the sky, Robin saw an unmistakable figure sitting on the edge of the roof, facing the ocean which caught the stars' light upon every gliding wave.

'Is she looking at the sky or the ocean?' he wondered, stepping out of the doorway. Slightly hesitant, Robin tried to keep his footsteps quiet... but Starfire was far more perceptive than that; he was sure she had already noticed him. As soon as he came close, this became apparent.

"...Please go." Starfire turned her head away as Robin approached the edge by her side. Hugging her knees close to herself, Starfire wondered what she was saying... it was times like these when she craved his presence. She loved to hear that voice he used only when they were alone.

"Star. I want to talk about this..." Robin moved closer, massaging the back of his neck, "There's something you don't know..."

"Robin, do you know who I am angry with?" Starfire asked, still looking away. Robin remained silent, sure that Starfire would answer the question... he knew the answer, after all. "I am angry with myself."

Robin pulled his head back in surprise, "...What do you mean?" he asked, sitting down at the edge of the roof beside her. He attempted to look at Starfire's face, but she continued to avoid his gaze. "I'm the one who--"

"You did nothing wrong." she answered, her voice sounding thick with regret. "Truthfully, I am touched that you would do those things..." she spoke, turning her head to look out at the ocean. From his point of view, Robin could see the sadness in her eyes; it made his heart sink. "I am the one at fault. I was being... what is the word? ...Selfish." she looked down at the shore.

"But--"

"It is true." Starfire took in a deep breath. "Throughout these past days... I believed you were doing these things simply out of... um... friendship. And I wanted to spend more and more time with you because of this. I was selfish. To know it happened because I kept the celebration from you... which made you believe I was leaving... it is worse." she explained. "I thought that perhaps you had... that you..." Starfire closed her eyes, "It does not matter now. I was fooling myself."

Robin reached out, placing a gentle hand on Starfire's shoulder, "Star... I thought about all the time we spent together because of this whole situation. I thought about everything I did..." his expression brightened as Starfire turned to face him, "And I'm not sorry... for any of it." he finished.

Starfire's eyes widened inquisitively, "Robin?" she wondered what he meant.

"If I could do this all again... I'd do it just the same way." he smiled slightly, before letting his expression become serious again. "I'd been taking you for granted... It took the thought of losing you to finally make me realize just what you mean to me."

'...Robin?' thought Starfire, feeling her heartbeat intensifying.

"I won't take it back... none of it." Robin shook his head to illustrate the point. "You're the best thing that's ever happened to me... and all the time I've known you, I was too stupid to realize it. I'm glad I told you the things I did, that I lived those days for you... And Star, if you'll let me, I want to spend the rest of my life doing the same thing. Even if it started because of a misunderstanding... I've learned just how much I..." Robin swallowed hard, "How much I love you." he whispered, surprised to find his voice so weak.

Starfire could feel her teeth chattering from the shivers that ran through her body. She trembled in place, her heart racing faster than ever. "W-What... did you say?" she asked, hoping it wasn't simply the sound of her heart that made her hear it.

Reaching out, Robin took hold of Starfire's hands, "I love you." he spoke louder, knowing there was no turning back... knowing he didn't want to turn back. "Even if you don't feel the same way, I--" Robin stopped, feeling his back collide lightly with the roof. Opening his eyes after the slight shock, Robin found that Starfire had leapt at him, locking him in a tight hug, causing him to fall back against the roof. She lay on top of him now, shivering slightly with quick breaths. Realizing their position, Robin's face went completely red. Thankfully it was at that moment Starfire decided to pull both of them up to their knees.

"You truly mean that?" she asked, sounding overwhelmed with emotion.

"I've never been more sure of anything." he responded, wondering what this meant... Did she...

"I thought that I would be keeping this inside forever... that I would not find the courage to tell you." Starfire rested the side of her head against his as they both stood up fully. "Robin... I feel the same way... It was more than I could handle at times. Like pain and happiness at once. But you have taken away that pain... all that remains is happiness. It is the emotion you call... love. And I feel it for you... as I always have." without warning, Starfire began to float away from the ground. Realizing what she was doing, Starfire kept hold of Robin and pulled herself back to the roof, "I am sorry." she giggled. Pulling away, she revealed her eyes which glistened with joy. "We have both been so foolish." she smiled, "I wish to start anew..." she finished.

Looking down to his belt, Robin removed something from it. Bringing the object into both of their views, Robin held the sparkling silver necklace up, "Why don't we make that wish together?" he asked. Understanding his point, Starfire held the necklace between Robin's hand and hers. Giving each other knowing smiles, they began to swing their hands from one direction to the other. Finally, after a few moments, both released their grip on the necklace, watching as the sapphire--adorned by the silver chain--sparkled brightly in the starlight while it soared away from the tower. The jewel made a tiny splash as it hit the water below, sinking away from view thereafter.

Turning her face away from the ocean to Robin, Starfire gave him a peculiar smile, "There is something I did when we first met... something I have been wanting to make amends for."

Robin blushed, wondering if it was what he thought it was. "What is--" Robin stopped as Starfire wrapped her arms over his shoulders, pulling him closer to her. Giving no time to be interrupted, they leaned in, letting their lips and hearts finally meet. Both closed their eyes as they found themselves locked in a sweet but passionate kiss, their closeness to one another finding a way to warm them inside and out. The world, as it did whenever they were together, faded away into a dreamy haze. It was the middle of the night, but the sun was surely shining where they were. After savoring the moment for what seemed like too short a time, Robin and Starfire slowly pulled away from each other, keeping their faces close together.

Starfire leaned in, resting her forehead against Robin's, "That was merely one of my wishes."

I always feel so foolish, as I look back on that day.
Oh, the time I thought could be too late, and the words I just refused to say.
But there's something that I should have known, something that you made me see.
Just as long as we're together, from the fear my heart can be set free.

I never talked about it, and I thought that you should know.
There's a feeling inside that I just can't ignore, and the feeling only seems to grow.
And if you take my hand, I know I'll fly with you forever.
Oh, our hearts will beat as one, just as long as we're together.

I know there's nothing that could tear us apart. And I know you know you know it's true.
Just as long as you'll always be there, there's no darkness that we can't see through.
So come and take my hand now, 'cause I know I wanna fly with you.

My thoughts they dwell on those lonely times, when I felt too scared to even try.
But when the light you bring shines through it all, you brighten up my darkened sky.
I'd have it no other way, that there's nothing I can do.
As long as we're together, there's just no escaping you.

You fill my life with laughter, and you take away all my pain.
From the day that we met, to the end of our time, I know it's gonna stay the same.
All the moments that we've shared, oh, every sweet surrender.
There are things in life we can only see, when we're both together.

I know there's nothing that could tear us apart. And I know you know you know it's true.
Just as long as you'll always be there, there's no challenge I can't make it through.
So come and take my hand now, 'cause I know I wanna stay with you.

-THE END -

For Kate

Thanks for being a great friend.

- - - -

For Patricia

You helped make this story possible.


Author's Note: Phew. Finally finished, and a little ahead of schedule too (I had delayed it to the 26th). I hope you liked the ending. I tried my best to make it special, avoiding the cliches I stuck to in the past.

Yes, that is what Starfire was talking about with Galfore at the very beginning. I tried to make it a similar situation to Robin's; Starfire couldn't bring her friends to the celebration, so she decided to hide it instead, thinking they couldn't be disappointed if they never knew. Of course, in the end, both Robin and Starfire realized how foolish they both had been.

I made sure not to leave Beast Boy and Raven out of everything, so I gave them a scene just before the ending. I liked how that one turned out, especially Raven's last line in the fic XD.

As for Robin and Starfire's scene, I tried to do something different with the necklace. Seeing as how it was a symbol of the whole misunderstanding, I had Robin and Starfire toss it away into the ocean XD, using it as a way to show that they were "starting anew."

I'm sure by now you've realized a loose end in the whole Tempest deal. Mr. Iron is still very much under the control, as well as Cloak and Dagger. This was intentional. I'm leaving the door open for a Cyborg-centric spinoff. There'll still be plenty of RobxStar and BBxRae in it, but Cyborg will play a much bigger role.

Oh, and concerning the song at the end. I know I can't stop anyone who does, but if you want to use the song (why would you? XD), please just ask me. It's a little short, but I actually wrote it--and I didn't plagiarize the tune or anything :). So, if for some weird reason you want to use it, just give me credit--you don't even have to ask, just give credit XD.

Finally, thank you all so much for your support over the past half-year or so. I'll be periodically updating my reviewer appreciation thread in the forums just to let you know how much you reviewers helped. This fic has definitely been my best experience on this site, and I look forward to bringing you guys another story in the future. Seriously, this has been a learning experience for me. I know I've still got a ways to go, but I've really learned a lot about writing since my first fic.

Next Story Preview: It's a secret. -evil laugh- I will definitely be back to write another story eventually, but I really want to work out all the details with this next one before I post, so it could be a while. I'll give a little hint though; it may take place in a setting you've never read from me before :). And no, it's not the Cyborg spinoff