Disclaimer: Let's get this straight. I don't own Teen Titans or anything in the DC Comic universe. I also don't own any of the lyrics or quotes mentioned at the beginning or bottom of this Fan Fic either. Another thing, I don't own the redwood forest.
Author's Note: Hey everyone! Well, do I have a story for you. My third romance and my second romance for Robin and Starfire. My first was "Words Can Not Describe". I'm making this my Valentine's Day gift to my readers and anyone else who just needs a Valentine to cheer them up. Yes, I do know that Valentine's Day was last week, but I always put out stories that go with holidays out late. At least this isn't as late as the Christmas story that I did...
Anyways, normally I wouldn't randomly write a one shot while I was in the middle of writing a multi-chapter story. But because I watched a romantic movie, I had this romancy vibe in me and I had to get it out somehow. So this came out of me and I'm astounded at it. It's a serious mix of the TV show and the Comics. It's set in the future as well. I also wanted to say thank you to alibi2014 for encouraging me to post this. Before we even start this, I do want you all to know also that I have nothing against Wonder Girl 2 or Robin 3. But I needed two Titans to be slightly hurt in the story and I couldn't stand to do it to Kid Flash 2 because he's already had his knee shot out in the comics.
Quick Note: For those of you who don't read the comics, here's the who's who list and any important information you might need to know that isn't stated or explained in the story-
Richard "Dick" Grayson: Nightwing; Robin I; Robin that is seen on the TV show Teen Titans; currently stationed in the city of Bludhaven
Cassie Sandsmark: Wonder Girl II; not the one seen on the cartoon
Bart Allen: Kid Flash II; again, not the one seen on the cartoon
Timothy "Tim" Drake: Robin 3; once again, Not the one seen on the cartoon
Barbara "Babs" Gordon: Oracle; previously known as Batgirl I
A/N Continued: So enough with that stuff. May I present: "Undying Love"!
"How do you know it's love? I don't know, but it lasts forever."
By: Rena Redhead
The rain beat down hard. The group trudged along the muddy ground, their feet heavy and almost refusing to move. It was a nasty fight. One that would leave them all sore in the morning. Tim and Cassie had both been hurt badly and both were leaning on others for support. Suddenly, a green cheetah emerged from the dense wooden forest.
"Guys!" Beast Boy said, turning back into his natural form, "There's a thick tree gathering up ahead, the ground's dry there. We could stake out there for the night."
Cyborg looked over at Nightwing. Nightwing nodded and Beast Boy began to lead the party. Nightwing was only there on request. He still supported the Titans and all, but he had Bludhaven to watch out for and on occasion Gotham and The Outsiders, and then of course the JLA would call him up sometimes as well. In short, he didn't have as much time as he used to.
They followed Beast Boy towards the tree gathering. It seemed to get colder and wetter as they went. Suddenly, Cassie cried out and fell to the ground. Starfire, who had been supporting her weight, slumped down with her. Cassie moaned, her shoulders shaking with fatigue. Her leg was swollen and bleeding. They had been walking for a couple miles and it was beginning to show.
"It's okay, Cassie, it's okay," Starfire said, trying to comfort the Amazonian, "Here, Vic can give you a lift."
Vic nodded and picked Cassie up. They continued their trek in the dark. Finally, Beast Boy howled and they saw the area. Looking around, they each found a spot. Nightwing let Tim rest against a large rock, as Nightwing had been supporting Tim through out the hike. Tim was shaking and was biting his lip against the pain. Nightwing saw it clearly as he had it before many, many times. So he preceded with trying to help Tim out. Vic let Cassie down and began to examine her leg. Raven sat down next to her, meditating, trying to draw away some of Cassie's pain. In the mean while, Kid Flash began to make up a fire.
Starfire knelt down next to Cassie as Victor gave an explanation, "We gotta pull that glass out of her leg now, otherwise it can't heal properly. I don't have anything to numb the pain, though."
Starfire's lips became a visible frown. Cassie looked mortified and began looking around frantically from Titan to Titan as though they could do something to make it so she wouldn't have to go through it. It's not like she probably couldn't handle it, but who wants to go through something like that? After Kid Flash's story about his knee operation, no one did. Each of her friends cast their eyes down and away.
"Can Raven...?" Cassie began.
Cyborg shook his head 'no', "She'll quicken the healing process while we're trying to get that glass out. It won't do you any good during it."
Victor got up and began to pull out medical instruments from his leg. It really was quiet handy every now and then. Cassie looked over at Raven who turned her head away. They had become good friends and Raven hated the guilty feeling in her stomach at the moment. So she switched her attention over to Robin.
"Nightwing, can I help out with Tim?" She asked.
"Uh, yeah, I just need to clean up the debris a little bit. Mostly, it's torn muscles and a fractured bone, nothing too serious," he said.
Nightwing knelt down and began to clean up Robin's leg. Tim bit his lip, but other than that, showed no sign of discomfort or pain. Once he was finished, the two 'doctors' of the group were ready for their patients.
"You might want to squeeze something Cassie, this will hurt," Cyborg said.
Cassie nodded and looked around at her comrades. Starfire knelt down and let Cassie hold her.
Cassie turned her head away and silently said, "Let's just get this over with."
Cyborg nodded. Raven turned back to Tim, "You might want to do the same."
Tim nodded and Nightwing let Tim grip his arm, knowing all too well that his blood circulation was likely to get cut off. Once they were ready, Cyborg and Raven began to work. Needless to say, both Titans were in a lot of discomfort. Starfire looked up and over to Tim when she met Nightwing's eyes. Nightwing turned away after about a second and Starfire's attention was brought back to Cassie when Cassie's grip tightened. But after a minute, Nightwing looked back up.
'She always gives of herself,' Nightwing thought.
But he again turned his attention back to Tim as he felt the circulation of blood diminish. Quickly, he motioned for Tim to switch arms. In a matter of minutes, Raven finished with Tim.
"How does it feel?" She asked.
"Better," Tim said testing his leg, "Thanks, Raven."
"No problem," Raven said barely above a whisper.
With that, Raven went to the edge of the wooden sanctuary they had found, but was still in view. Beast Boy followed. Healing someone was a long and painful process, so the others assumed that she left to meditate and that Beast Boy went to see if he could help her out or not. Nightwing looked down at Tim and then back over at Cassie who was still having the glass being removed. Then he looked around at the area. Bart had started a fire by now and it was blazing.
Tapping Robin on the shoulder he asked, "Hey, do you still have those sleeping bags in your belt?"
"Uh, yeah, three," He answered.
"Good, I have about four or so, maybe five," Nightwing said, "We'll use them tonight."
"I still can't believe that the Enterprises can make a sleeping bag the size of a baby carrot," Tim answered, laughing.
"You'd be surprised what other stuff they've made," Nightwing answered smiling.
Starfire looked up at the sound of the two talking. She liked it when Tim smiled, he barely ever did. It was something that came with entering the "Bat-Family", you would never smile. Or if you did, it was rare. It was really nice of Dick to be like that to Tim, an older brother of sorts, when he didn't have to be, she thought. Finally, Victor got up, the pieces of glass in his hand. Cassie slowly let go of Starfire and found her vision becoming straight again.
"Raven?" Cyborg called out, "If you still can, Cassie could use a little bit of... well, she's still not too comfortable."
Raven turned her hooded head and nodded. Walking over she sat down next to Cassie. Cassie again grabbed Starfire's arm. While that went on, Nightwing stood up and took the pellets, sizing them up to see where they could put them. Soon he had charted out where to put them. By that time, Raven finished with Cassie, but she had a major headache that was killing her. Beast Boy knelt down and helped Raven stand up and they began to walk over to the edge again when Nightwing stopped them.
"Look, we're stuck here for tonight," he continued, "Tim and I have sleeping bags, so let's just do ourselves a favor and get some sleep."
Everyone nodded. Nightwing dropped the pellets in a tiny puddle and then backed away. A moment later, seven sleeping bags inflated out of their compartments. They all sort of just stared at them. It was a little sad. Here they were, stuck in the middle of the red wood forest, unable to reach anyone, practically lost, and now they had to sleep out in sleeping bags during a rain storm.
Cyborg was the first to step forward and grab a bag. After him, everyone came up to get one. Bart grabbed one for himself. Nightwing brought one over to Tim. Beast Boy took two, one for him and one for Raven, who was currently still under a bit of stress. Starfire grabbed one for Cassie and went back to get another one when she saw that there was only one left. Nightwing walked back and saw this as well.
"You can have it," Nightwing said, "I'll be fine."
Starfire nodded, but couldn't help the feeling of gratitude that filled her stomach.
Nightwing went to the center by the fire, "Also, let's just get this straight. Guys on one side, Girls on the other."
Bart laughed at that. None of them would object to that, so it was just funny that Nightwing had even brought it up. Everyone found a comfortable spot and put the sleeping bags down.
"So, Raven up for scary stories?" Beast Boy asked.
Raven threw him a death glare and settled down into the sleeping bag and muttered something only Cassie and Starfire could hear, "Boys."
Both laughed a bit, then Cassie commented, "They're not that bad."
"Yes, they are. Raven said.
Again, the girls laughed. They were all tired as it was, so it didn't take long for them to all fall asleep. Well, Beast Boy and Bart had to crack a couple jokes and tell some ghost stories, but no one was really listening except for themselves. The fire burnt down low. The only sounds that seemed to surround them were the sound of the rain and the howling wind. Everyone soon fell asleep. Tim rolled around in his sleeping bag. He was beginning to find that he hadn't chosen the best spot to sleep after all.
"Hey," Tim whispered to Nightwing who was on his side, facing the opposite way, "Hey."
"What?" Nightwing answered, obviously annoyed and tired.
"I can't sleep," Tim said.
"And you had to wake me up to tell me why?" Nightwing asked sarcastically.
"Ha ha, look, can we trade spots?" Tim asked.
"I don't have anything, so no," Nightwing said, ending the conversation and wondering if he was ever this annoying to Batman.
"Fine," Tim said and he turned over on his side seeing as Nightwing was a dud for being a conversationalist tonight. As Tim turned back to try to get some sleep, his eyes caught the girls, particularly Starfire rolling in her sleep. Tim laid on his back and smiled as he side glanced at Nightwing. It was funny, Tim thought that the only reason Nightwing came on this mission was that he needed a break from Bludhaven and because Starfire was on the team.
Nightwing attempted to get to sleep again. It was hard because normally he was a night owl. Soon he heard Tim snoring slightly and he let out a sigh of relief. He found himself drifting off as well. It was quiet until around one'o'clock in the morning. Thunder clashed and woke a Titan. Kori craned her neck and found herself looking around to see if she was the only one who had been heard it. Apparently, she was.
She rolled over trying to get back into a comfortable position. Thunder clashed again and Kori found herself sighing. She lay still for about ten minutes before giving up. Silently, she decided to stretch her legs. She went over to the edge of their little dry camp. She saw the lightning flash every now and then.
Kori looked around at the soaked landscape. It was... depressing. She wanted to get home. She wanted to be watching her garden flourish, not this overgrown wooden forest. She wanted to get home so they'd all be okay and so she wouldn't have this awkward feeling in the pit of her stomach.
"Are you okay?"
Kori turned around and saw Richard standing behind her. He had a talent for doing that, seemingly just being there all of a sudden. Apparently, she wasn't the only one who had woken up from the thunder.
"Yeah," she replied, "I just want to get home."
He nodded, "You know, there are more depressing scenes."
She looked at him as he continued, "You should see the slums of Bludhaven. Not a pretty sight during a storm."
She smiled. He could often find a way to cheer her up because normally, he could tell if something was bothering her. Kori shrugged her shoulders with a sigh. Richard watched her and craned his neck for a second or two, to get a kink out that came from sleeping on the ground. Then he noticed something.
"You're bleeding," He said.
Kori blinked, "What?'
"You're bleeding, on your back," he repeated.
"Oh, that's odd, it is not bothering me," she replied.
"It's 'cause it's so cold," He said with a smile. After about a minute, he spoke again, "Do you... want me to clean it up for you?"
Kori automatically had to stop any color that begged to come to her face and instead only nodded slightly and turned her head away. Richard rummaged though his gauntlets and found a disinfectant cloth. He went behind her and was about to start, but stopped. Her long hair was in the way.
Slowly and gently, he brushed her hair over her shoulder and as she turned her head to look at him, he muttered, "Uh, um, sorry."
"Oh, no, it's fine," She said turning away so that he wouldn't see the blush that she knew was creeping onto her cheeks.
As Richard cleaned up the blood, Kori kept thinking how considerate he could be. Although, that was probably a side effect of how protective he was. The more Kori thought about it, she realized also how loyal he was. It was interesting that he worked so hard to live up to expectations that were thrust upon him. She was often amazed at how much he did, how loyal he was, and how much he wanted to make people happy and safe. The safety came from the Dark Knight while the happiness came from the Circus.
Richard had told her that he always tried to be perfect for his mentor while growing up. It wasn't until the Titans came around that he tried to prove that he was just as good as Bruce. He appreciated his friends more than they knew. And she knew it. Why? Well, when they had dated her. Maybe that's why it was so awkward. They knew so much about one another and were on the status of 'just friends'.
"It looks like it was Cassie's nails," Richard said, breaking the silence.
Kori laughed. Richard smoothed a couple bandages over her back and stepped away and over to Kori's right. She brought her hair back, letting it cascade down her back and turned to look at him.
Smiling, she said, "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he replied.
The silence was interrupted only by the rain and thunder, and nothing else. Richard snuck glances at her. Seeing those marks Cassie had accidentally made and how Kori hadn't complained, it reminded him of her caring nature. She always wanted everyone to be okay. She always wanted for the good to benefit. He remembered the long nights he would stay up to work, only to have her knock on his door to see if he was okay. The funny thing was, after the half-minute visits, he'd end up going to bed and getting the sleep that he needed.
She was a free spirit, but did what needed to be done. She expressed herself in a sophisticated, but evident manner and could care less of what people thought of her. She went with her gut instinct unless directed otherwise. Often, her emotions reflected that of compassion for her friends and family.
"You know, there's some pretty amazing things that happen when it rains in the woods like this," he said, smiling.
"Oh?" she asked.
"Yeah, like, up in the trees, if you were to go up there, you'd see why birds build their nests where they do," Richard continued.
"Their nests don't get wet," He told her, "Or at least, not very much."
"I thought birds don't mind getting wet," Kori answered.
"Well, it's kinda hard for them to sleep when they're wet," he replied, laughing.
Kori smiled, "Is that why you learned not to sleep?"
"The cave, it is 'wet', right?" she finished.
"Oh," Richard said in surprise, "Uh, yeah, it is, but you know that's not why I learned to stay awake."
"I know," she said, keeping the smile on her face, but turning away.
Richard turned away too. For a couple minutes neither of them said anything. The fire crackled. No one woke up. Nothing happened. The wind blew and Kori shivered.
"You're cold?" Nightwing asked.
"Just a little," Kori said, but she didn't look at him.
She kept reminding herself what situation she was in and who he was. They no longer dated. He had been dating another girl, another woman. He had even proposed, but something had happened to end the engagement. That being said, didn't that mean that he had loved someone else enough to want to get married to them?
Even though he was available again, she knew that his mentor had never really liked her. The man was even rumored to not fully trust the man of steel because he was technically an alien. Besides, if Richard wanted to get back together, wouldn't he have said so? That question was the hardest. Was he becoming a recluse like Bruce? He didn't take part in anything anymore without it being mainly business...Kori strongly fought off the idea.
"Do you want..."
"No," she said. She wanted to cut herself off from heartache. They were friends and only friends. That was that, right?
Richard was a little surprised at her abruptness. Then again, he wasn't. She acted on her emotions, so it was normal for her. Glancing back, he saw Tim and the others sound asleep. It was just the two of them awake. Just them. It was odd, he thought, that they'd be the only ones awake. So many times, they'd been alone on the rooftop of Titans Tower sharing their secrets, worries, thoughts, and dreams with one another. Now they barely talked. Only about business matters. Nothing more.
It surprised him. She was always patient with him, understanding. Was it because their wedding had been ruined? Did they both take it as a sign that they weren't meant to be? Probably. And then they had just moved on to things neither of them really enjoyed or had not even liked at all?
Nightwing thought of his experiences with girls. From tough girls like Helena to the working smart girls like Babs. Babs... The more Dick thought about it, he questioned his motives behind what made him propose. Bruce would have accepted her. She was already a member of the "Bat-Family".
And then perhaps, it was desperation. Not like the kind of desperation where he was begging for it, although he didn't want to end up like Bruce. He didn't want to go out and fight and think no one was waiting for him to come home safe and sound. It wasn't something he had fully thought out. Babs was a great friend, but, as he saw now, they were better at fighting crime than they were at paying the attention to one another. It was probably best that things had worked out as they had.
Kori found herself wanting to go back to sleep and not wanting to feel this awkward, so she decided to go.
"Um, I think, I will just... go to..." Kori began to turn away, but Richard, caught her by the arm.
"Kori?" he asked.
Kori looked at the ground, "Yes?"
Richard struggled to find the words. He knew little of what had happened to her. He knew that she had been married off again for political matters regarding Tamaran and that she was once again single. He kept thinking over and over again that she had stuck by him, never complaining if he alienated himself for a time and was always there when he just needed someone. She had once said that she would always love him. Did she still? She still was always there even if it was in the far back corner in a room full of people. Perhaps the outcome of the wedding wasn't the sign they should have payed attention to, but rather how they treated each other and how they still did.
'You still love her, don't you, Grayson?' his subconscious asked him, quietly, gently.
Kori wished that he would say something. She had left him alone. She never tried to re-ignite anything. They were only friends. Only friends. And she hated herself because she kept hoping, wishing for something that seemed so far out there. Something that seemed impossible.
"Kori, please, I..." Richard finally found his voice, "I know that... I just... I think I made... a mistake. I never... really tried. After what happened... I just let it go and I listened to what everyone else said. It was mistake. I'm sorry."
Starfire was quiet, "Maybe... we should just keep listening to them."
Nightwing shook his head, "No. I don't want to. Not anymore. I spent too much time looking for something that was right in front of me."
"Dick, I..." Starfire shook her head.
"Please, let my finish," Richard lifted Kori's chin with his finger carefully, "Star, you once said that you'd always love me. Do you still?"
Kori looked at him with a pained expression and shook her head. Of course she did, but... sometimes if you really loved someone, you had to let them go. She wanted him to stop. She wanted what was best for him. She didn't want to be tempted by it anymore.
"Richard, please..." She said, but there was a slight sense of begging in her voice.
"Kori, I loved you and," Richard looked her in the eye, "And... I don't think I ever stopped."
Star's jaw dropped a bit in disbelief at what he had just said, "But... the girl, the woman you..."
Dick shook his head, "We dated, but not for the right reasons, at least not as often as we should have. It was never, NEVER, like the reasons why we did. Star, I never stopped loving you. Please, you said... do you still love me?"
Kori couldn't stop herself as she felt tears well up in her eyes, "Dick, I... yes. Yes."
"Do you still love me enough to take me back?" Nightwing asked her.
Starfire shut her eyes and let the tears flow. She looked up at Nightwing and nodded. She wrapped her arms around his neck and they held each other close. Their eyes met for a second and then they leaned up and shared a soft, delicate kiss.
The nature of love is something that no one person can explain. But there are certain truths that are always attached to it. One is that no matter what the circumstances, one can not simply bottle love up and ignore it forever. If one were to meet their true love and then walk away, they'd be committing themselves to a life of heartache. Another is that love is never ending, pure love is everlasting, and true love is undying. It's a wonderful feeling that fills the heart to the point where it feels as though it would rapture. The joy that love brings into one's heart is one that makes a person feel cared for, worth something, and complete.
Starfire and Nightwing broke their kiss for air. They both smiled at each other as though they would never stop.
Nightwing whispered, "I love you."
Starfire nodded, "I love you, too."
The two were unaware that one of the Titans was slowly waking up. Tim's eyes eventually adjusted to the light and when he finally could see, a grin crept onto his face as he saw the two lovers in a romantic kiss.
'I knew it,' he thought and then quietly attempted to get back to sleep to let Nightwing and Starfire have the moment that they had been waiting for for so long.
" 'Cause you know...That I love you. I have loved you all along. And I miss you. Been far away for far too long. I keep dreaming you'll be with me and you'll never go... So keep breathing, 'cause I'm not leaving you anymore. Believe it. Hold on to me and never let me go."
-Lyrics to "Far Away" by Nickleback
A/N: Wow, I can't believe how that came out. It was better then I thought it would be. But now the question comes, did you readers like? Please Review! But as I've said before, please don't flame me if you didn't like it for pairings. I appreciate constructive criticism instead if you didn't like it for other reasons. Oh and that song, I don't know why, but I thought of Robin and Starfire instantly when I heard it. So yeah. I hope that you all enjoyed it! Now I must get back to writing my multi-chapter story "Could This Go Anywhere?". Later!