Across the gym.

Jogging, running, sprinting.

Prancing, dancing.

Sliding, gliding, soaring.

Like my heart. Ironic how it contrasts perfectly with the bottomless pit that seems to have found it's way to my gut.

I suppose Cyborg would say that its just me reacting to a bad relationship, he'd tell me to forget it, and go on with my life. If that didn't work he'd tell me the exact chemicals that my brain was secreting to create this effect and would thusly prescribe me the precise medical remedy that should solve my problem.

But it never would, with a single glint of light catching her eye the drug's effects would vanish, poof.

If Raven were here she'd tell me that focusing on the past is pointless and a waste of time. She'd try to nihilize and Neitzsche me into bliss. After that failing miserably she might try and tell me it was all karmic, or a matter of dharma or some sort of feng shei Buddhagasmic sensationalistic disturbance in my chi.

But it's none of that. As she moves her lithe body down the court into her assigned position amongst the other tank top sportin', sophie clad teenage schoolgirls, I know the truth. She's the same as them, yet it's obvious that she, really, when you get right down to it, is absolutely nothing like them.

They say everyone's unique. I say that's a load of shit, and I should know, I'm freakin' green. And even if I'm wrong, this girl is way more unique then any of these other girls ever dreamed of being.

And its not that she's even the most beautiful or gorgeous. (though she IS up there)

Its not that she's the smartest. (though I think I read in the paper she got some sort of academic award)

Its not that she's even the best player on the team. (though she has been sinkin' threes from way behind the line)

Its internal, its intrusive, its invasive and all encompassing. Its something about the way she acts, the way she talks.

Quite simply, its how she moves.

So much confidence, so much power combined with so much joy. And why not? Her biggest responsibility is to wake up, go to school, come to basketball practice, go to work, and have fun. No fighting metahuman monstrosities. No worrying if her powers are going to open up a county wide fissure and devour the multiple urban sprawls, no weight of the city and its million lives balancing on your shoulders, and no maniacal one-eyed mastermind trying to control you from the inside out.

It's the confidence of having faced all of that, and overcome it. (whether she remembers it or not) And then having all of the responsibility taken away.

It's the girl freed.

She told me things change, but as she smiles while brazenly stealing the ball and soaring down court, I know another truth.

Some things never change.

If Robin was hereā€¦ hell, Robin is a robot. He never thinks about things like this. About as sentimental as he gets is a smile, a hug, or a small peck on the cheek for Starfire. He wouldn't know about this unrequited desire. The simultaneous pride and fear. The situation. The Game.

The omnipresent limerence of it all.

But if Starfire were here, she say something the others would never think to say: nothing. She would smile, soft, warm, knowingly. She would hug. She would nuzzle. She wouldn't make the pain go away, she'd make you ready to face the pain.

And so I smile as best as a green fruit fly can, let the brick wall of Murakami High School's gymnasium go, and buzz the hell out of dodge as Tara Markov, teen prodigy, shoots another vicious three from way behind the line.





And I'm gone.