Shining Star

He barely noticed his alarm beeping; he was so used to the sound that it wasn't so shrill anymore. He was so used to the sound that it didn't even bother him when it continued to echo throughout his empty, desolate haunt; reminding him of what once was. Nothing bothered him anymore; he was even used to the fact that he was so utterly, desperately alone. Twenty years…

Twenty years… had it really been that long?

He donned his mask, eyeing his reflection. He could barely see himself in the mirror; so well camouflaged his black suit was in the darkness. With a heavy sigh, he turned to his computer monitor and typed furiously; his fingers jabbing at the keys of the keyboard like lighting; his mind calculating, a blur as he recognized the face that flashed on the screen. Apprehension knotted in his stomach and his heart leapt to his throat. Warp

In the eye of his mind, twenty years ago, the memories flashed, as clear as ever; he could see Star; her eyes alight and her fists glowing green as she flew at Warp. She hit him and they entered into the wormhole; a tangle of arms and legs. First her head disappeared into the engulfing blackness of the portal of time; then her arms… her body… her legs. Her feet… and then…. She was gone.

He quickly shut down his computer wishing he could turn off his memories as well. Flicking off the lights, he took one last look around; then slipping out his door, he was swallowed by the night.

He stood, quietly as he breathed in the ice cold air; it pierced his lungs. He clenched his jaw; strengthening his resolve and started to run across the top of the building, picking up speed as he went. The wind whistled eerily and his long, raven black hair whipped his face with abandon as his eyes scanned across the surroundings. He leapt to the next set of buildings.

It was so gloomy, empty… dead.

His failure.

He had left Batman to prove he could do a better job than the dark knight ever could; to prove that he could raise a team to fight by his side and keep evil at bay; and that he could save a city before it transformed into the pit of despair that Gotham now was.

But he had failed all of that. His team left him, one by one… ever since she had left. He'd tried so hard to keep them; he'd threatened them, and even pleaded with them, but they just couldn't stick together anymore with that gaping hole of emptiness keeping them apart. And with them gone… he had been forced to fight alone and had been overwhelmed as the tides turned against his favor. No matter how hard he fought and trained, it didn't make much of a difference at all; he couldn't beat the hundreds of villains that ravaged the city daily; he couldn't replace any the friends he had lost. He was alone. So despite all his efforts, the darkness swept over the city and swallowed it up, transforming the once proud Jump into another Gotham.

He'd failed at everything.

Everything.

A loud explosion jolted him out of his distant memories; he spotted the bursts of light and headed that way, sinking deep in his thoughts once more.

She was so happy.

She was always happy.

He missed her so much…

He longed to see her again. He longed to hear her speak again to him; he couldn't care less if she pestered him about Earth's customs, he just wanted her back. Every little bit of her. She was his shining star; the only light in the darkness.

Her twinkling, vivid, green eyes, her rich auburn hair, her smile

Without her… the world was desolate …cruel… dark.

Without her, there was no world.

And he had no life.

He let out a shuddering breath before leaping off the roof and landing in the cold, cold snow.

He spotted Warp; the rage and hatred flared. He let it burst forth, using it to fuel his attacks as he sprung his revenge on the one who had torn everything away from him so long ago.

He did not know whether it was seconds, minutes or hours later, but so suddenly, it was quiet.

A soft thump was muffled by the powdery snow.

He slowly bent over to pick up the round glass piece and turned around to face the one he had saved. He couldn't believe his eyes; there she was, standing in front of him; as beautiful as in his memories, not looking like she had aged one day since she disappeared.

Shock riveted him to the spot; the grueling, bitterly cold wind howled, but he didn't notice the chill sinking into his bones. Instead, he felt warmth blossom inside; and a new light cut through the gloom of the city, of his life.

He didn't think, he just swept her up in his arms and inhaled deeply the scent of her lustrous hair and savoring the feeling her body pressed tightly against his. He could feel her tremble in his arms; just like she did twenty years ago.

A smile crossed his lips.

" Hey, Star."

A moment later, he forced himself to take a step back; he blinked a few times beneath his mask, just to make sure she wasn't another figment of his imagination.

She wasn't.

He swallowed, hard; feeling uncharacteristic tears well up in his eyes.

" It's been a while, hasn't it?"