The final chapter! Hope you all liked it!
BIG thanks to cartoonstar, cartoonfire, BerryDrops, RavenSis, ScoutAndGinger, FairieAngelx3o, rockingirlofbloodred019, -xKuroHinotex-, Koriand'r Grayson, MylittleDomino, contestshipper, IAmOneOfThem, Kory Anders Grayson, Starrobforever, lark lover, Diamond Blue Eyes, Lexanna Fable, RobStarfire, lil love fan, and pokemon-avatar for reviewing!
Disclaimer: I don't own TT or the Incredibles
Robin groaned as he woke up. His head was throbbing, and his entire body felt sore. Was he dead? The room he was in was white, but it was nighttime, so it was a dark blue-ish color. Was there night in heaven? Was he in heaven?
"Yo, Rob, you awake?" whispered Cyborg fervently. Apparently not.
"Cy? Where am I?"
"Titan's Tower infirmary. You fainted after you came home. Where were you, anyways?"
"There were two of you," Robin muttered absently. Cyborg tittered nervously.
"Yeah. Heh. About that..."
"I'll save that for later, when you're awake. Do you know where Star is? We haven't seen her since we got home, and that's been for almost five hours." Robin jerked awake suddenly at the mention of the bubbly princess.
"Star!" he cried, burying his head in his pillow. His shoulders started to shake, and try as he might to prevent it, he could not stop the tears from leaking out on to his pillow. Cyborg called his name and poked him, alarmed at his reaction.
"Robin, pull yourself together, man. Don't tell me my little sis is hurt!" yelled Cyborg frantically. Robin didn't answer. He couldn't answer. Cyborg took out his T-Comm and called, "Rae, BB, get over here. Something's wrong." The two were there within thirty seconds. They would have been there in less time, but Raven had had to levitate Beast Boy along because he refused to get out of his room.
"Cy, I was trying to sleep!" whined Beast Boy. Cyborg shot him a glare with his one human eye, and that shut the changeling up.
"Raven, what does Robin...?"
"Loss," answered the empath, her voice laced with sadness. It was hard to not feel sad, as Robin's aura was nothing but. "All he feels is loss." Cyborg nodded grimly.
"You guys...I think something happened to Starfire." Beast Boy and Raven's eyes widened. The group stood, silent and unmoving, except for Robin.
"What?" Beast Boy finally asked.
"I mean, why else would Robin be like this? Plus, we haven't seen her, and...I think she's hurt...or worse."
"No," Beast Boy replied disbelievingly. "Not Star. She can't be dead, she's Starfire. Maybe she's just in the hospital or something, she's fine." He didn't even look like he believed that himself. Cyborg shook his head.
"I don't know, BB. Something's not right, though. I mean..." Cyborg gestured to the Boy Wonder, who had gained a little control of himself and pulled the covers up over his head so no one would be able to see his misery. The three knew Cyborg was right, though they refused to believe it.
"You're being stupid! He's probably worked up over Slade or something!"
"Crying? I doubt it!"
"Did you tell him yet?"
"Stop!" commanded Raven, while a few machines exploded. "Look at us. We have to stay together through this. Don't you remember, when Starfire went twenty years into the future, how we all drifted apart? We can't let that happen."
Cyborg sighed. "Raven's right. Sorry, BB."
It was not okay. Nothing would ever be the same in Titan's Tower.
The next day, Robin had collected himself enough to get out of bed and face the world. He scowled at the mirror, which showed bags under his mask and tousled hair. He felt so much worse than he looked.
Robin couldn't bear to pass Starfire's room, and all the pictures he had of her had been removed in one painful hour and tossed into a box, which was shoved under his bed for later, better days. The other Titans questioned him about her, but he never answered. Maybe later, but for now, they could go on believing she was dead. She was as good as, anyway.
He took another look in the mirror, now eyeing the bright clothes, wrinkled beyond belief from having worn them for the past week or so with no ironing. It was the same as his circus costume, with a few adjustments that better fitted superheroism. But it was too bright, too child-like, and completely past. He wasn't in the circus anymore, and whoever he was, he definitely wasn't Robin, the strong, fearless leader. Yesterday alone proved that. Robin did not mope at the first sign of distress, he faced it head on.
He didn't ever want to face it again.
Robin never broke, especially not in front of his teammates. They all respected him.
They couldn't look him in the eye now, unsure of when his next breakdown would be.
He was no longer a kid. He'd lost almost every person he'd ever loved. He'd faced dangers no full grown man could ever think of facing. He was much wiser, and much more open minded. It was time for a change.
Robin picked up the phone in Titan's Tower, calling an unfamiliar number. He remembered Batman calling her once. She was an extremely short lady, with black hair and spectacles that nearly always were falling off her nose. Yet, she gave off the feeling that she was far more powerful than she looked. Strange little lady.
"Hey, Edna, it's Robin..."
Robin stared at the punching bag listlessly, wondering when he'd work up the resolve to use it. Cyborg entered the gym, and headed straight for him. "Hey man. How're you doing?" Robin shrugged.
"Look...the three of us've been talking, and...Rob, it's just not the same without Star. We're not even a team anymore. I mean, we can't stop fighting, and now, with Slade gone, there's barely anything to fight for..."
"What do mean, Slade gone?" asked Robin.
"Oh yeah. When we came back to Jump, we found Slade...he was unconscious. On the ground. I'm not sure what happened, but he was out cold. Probably some street fight he got into, but he was hurt really bad. That was about a week ago, and he's in jail now. Maximum security." Robin sighed. Catching Slade gave him no joy, funnily enough. But he knew why Slade was knocked out. He had done it, and one kid had probably K.O.'ed him with a punch. It was time to face the facts. He had almost killed Slade.
"Came back to Jump? You were here the whole time," asked Robin suspiciously. Again, Cyborg gave a nervous laugh.
"About seeing two of us...see, BB wanted a real vacation, after Tokyo and all, and I'd been working on this robo-clones, as decoys in battle, you know? Anyway, Rae had this great idea that who could use them to fool you and...uh...go to Mexico..." Cyborg said meekly. Robin's jaw nearly hit the floor.
"You...you went to MEXICO?!" he screamed. Cyborg nodded sheepishly.
"Before you ask, it's all BB's fault, 'cause me and Rae were just helping, but we decided to go along anyway, about a week after we came back from Tokyo. Only I guess you kinda figured it out after a while...I never got the emotions just right, but they were pretty sweet in battle, don't you think? All holographic, so you and Star did all the real work, but I couldn't really get them to have our real powers, except mine."
"Holographic...Mexico..." Robin muttered. No wonder Slade had been able to dodge all of their attacks. Only three people had been attacking him, not five!
"But we caught Slade! Seriously! And then we went looking for you two and when we got home I was just working on the robo-clones in the Ops Center...not so smart now that I think about it...and you walk in!"
Robin wasn't sure what to say. They'd gone to Mexico while he and Star had been battling it out here. The robo-clones had probably only made it worse, since Starfire would have gone to Raven for help...but they'd caught Slade...which Robin barely cared about anymore. He turned to stare at the punching bag, sighing.
"Anyway, that's great. Good job, you three."
"See? Fighting crime barely makes a difference anymore. We need to talk, Rob. The whole team. I just don't think it's going to work." Robin nodded. He should have known this was coming. He had known, subconsciously, but he had refused to acknowledge it. He couldn't take any more loss.
"Right. Ops Center, everyone." The decision was already made.
"The Teen Titans are splitting up," Robin announced the very same day. The mayor and a couple hundred of Jump City's residents sat before him in City Hall. Gasps and cries of 'No!' could be heard, but Robin didn't care. Cyborg laid a hand on his shoulder, nodding. As if Robin had any doubts about this.
"What about us? The city? The government pays you to protect us, and it comes out of our pockets! Was that all for nothing? You've got a huge tower, and all the latest equipment, and now it's just going to sit there? Or do we have to pay to get it back, too?" asked one angry man in the front. "You can't just leave!"
Robin stared him down, and the man visibly shuddered. "You wanted Starfire out? She's gone. If she goes, we go. That's how it works. I hope every single citizen is happy with what they've done. The Teen Titans aren't the Teen Titans without Starfire. You've all sealed your own fates. I suggest you take up martial arts. In three days, we'll be gone. That is all." Crickets could almost be heard in the hall as everyone absorbed this piece of news. Robin left the microphone, and Beast Boy and Raven carried him and Cyborg back to the Tower, where a parcel awaited them.
It was for Robin. He opened the box, and in it lay a black and blue new costume. "Nightwing," Raven surmised. "You're crime fighting by yourself now." Robin nodded.
"That, or I might go back to Gotham. Batman wants me to train up another orphaned kid. Where are all of you going?" asked Robin.
"I think I'm going to go back to school, and study up to be a veterinarian," Beast Boy announced. "Plus, I could always talk to animals to find out what's wrong with them. You know, where it hurts and all that. I don't even think I have to go back to school. I need to borrow Cy's holorings, though." Cyborg nodded. Beast Boy turned to Raven. "Are you going back to Azarath?" he asked unhappily.
"That was my original plan," Raven answered slowly. "I might just stay here and write novels. I've been wanting to for a while." Beast Boy gave her a kind of half smile, and Robin looked away. He had no right to stop them from being together, but did they have to do this in front of him?
"I think I might just be a mechanic. Something like that. I'll have to paint my baby black, so no one'll know it's the T-car. I'm gonna miss you guys." The other two nodded, and Robin cleared his throat. It was nearing sunset, and he had to go lock himself in a windowless room. He didn't want to see the 'beautiful colors,' as Starfire had so adorably put it.
"There's something you guys have to know. About Starfire." They were alert instantly. Anything about Starfire was music to their ears. "She...she's not dead. She's perfectly fine." At this, Beast Boy let out a whoop of delight, and Cyborg sighed in relief. Robin held up his hands for them to stop, and told the whole story.
Two more days, Nightwing realized as he woke up. Two more days and he'd be living a life of loneliness. No friends, no Starfire, no nothing...
Wait! He would see Starfire again. Twenty years in the future, when she appeared with Warp...right? Time travel was so confusing. Would she come? He'd have to wait twenty years to find out.
Nightwing was close to banging his head on the wall in frustration. One Mississippi...Two Mississippi...the countdown began.
There was an explosion in the distance, and the alarm went off. "Thank you," Robin muttered, before going to the Ops Center. Twenty years would have to wait.
Starfire's ship crashed and bumped it's way down, landing in the middle of a huge, green park. She hoped she was in the right place. She'd never been that great at directions, or landing, for that matter. Her ship was totaled.
Stepping out, Starfire noticed a small child, maybe six or seven, and her mother standing nearby, staring at her through wide eyes. The girl had strawberry blonde hair up in pigtails, and was licking a gigantic lollipop, which she had dropped as soon as she saw Starfire. The woman was a brunette, roughly three inches shorter than Starfire, and looked more than a little shocked. "Mommy! It's raining!" the child cried, running up to Starfire. She tugged at the alien's miniskirt. "Can I have a hug?"
Starfire giggled, sweeping the girl up in her arms, careful to be as gentle as possible. "Of course, little one." She looked up at the mother, who seemed uncertain. "Please...is this Jump City?" The woman pointed behind Starfire. Some ways away, there was the unmistakable form of Titan's Tower. Starfire gasped with delight. "I am home!"
"S-starfire," the lady called, and Starfire turned around again, nervous this time. Was the lady going to call up a mob and chase her away? "My name is Elaine McGrew. I speak on the behalf of the entire Jump City when I say we were wrong. You protect our city every day, and at the first mistake we blow up at you. We never did appreciate the Titans enough, and now they're splitting up." Starfire gasped again, but she was far from delighted.
"They are going their separate ways? But why?" she asked. Elaine shrugged.
"Yeah, in two days. I heard there was a meeting yesterday, and Robin said the Titans weren't the Titans without you." Starfire's eyes welled up with tears.
"Speak of the devil," Elaine added brightly. Starfire whipped around, looking for a little red man with a pitchfork, but instead saw the ex-Teen Titans.
"Friends!" she cried happily.
"Starfire?" chorused Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg. Nightwing just stood there with his mouth hanging open. Cyborg grabbed her in a bear hug, and Beast Boy did as well...except as a bear. Raven stood back and patted Starfire's shoulder awkwardly, a huge expression of happiness from her. Robin was still missing, though. As soon as Cyborg and Beast Boy had finished exclaiming how glad they were, Starfire turned to glance at Nightwing.
He was angry at her, no doubt about it. She suddenly found her shoes very interesting, as the other three Titans and Elaine held their breaths. "I...am sorry for worrying you Robin...Nightwing. I did not mean to cause any distress, I was merely unsure of what was right." She glanced back up. "I realize now that Tamaran is my home, but it is possible to move."
Nightwing sighed. "Look...we'll just talk this over at home...I mean, at the Tower." Starfire looked a little crestfallen, but she nodded. She'd been stupid, as usual, to think Nightwing would forgive her so quickly for leaving him. "We've already got our futures planned out anyways, so we'll just have to find something for you."
This was unexpected. Starfire stared disbelievingly, as well as Elaine, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven. "You're not seriously gonna split the Titans now, are you? Starfire's back! The Titans are back! Rob...Nightwing, you've gotta be joking!" yelled Cyborg furiously.
"How can you still say 'we're leaving'? You said you wanted Starfire back at City Hall, and now she is back!" Elaine exclaimed.
"Sorry, ma'am, but this isn't about the city. We can't have our team breaking up and getting back together if someone decides to go on an impromptu vacation, saying they won't come back. The Teen Titans will split up, and that's final."
Beast Boy crossed his arms over his chest. "And what if we don't want to?"
Nightwing glared at him. "Then stay. In two days, I'm heading back to Gotham. I don't care what you guys do." Nightwing started to walk back, leaving three apoplectic ex-Titans, one apoplectic citizen, and one desolate alien behind him.
Starfire plopped on to the ground. "I should not have come back," she whispered.
"Nuh-uh, little lady. You had every right to come back, but you shouldn't have left in the first place, or told him you were gonna stay there. But don't worry about it. Robbie...I mean, Nightwing's gonna mope for a day or two and before he goes back to Gotham you'll all have a big mushy-kissy scene and he'll stay. Everyone lives happily ever after," Cyborg assured her. Starfire attempted a smile, but she was still uncertain.
The walk back through the city was horrible. Without Robin beside her, she felt like even more of an imposter. Starfire hugged herself in an effort to cover her foreign-ness up. She was far too lanky, far too orange, and far too different. Robin had never made her feel this way, nor had he let anyone else make her feel like this. But now, people were staring, pointing, and whispering. Of course, she mused, she would have been perfectly fine on Tamaran. Galfore was there, and she had a few friends still. Maybe not best friends, like on Earth, but friends. Yet, Robin was not on Tamaran. That was the main reason of her return. That and, she had a duty to the city, even though it shunned her. She had Raven, Cyborg and Beast Boy.
But Robin was always angry at her here. Starfire couldn't help doing the wrong things for the right reasons. It was just who she was. Consequences were of no matter to her until they came into play. The truth was, she could be optimistic and say she belonged on both Earth and Tamaran, but the truth was, she belonged nowhere. She would always be an outsider.
They reached the beach, and Starfire didn't even try to fly, taking Raven's hand instead. Beast Boy morphed into a pterodactyl and carried Cyborg to the island.
Robin was not in the Ops Center, nor in the gym, when Starfire checked. She sighed. His room. The hardest place to get into in the world. Slade's lair was no match. She knocked on the door, remembering it vividly.
Nightwing knew he was being stupid. He didn't have to be told twice. But how could she do this? Had he unknowingly given her the right to waltz in and out of his life whenever she felt it necessary? How was he supposed to trust her at all, knowing she could leave at any second? He rested his head against the cool glass of his window, staring out at Jump's clear blue sky. There was a knock on his door, and he gave a frustrated sigh. He knew who it was. "It's open."
"What, Star?" She approached him, laying a hand on his shoulder. He brushed it off. "What do you want?"
"To make amends for my mistake," she whispered softly, sounding for all the world like a little schoolgirl in the eighteen hundreds.
"And how do you plan to do that?"
"Talk," she replied simply. Nightwing waited...and waited...until she figured out she was supposed to start talking. "Robin...Nightwing...I am sorry. I have nothing else to say. I do not belong here, or on Tamaran, and I do not know where to stay. The reason I came back to Earth is for you, but if you are angry then I have no choice than to go back to Tamaran again. I say it is my home because I know I will always be welcome there. Here...I cannot be sure. Countless times I have been reminded that I am an alien, an outsider, and countless times I believed flying back was the answer. Once and for all, if you wish for me to stay, I shall stay. If you wish for me to go, I will go. By which I mean, do you love me, Nightwing? Do you love me as I love you? I would go to the ends of the universe to be with you, if you would have me. Tell me now."
Nightwing didn't answer for the first few minutes, so Starfire sighed. "Very...very well. Then I apologize for wasting two years' worth of your time."
Stupid. He knew it was no use getting angry. He had no choice but to trust her. He loved her, he needed her, and he was going to keep her. If she could not make up her mind, he'd help her. Hopefully, this time, she'd stay forever. Nightwing spun Starfire around and kissed her passionately, tightly embracing her. She was surprised at first, but then eagerly responded, locking her arms around his neck.
"I love you, Starfire," Nightwing whispered in her ear when they broke apart.
"And I love you, Nightwing," Starfire replied blissfully.
"I've changed, Star."
"My love for you has not."
"Dick Grayson. My name." Starfire smiled, cuddling into his chest.
"Richard...hmm..." He stroked her hair, kissing the crown of her head. "Wonderful."
"Glad you think so."
"Are you staying?" Nightwing pulled away.
"Do you want me to stay?" Starfire nodded furiously, and Nightwing laughed. "Then I'll stay." He pulled her into another hug, and they were silent for a moment. Strange noises were heard outside Nightwing's door.
"Tch. They didn't even wait two more days for their big mushy moment," Cyborg grumbled. Nightwing chuckled. He hadn't thought it before, but now it seemed obvious. Besides Starfire, Cyborg was the biggest romantic he knew.
"Did you hear that? He said his name was Dick," Beast Boy sniggered. Now it as Starfire's turn to laugh, while Nightwing's face turned a bright red.
"Have you noticed they're a little too quiet?" droned Raven. "You idiots are in big trouble." Nightwing nodded at Starfire, and the two opened the door, catching Cyborg and Beast Boy in the act. Raven, Cyborg, and Starfire looked on in amusement as Nightwing prepared to throttle Beast Boy. Some things never changed.
And so it ends. Anyways, I've got to finish touching up the paint in my room, so I'll talk to you guys later! I've got another story coming soon, but the updates'll be far apart, now that I've got school and all. But it's just as short as this one.
Okay, I've been thinking about writing a sequel to Yeah, Another High School Story. Do you guys think I should, or would you rather I left it alone? The sequel is kinda depressing, so...or I could just write a big fluff one, but that would completely defeat the purpose, I could just make that into a one-shot. Anyway, what happens is, Babs and Xavier are back, along with Kitten, Steven Redd, and all the friends. It's summertime, and Richard, Kori, Roy, Alan, Gar, Rachel, Wally, Jenny, Karen, Vic, Angelina, Gregor, Collette, and Nicole all pitch in to rent a beach house, where they stay for a month, but now Kori and Rich's relationship is tested, as well as Gar and Rachel's...I think. I don't know about the Gar-Rachel. Anyways, if it sounds like a good idea, let me know!
Please review! Like you've been doing so far...LOL.