Disclaimer: I don't own the Titans.

Broken record moment: Aussie, spelling, slang, word usage is all different.

Big fat warnings: Adult situations… and omg angst.


Waiting.

Waiting was the worst part.

She would stand at the window, watching the rain drizzle down the glass. Sometimes it would be snow that she would watch; the flakes would flutter downward and vanish into the mound of white on the ground or be swept up by the surf so far below. Sometimes she would just peer into the gloom of night and watch the moonlight dancing off the water. And she would wait.

Tonight, there was no moon, no rain nor snow, not a cloud in the starry sky. She stared out into the bleak blackness of the night, watching the little light from the Tower sparkle against the surface of the water. The stars twinkled in the heavens, but tonight to her, the stars seemed more sorrowful that usual.

She listened to the quiet hum of the air conditioner, the soft buzz of the florescent lights above her head, the sound of Silkie snoring on the sofa. If she concentrated really hard, she could hear the remote sounds of traffic on the mainland.

Always waiting.

Sometimes she didn't have to wait long. But others times, when she couldn't contact him for fear of betraying his position, or disturbing his concentration, the times when she didn't know, when she would stand for hours on end, those waits were the hardest.

But tonight… tonight was the longest.

He never, ever, let her accompany him on his patrols, not anymore. She knew he followed her sometimes, a strange niggling feeling that he was close by, but he was so much better at hiding his form from her than she was from him. He'd gotten very, very angry when she tried to follow him. They'd fought for hours over that one, hurtful words going backward and forward until she finally figured out why he was so upset. It didn't have anything to do with the things he was shouting about trust and faith, how he capable warrior in his own right, how he didn't need her protection. She knew that anyway.

When he was out there, alone, he could rely on his instincts. He didn't have to watch out for another member of the team. He didn't have to protect his friends. He didn't have to shout orders, he could just act. Be one with his own body.

It didn't matter that he was the only one without powers while he was out in the city. He had his training, his skills, his gadgets. He was a hero when he was perched on the rooftops overlooking the city, casting his watchful eyes over the tall building and searching the alleyways for criminals. He felt powerful and in control. He could be the wings in the night, the silent stalker that protected the city. He could be everything he was before her.

She made him feel powerless. She made him feel human.

So she hadn't done it again.

But that didn't stop her from waiting until he was home.

Their friendship was becoming strained.

She'd noticed this after Raven left the team, heading back to Azarath to assist her people, Beast Boy surprising all of them by going with her. She'd known there was something between the two and she'd been incredibly happy for them both when the invitation for their wedding had arrived, even happier when she'd watched them take their vows.

But she wondered if she would ever be that happy.

He'd changed his uniform after that, changed his name. His previous one was a flight of fancy, something for children. The Titans weren't children anymore. They'd grown up.

Cyborg had gone next, heading to STAR labs to help his father try and build cybernetics that contained artificial nerve endings. He wanted to be able to feel his hands again, to be able to feel it when he touched someone. He was currently dating one of the research assistants. She hoped he could find everything he was looking for.

She heaved in a sigh, still staring out the window.

Just the two of them now. The last of the originals, the others called them.

She knew of the secret bets between the other Titans. She knew of the pool that Speedy had organised. They were all waiting for the engagement announcement. An announcement she knew would never come.

He didn't think of her like that. She was a friend. A sister. Someone to ask for advice when one of his alter ego's dates failed, again. Someone to console him when times were tough with his girlfriends. After Raven and Beast Boy left, there seemed to be a string of them. Most of them were escorts provided by his father, publicity stunts, and she told herself that they didn't matter, but some of them were real girlfriends.

She'd once made the mistake of asking him if there could ever be anything more between them. If they had the potential to be boyfriend and girlfriend and go on dates. He'd stilled and looked at her, his mask hiding his eyes and told her they could never be anything more than friends. That he needed her friendship more than anything but that they would never be more than that.

There were times, brief and exceptionally rare, that something would happen, that she could almost believe that he felt something more. Sometimes, the way he would look at her would sear her flesh, make her quiver and she was sure that if she just held his gaze a moment longer, he'd see how she felt about him and show her how much she meant to him. But he never did, he would shudder and turn away and a veil of blankness would fall across his face, the moment vanishing like it never existed.

So she'd tried to be his friend. Tried to hide the love she held for him away, didn't want to see him like that anymore. There was too much hurt there. He'd broken her heart over and over again when he'd taken out other girls, dated other girls, kissed other girls.

But that didn't stop her from waiting.

She wondered, not for the first time, why she was bothering tonight. She should just do what she planned. He probably wouldn't even notice.

They rarely spoke anymore, not like they used to when they were younger. She couldn't remember the last time they'd conversed on the roof until the early hours of the morning. She couldn't remember the last time they'd done anything together other than training and battling criminals.

He was older now. Grown. The new costume fitted him so well. But with the costume had come the knowledge that the person inside the costume was meant to be a loner. He didn't need anyone. He didn't want for anything. He was pulling away from the Titans, struggling to form his feet into the shape that would follow in his father's footprints. Everyday he seemed colder, more detached.

The Tower was a silent, empty, tomb. A standing testament to what once was.

Oh she'd tried to keep it happy, keep it bright. But without Beast Boy's energetic pranks, without Cyborg's boisterous yelling and games, without Raven trying to keep them both in line and having them rebel by being even louder, she found herself sucked into the dreary and drab life that was his. Training, criminals, eating, sleeping, endless waiting while he was gone.

It had to end. She couldn't do it anymore.

She sighed. She could remember the last time she'd felt the family atmosphere she'd loved when she was younger. He'd turned twenty-one a month ago and everyone had shown up. Raven and Beast Boy had returned from Azarath, Cyborg and his girl, all of the Titan Network. She'd spent ages decorating the common room, just for him. Spent ages cooking all the Earth food that he loved, organising all his friends to be there.

And he'd smiled at her, that special smile he used to give her when they were younger. He'd smiled and kissed her cheek and said thank you and for just one night, the old part of him returned, full of laughter and friendship and fun.

She'd been so happy that night, floating everywhere, enjoying that time with their friends. He'd even danced with her a time of two and she'd finally felt like he'd seen her again. Realised she was there, right under his very nose. That, if steps were taken, they could repair this failing friendship of theirs.

And then she'd overheard him talking to Flash in a darkened corner, wondering how he was going to break the news to her. Seen the sympathy and understanding in Flash's stance and just knew.

It wasn't the Titans he was pulling away from. It was her.

He was going to leave. Just like everyone else had.

And she would be alone.

Not this time.

The door slid open and she turned her head as he stumbled into the room.

She gasped in shock, her hands fluttering to her mouth.

One hand clutched at his stooped shoulder, his mask askew and torn. He was missing a glove and his pants were ripped in several places, but his skin did look unmarked beneath the tears. There was a cut on his temple covered in dried blood and a nasty looking bruise forming on his chin and his normally immaculate spiked hair was disheveled.

"Nightwing," she blurted, her eyes tearing.

He jumped, his head flicking up wildly before he relaxed as he saw her. "Hey," he murmured, a relieved smile on his face.

"Why did you not call me to assist you?" she cried, her voice frantic.

"It's not as bad as it looks," he replied dismissively. "But I could use some-" He stopped, his face twisting and she suddenly remembered the packed suitcase by her feet. "Where are you going?"

"That can wait," she said dismissively, hurrying to his side, "you need assistance."

He took a step back and she stopped before him. "You're in plain clothes," he said, something in his voice she couldn't identify. "You have a suitcase packed. Starfire… are you leaving?"

She tried to stall, worried about him. "Please, you must allow me to-"

"Starfire," he said sternly. "Are you leaving?"

She swallowed heavily, threaded her fingers together and let her arms hang. "Yes."

He seemed dumbfounded at that. "Why?"

"One of us had to, Nightwing." She always called him that. Never Robin, he wasn't Robin anymore. Never Dick, that was reserved for his girlfriends. And never Richard. "And I was not going to be the last one left."

He blinked, his head shaking slightly in disbelief. "Last one left?"

She sighed wearily and looked at the ground. "I cannot cling to a team that no longer exists. I must find a place where I am needed."

"You're needed here," he said, his voice unnaturally sharp and she wondered at that.

"Am I?" she asked mildly, looking him directly in the face. "Am I truly? I do not feel very needed. How long has it been since you looked at me? How long has it been since you asked how my day was? How long has it been since we have done anything as friends? Since we have watched a movie together, or walked in the park or done things that friends would do? How long has it been since we had a meal together? I am not like you. I cannot be sustained on training and working and obsessing over criminal activities. I need laughter and friendship. I need companionship. And I am not getting that from you."

His mouth flapped open and he stared at her. "Why didn't you tell me?"

She rolled her eyes and huffed in exasperation. "And perhaps you do not remember how accessible you have been recently? I have tried every day in the last month to talk to you! And you are never available! You were constantly sending me away. You are always working, or flouncing off with one of your many girlfriends."

"Oh come on, Star," he said, vexed. "I haven't dated anyone in months, I haven't even been on one of Bruce's stupid little escorts, surely you've noticed that! I'm not a fucking mind reader, I can't tell if something's bothering you just by looking at you."

"Robin used to be able to," she retorted defensively.

He flinched at that.

"Besides, how could I tell you?" She poked a finger at him. "You are never here! And when you are, you are in your office working! You just do not have time for me anymore."

He scowled at her. "And if I don't have time for you, what makes you think I have time for other girls?"

She bared her teeth at him, knowing she was hiding behind her anger, using months of hurt and mistreatment to fuel it. "You have always had time for them in the past. Why should now be any different? They were always the more important ones. I have done the outgrowing of my usefulness. You will not even allow me to patrol with you and now look what has happened to you!"

He snorted. "I got caught in an explosion, that's all. Nothing to it."

"Nothing?" she snapped at him, her voice rising. "You got hurt! You did not even contact me to assist you! I stand here and I fret and worry about you every single night and I wait for you and you did not even contact me!"

"I don't need to be babysat," he snapped. "I don't need you running after me, thinking that I need to be rescued. I can take care of myself. Besides, there wasn't time! I had to get those people out."

"And yet, were the situation reversed, you would be demanding that I called you, berating me if I did not. How is this teamwork?"

"What's it matter anyway?" he snarled. "You're leaving. That's not teamwork either, that's desertion!"

"You deserted me a long time ago!" she yelled.

"I never did," he bellowed back. "I'm still here!"

"You have not been here for a very long time!" she screamed at him, nearly in tears. "You sit in your office. You train. You plan and scheme and research. You kick the butt of criminals! That is it! That is all you do! When the others were here, you would play games, you would smile and laugh and everything would be wonderful. And then you disappeared, along with the others! You vanished beneath this persona, determined to become the perfect little hero so your father would be proud. You dated other girls, you spent time with them and not me."

"You fucking jealous, that's all," he yelled.

"I am not jealous," she scoffed. "I could not care less who you choose to date, who you choose to fuck!"

He reeled back as though she'd slapped him.

She stared at him, wondering why they were getting so angry at each other. Wondered how this could have possibly escalated to a screaming match so quickly. And then she realised that anger allowed the words to flow, gave her the courage to tell him exactly how she was feeling. So she did.

"I do not care about anything Nightwing does," she snarled, her hands clenched into fists.

"Then why are you still here?" he yelled.

"Because I loved Robin!" she screamed at him.

He stared at her in shock, his mouth working but no sound came out.

She turned away from him for a moment, her hands shaking with anger. "I was in love with Robin. He was my best friend. My very first friend, and I cared about him more than anything. I do not like who he has become, but I clung to the hope that he might return some day."

"Was?" he whispered and she didn't understand why he sounded so heartbroken.

She turned back to stare at him, her face hard. "Robin would have taken the time to talk to me even when he was busy," she continued. "Robin would have seen that something was bothering his best friend. But Nightwing? Nightwing sees nothing beyond what he wants to see! Nightwing does not care about friendship or teamwork because Nightwing is just like his father. Nightwing does not need me!"

"Yes, I fucking well do need you!" he bellowed. "I fucking love you alright?"

She froze, her eyes widening, blood draining from her face, a strange pounding in her chest.

He was breathing hard, his chest heaving as he stared at her.

She swallowed, her breath coming in small, shaky pants.

He raked a hand through his hair. "I love you, okay?" His voice softer this time, more meaningful.

No… no it wasn't okay. She couldn't catch her breath. It was coming too fast, she couldn't draw enough into her lungs to get enough oxygen. The world was spinning strangely, tumbling out of control. She pressed her hands to her chest, desperately trying to quell the growing panic inside.

"Star?" he asked, suddenly concerned, taking a step toward her.

"No," she cried, stumbling backward rapidly, her hands held out before her.

He didn't mean that. He couldn't mean that. After all this time, she'd been right here in front of him and he hadn't done anything about it. He was only saying that to try and keep her here.

She hit the back of the sofa and leaned against it heavily, her knees weak, her hands shaking. "You are lying."

He was eyeing her warily. "No, I'm not," he said intently.

She shook her head, unable to believe him. "No…you cannot…"

"Why not?" he asked sadly.

"Because you have never shown any interest in me… you have never… you told me I could never be anything more to you than a friend… a sister, you love me like a sister."

"No," he replied. "Definitely not like a sister." He took a hesitant step toward her, and then another and she could do nothing but stare at him in disbelief.

Suddenly the walls were closing in around her. Everything was too close, too tight. She had to get away. Get away from him, get away from his words, get away from this room.

She bolted.

He must have known she was going to do that, the instant she pushed off the sofa, her body primed to flee, he launched himself at her. She'd barely taken a step toward the door before she was forced over the back of the sofa, tumbling and rolling across the seat and to the floor on the other side, hearing Silkie's squeak of indignation.

He twisted his body in the air as they tumbled, his arms circling her protectively, his shoulders taking the brunt of the fall. She heard his grunt of pain as they hit the ground and rolled and somehow, whether by fate or design, she ended up beneath him.

She stared at him in shock, his face hovering above hers, his weight pressing her down and trapping her arms against her chest.

He shifted, one arm taking his weight while his other hand tore off his mask. "You okay?" he asked, staring at her and she found herself lost in his blue eyes.

She managed to nod.

"Good," he replied and suddenly his lips were on hers.

He kissed her hard, demanding, his mouth bruising against hers with an intensity that seemed to suggest he'd been wanting to do this for a long time. He devoured her, his lips sweeping across hers while his tongue probed for an entrance. She eeped at the sheer fierceness of his mouth and he used that small sound from her to deepen the kiss.

She'd dreamed of this, having his lips against hers, feeling his weight on her. Dreamed of it for so long and never believed it could happen simply because she did not think he felt for her that way.

His chest lifted away a fraction, allowing her arms to slip free, but she wasn't quite sure what she wanted to do with them yet, so she let her hands drape by her shoulders.

She felt his tongue sliding against hers and suddenly realised something.

She wasn't kissing him back.

She was actually feeling violated by the sheer strength of his kisses. Surely he didn't believe that simply kissing her could make everything better. Make all the hurt go away.

Her hands lifted, pressing against his shoulders, pushing him up.

"No," she said as she tore her lips away from his, turning her head so he couldn't reattach them easily.

"It's you, Star," he whispered huskily. "It's always been you."

"No," she said again, adding to the emphasis with a shake of her head, her hands drawing away from his shoulders and curled into her chest.

"Yes," he whispered, lowering himself to press his chest against her.

"Why?" she asked, the word springing from her lips before she could stop it.

He looked confused. "Why what? Why do I love you?"

"Why have you been pushing me away?"

He sighed sadly. "I'm not the best at feelings, Star. I didn't want things to change; I didn't want to lose you as my best friend. I don't have many friends and I needed you. I was afraid that if we took that next step, and things didn't work, I'd lose you completely. And then there was always Batman, who drummed into me that I should never, ever date a teammate, that you could be used against me. But it was becoming so hard, seeing you in that role when I wanted you to be so much more. I guess I was pushing you away in the hope that if I spent less time with you, the feelings I have would fade and we could go back to being best friends. There haven't been as many girlfriends as you think, most of the dates were Bruce's stupid publicity stunts."

"But there have been girlfriends," she whispered.

He looked sheepish. "I thought… that perhaps they could help me see you as a friend again… but it always felt wrong… and then I would come home and… you'd be waiting for me…. No matter what time it was, you'd be waiting… and… all I wanted to do would be blurt out how I feel… but I couldn't… and… I'm sorry Star."

She shook her head. "You pushed too hard, Nightwing," she whispered.

He swallowed heavily. "Why don't you ever call me by my name?"

She frowned, confused at the change of topic.

"The others all call me Dick now. Have done for years. You're the only one that uses Nightwing."

"Because I know what it means."

He went red. "Oh."

"It seems disrespectful to me to call you that."

"You could've called me Richard."

Her mouth dropped open in shock. "No, I could not," she replied immediately. "Richard is a special name, reserved for special people. That is what you yelled at Beast Boy when he called you that."

He grinned. "And then he laughed at me for actually giving him permission to call me Dick." He dipped his head and kissed her nose. "But you can call me that."

Tears filled her eyes and she looked away.

"Please don't leave, Star," he said pleadingly, his body shifting as he tried to maintain eye contact.

"I must," she said quietly, still not looking at him. "If I do not, you will, and I shall be alone."

"I'm not going anywhere."

She sighed, squeezing shut her eyes so that no tears could escape. "Yes, you are. You are returning to Gotham to work with the Batman again."

"Where did you hear that?" he asked, a strange tremor in his voice.

"I overheard you and Flash speaking of it," she said flatly. "You were trying to determine a way to break the news to me."

"Star, no, that's not-" he blurted, his voice now panicked.

She shook her head, her eyes still clenched shut. "It does not matter. You have a place to go, as do I. We were struggling to hold onto a team that no longer exists. Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg have moved on. It is time for us to do the same."

"Place to go?" she heard him squeak. "Where are you going? You're not… leaving Earth, are you?"

"No."

"Oh thank God," he murmured and she felt his lips caress her jaw. "Star, look at me, please?"

"I have to go," she whispered. "I need to be at the airport soon." She was bending the truth, of course. She didn't need to be at the airport until about five in the morning. But she was so acutely aware of the heat of his body pressing her down, the scent of his sweat, the aroma of his hair gel. And she wasn't sure what was going to happen if she stayed.

"Airport?" he asked. "You can fly."

She shook her head. "Starfire can fly. But I do not wish to be Starfire anymore."

"What?" he breathed.

She looked at him, tears filling her eyes. "Starfire belonged to Robin. She will always be his. But there is no Robin anymore."

"I'm still Robin," he protested.

"I do not know you anymore," she whispered.

"Then don't go," he cried. "Stay. Please. Let's try and work things out. You love me, right?"

She stilled and swallowed the lump in her throat.

His face went white and she saw his Adam's apple bobbing. "You… you do love me, don't you?" he asked again, his voice trembling.

Her lips parted to answer, but she found that she couldn't. Instead, she lifted her hand and placed it gently on his cheek, her thumb gently stroking. She arched her head up, softly kissing him on the lips.

She'd meant the kiss as something else but it quickly turned into something more and she found herself swept away in the intensity of his kiss. Found herself responding when his tongue searched her mouth for hers, found herself drawn into his mouth. Her arms crept up to clamp onto the back of his shoulders of their own accord, her legs spread on their own, nestling his body between them, one foot stroking along the back of his leg.

His hands roamed across her body, touching her everywhere, caressing over her neck, across her stomach, sneaking up her shirt to cover a breast.

And she let him. Pushed her chest up toward him in clear invitation, her body suddenly having a mind of its own.

He dragged her shirt over her head, throwing it away as he devoured the skin at her neck. She could feel his lips nibbling their way over her collarbone. One hand slipped under the strap of her bra, dragging it down her shoulder, pulling the cup away from her breast and his mouth closed over it, his other hand slipping beneath the other cup to play.

She gasped and sighed as she pushed up against him, her hands buried in his hair, her mind foggy.

It was obvious to her he knew what he was doing, his hands and lips were so confident in their actions. She knew she couldn't dwell on that, no matter how much that hurt. He was here, with her. Just like she always dreamed.

She was helpless against his touch, smothered by his body.

He groaned and shifted back up to her mouth, his hands digging under her. He rocked back, dragging her upright with him. His hands slipped down to her bottom, cupping her legs, taking her weight as he picked them both up. She wrapped her hands around his neck, her legs around his waist as he carted her to his room, all the while his mouth working against hers.

He sat her on his bed, his hands unsnapping the clasp of her bra, kicking off his boots at the same time. She reached for the latch on his belt and slipped her feet out of her shoes. He cast aside his remaining glove and dragged his shirt over his head and she barely had a chance to see the darkening bruise across his shoulder before he pushed her back on the bed, smothering her with his mouth once again, deep passionate and fanatic kisses.

She crawled up to the pillows on her back, kissing him as she moved, his hands warm on her breasts. Her hands roamed on his back, marveling the warrior physique. She'd seen him without a shirt before but to touch, to run her fingers over every muscle, feel every bone, to have her hands work their way down his spine, across his bottom and up his chest, was an entirely new experience.

His kissed his way down her neck again, returning his attention to her chest. She groaned, her head rolling back, small gasps of delight escaping her mouth.

She felt his hands drifting down over her stomach, felt him unclipping the buttons of her jeans before his hand slipped inside. She bucked at the contact, her hips jolting from the bed and she could have sworn she heard him chuckle.

He pulled away, rocking onto his ankles to kneel between her legs as he yanked her jeans off. She helped him as best she could, lifted her bottom, shifted her knees, pointed her toes and he took great delight in pulling off her underwear at the same time.

"You're so incredibly gorgeous," he said huskily, stretching out beside her, touching her face softly. His hand trailed down her body, between her breasts, over her stomach and between her legs and she found her breath hitching as he gently parted them.

What were these strange feelings surging inside? Her head was spinning with sensations, a wanton need developing in her belly. She was so incredibly warm and there was a wetness between her legs. She ached at his touch, desire burning within her, begging and yearning to be released and fulfilled.

"Oooh," she groaned when he slipped a single finger inside her, her hands clutching at his blankets. Her eyes fluttered closed, her mouth open as she enjoyed the sensations he sent trickling through her, enjoyed the feeling of his fingers, the caress of his thumb against the folds outside.

She hadn't realised she'd said anything until he raised his head from her breast and looked in her eyes, his own glazed and she thought she would die from the sheer lust in them. "Please, what?"

She arched her head back again, his fingers not stopping their relentless pursuit although he was still staring at her intently.

He shifted up, propping himself up on an elbow, his body half covering hers. "Please, what?" he asked again.

She ran her fingers down his back. "Make me yours," she whispered.

His breath hitched and he stared at her, his eyes searching hers intently. "You're sure?"

She nodded.

"Have you done this before?" he asked quietly, intensely.

"No," she whispered, watching as his eyes filled with something else. Lust and… relief.

He kept a packet of condoms in the drawer beside his bed. That knowledge sliced through her heart, but she chose not to dwell on it as he shed the remainder of his clothing and slipped the protection on. She tried not to stare and ogle at him as she waited for him to return to her.

He crawled back on top of her again, coaxing her legs wider as he moved up her body. She could feel a foreign heat poised against her as he settled over her. He raised himself up on his elbows, his fingers running through her hair lovingly. "Breathe," he whispered quietly and lowered his head to hers, taking her lips in a long, sensual kiss.

She did as she was told, relaxing beneath him, drawn into his kiss and wondered why he'd said that.

He moved his hips forward.

She sucked in a startled gasp, tearing her mouth away from his as a flash of pain bolted through her. This was immediately followed by a faint throbbing from within her as she felt herself stretching.

"I'm sorry," he whispered into her ear, his lips traversing over her face in small butterfly kisses.

She chewed her lip, her hands kneading at his hips. "It is okay," she murmured.

His hips rolled, drawing himself out slowly before he pushed back in just as leisurely, and she was surprised at the tickle of pleasure that trembled through her. She closed her eyes and lost herself in the rhythm of his movement, feelings darting though her body that she'd never conceived even existed before.

His thrusts were long, deep, and so slow, leaving her aching for more. It seemed to take forever between one thrust and the next as he slowly dragged himself out and slid back in.

Oh, his hands, those magical hands of his, touching her everywhere at once. Dancing against the mound of her breast, tracing her belly, stroking at the folds of her skin between her legs as his hips rocked against hers, constantly in motion.

He was tender, gentle, and attentive and yet still an ardent lover. He amorously stroked the fire inside, kept on stoking it until it raged and she was moaning beneath him. Her body was feverish with need and she begged and pleaded with him, desperate for something that she couldn't even begin to surmise. Every sense was heightened, balancing on the threshold between pleasure and pain and she still wanted, needed more.

Ever so slowly, he began to pick up the pace, the thrusts becoming deeper, harder, faster. Oh, the sensations he sent rippling through her body were simply glorious, like nothing she had ever dreamed. His breath was warm against her face as he grunted with effort, his lips attaching and detaching from hers every time he plunged into her.

Her legs wound around his waist, gripping at him, demanding that he go faster as she panted in time with his thrusts, her body rocking against his. His hands took her wrists, pressing them against the bed above her head and held her down, his mouth hard and demanding against hers.

The explosion inside her was so intense, so unexpected, she cried out in pleasure, her half-lidded eyes shining green. Her back curved from the bed, her head thrown back in rapture, her whole body convulsing from the force. She felt incredible, euphoric, brutally satisfied.

He increased the speed, thrusting into her fiercely, and before long, while the force of her climax was still rocking and tumbling through her, he uttered a deep groan, loud and long. His eyelids fluttered, his face awash with rapture and with one last powerful thrust, she felt a shuddering inside her.

He collapsed on top of her, his chest heaving in breath, his back sweaty beneath her roaming fingers, burying his head into the crevice of her neck. "Ooooh," he moaned, kissing up her neck to reach her ear and she could feel the warm pant of his breath against her skin. "Oh babe…that was… incredible. You're so amazing." He lifted his head, his hands stroking at her face. "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you, did I?"

She flickered open her eyes to see him looking at her in with concern. There was a dull ache where they connected but she wasn't disturbed by it. "No."

He gave her a relieved smile and kissed her gently. "I love you."

She couldn't lie to him. Wouldn't lie. He deserved the truth. "I love you too," she whispered, tears filling her eyes.

His smile widened, an enthralled gaze appearing in his eyes, before he kissed her again.

Later, she curled her back against his stomach, feigning sleep and wondering at the consequences of her actions.

She could feel his hand on her head. A few minutes ago, he'd been quietly running his fingers through her hair, but now, as his breathing deepened, his body relaxing, she knew he'd slipped into sleep.

She crept from his arms, freezing as she heard him moan slightly, unsure whether it was from her movement or from the loss of her warmth, waiting the heart wrenching moment before he tugged the blanket up over his shoulder and returned to slumber.

As silently as she could she dressed, remembering that her shirt was still in the common room.

She ran her fingers through his hair, one last time. Kissed his cheek and left.

"There, there, dear," said the kindly old lady in the seat beside her as she cried, watching her home drop away as the plane lifted into the sky. The lady patted her on the shoulder helplessly, trying to give her some form of comfort to ease her pain. "You're going to Paris, the city of love. Things will get better."

She nodded and wiped at her eyes. "Yes… yes they will."

TTTTT

Six months passed and she built herself a new life.

She found a cute little flat in Paris that wasn't much outside her budget. She took all the extra waitressing shifts she could to cover the extra cost. It was an adorable little one bedroom flat. It had its own kitchen and bathroom, its own private little balcony so she could grow flowers and what's more, she could get onto the roof from where she was and see the Eiffel tower. Silkie loved Paris, he developed a liking for croissants.

If she was careful, she could fly above the city at night, watching the twinkling lights and feeling freer than she ever had before.

She spoke to Cyborg every second day, he was now making an effort to stay in touch with her since she'd up and left. He'd been shocked, wondering why she felt she had to do such a thing. Then he'd tried everything under the sun to get her to come home. He'd even flown across to see her.

And Cyborg had seen what she was like without him and understood that she'd been slowly dying in the Tower without all of them there. He understood, given her a hug and wished her the best.

Raven tried too. She promised to come back from Azarath more often. Promised to visit, bringing Beast Boy with her. Promised to send time with her and do the girly stuff. She pointed out that they could still do that stuff, but that Raven would need to come to Paris and at Raven's silence known that Raven, too, just wanted her to come home.

Except that Paris was starting to feel that way.

She loved living in Paris. It smelled of baking bread first thing in the morning. She loved the cobblestone alleyways, she could walk through the city and turn a corner and discover something new and completely marvelous. She loved the architecture, the prettiness of the city, its design; it felt modern and yet cozy and homely at the same time. She loved the fact that she could have any combination of food and no one would raise an eyebrow.

Language wasn't a problem for her, it never had been, it was always slang that she tripped up on. But here, it didn't matter, so many cultures melding together, no one really cared when she got things wrong. Her boss liked her because she could speak with anyone and the little cobblestone café she worked at always had so people from different countries visit. And then he started to like her for the custom she brought to his café as her modeling career skyrocketed. Even after things started to come together for her, she still worked at that little café once a week, still kept her cozy, much loved apartment. She felt it kept her connected.

And she loved being amongst ordinary people, pretending she was one of them. Pretending that she was no different.

They didn't really know her.

The young man down the hallway had already made several advances toward her, ones that she'd smiled kindly at and refused. He was a nice boy, always ready to lend a hand to anyone, always with a smile on his face when he saw her. She liked him but she just wasn't ready. She didn't intend to be heartbroken again.

She knew she was still waiting for him, as much as she didn't want to be, as much as she tried to move on.

He was the son of the world's greatest detective. She knew that he knew where she was. So she waited, like she had always done. Waiting to see if he would come. Waiting to see if it would be worth it if he did.

Some nights she would stand by the window and stare out into the starry sky and wonder what he was doing. Some nights she would stare at the sky and remember the boy he used to be and on those nights she would cry. Most nights she would just hold Silkie close, feel the unconditional love her worm had and was strengthened by it.

"Another show tonight," she told her larva as she stoked his belly.

She was the up and coming, they'd told her that. She'd been booked solid for a month now. Something every day and most nights. Photographs loved her because of her flexibility, her poise and the fact that she could pose in any climate, swimwear in the middle of winter suddenly becoming their favourite thing for them to shoot. Designers loved her because of her height, her frame, the curves in the right places. Hairdressers loved her because of her hair, Make up loved her gorgeous green eyes.

Silkie warbled at her and waved his legs in the air happily.

She sighed, picked up her bag and fetched her keys, checked that her hologram ring was active, that tiny little silver ring on her pinky finger. "Wish me luck," she called as she headed out the door.

The air was frigid and crisp that afternoon. People that strolled across the cobblestone streets clutched their jackets to their chests, calling out greetings. She loved how friendly people were here.

She walked through the city at a leisurely pace, simply enjoying the architecture. She had plenty of time, the show wasn't for another three hours. Pierre didn't expect her for at least another thirty minutes. She fed the pigeons the crumbs she had brought. She stared into the waters of surrounding the Île de la Cité, wishful flights of fancy flowing through her mind as for a moment she imagined him staring into the waters beside her, his fingers laced through hers.

She sighed and moved on.

She arrived at the runway. They were walking on water tonight, small floating platforms dotted along the surface of the water, illuminating lights stretched out along the runway, shining into the air. She watched some of the other models practicing, saw them wobbling as they tried to maintain their balance on the flimsy platforms, and smiled to herself.

This was another reason why she was becoming so well known. Her fierce face, the intensity in her eyes, and the fact that she seemed to walk on air when she strutted her stuff down the runway. It helped that she actually was floating when she did it. And some of the strange and exotic poses she could form were also as a result of floating, although she was very, very careful to make it look like she just had exceptional balance.

"Ahh! Darling!" Pierre cried, spotting her, gesturing her madly. "Come my swan, we must prepare you."

She smiled and nodded and was thrown into the chaotic world of behind the curtain.

She was passed from hand to hand, hair, makeup, clothing, accessories, shoes. Each outfitting her in their designs. And she calmly stood there and accepted it all, finding her center.

She was one of the first to walk. She raised her chin, allowed Pierre to make last minute adjustments and let her warrior face to show.

Eyes were the windows to her soul and as she strutted down that floating runway, oozing sex appeal, her hips swaying with every step, her curves entrancing the crowd of onlookers, her eyes smoldered. She didn't look at the audience, never did when she walked, never wanted to know who watched her. Instead she fixed her eyes upon the end of the runway and walked as though he was watching. Walked to show him what he was missing out on.

She didn't care what she wore, she was there to show off the clothes to the best of her ability, and she always made sure to work the piece as much as possible. Tonight was swimwear. And tonight, for some reason, she felt deadly, dangerous. It might have had something to do with the tiger printed piece, the pretend ears and the tail that swished behind her as she strutted, but tonight something seemed to be working for her.

She stalked. She preyed. She hunted. She bared her teeth and hissed.

Piece after piece, suit after suit and the fire remained.

Intermission arrived, allowing the girls a fifteen-minute break, allowing the audience time to stretch their legs.

She stared at the white bikini in the mirror, stared at the feathers that adorned her breasts, the white belt around her hips, the white feathered wings that stretched from her back. They'd chosen her for this piece because of her contrasting fiery hair. She thought it looked wonderful, angelic and virginal.

She tried to ignore the sorrow that welled inside as she found herself wondering what he would have thought seeing her in this. Seeing her in anything she had worn tonight.

"Darling," Pierre announced, coming up behind her. "You look ravishing, I knew this would look divine on you. But little swan, I have a surprise for you. It seems you've made quite an impression on one of our biggest sponsors. Their representative would like to meet with you."

"After the show," she said politely, not wishing to be distracted from her mindset, silently cursing the horny little men that always seemed to try to buy their way into her affections, believing that their positions actually mattered to her. Her polite refusal was always the same. She was a model, not a hooker and she would never belong to any of them, didn't want their offerings. They seemed to take the hint after a few of them ended up with a broken nose for touching her.

"Ahh, but he insists. It would not be wise to anger this gentleman darling. He has said that he has a proposition for you."

She frowned at him, sensing another broken nose coming.

Pierre grinned. "Ahh darling, you have an evil little mind at times. A business proposition. My swan, you must make a good impression."

She sighed, fixed her bikini so it sat correctly, briefly wondering if she should wear a robe over the top. "Very well."

"Come, my swan," he said linking his arm through hers and leading her to a small office at the back.

One of Pierre's assistants scrambled up to him, muttering something about a torn costume and Pierre sighed and rolled his eyes. "I shall be back in a moment, my swan, please, go in and greet him."

She sighed again as she watched him stalking off, her hand landing on the handle of the door. Her lips twisted bitterly for a moment, knowing it was just best to get this over and done with quickly. If it was another horny man thinking she'd be a good lay during the break, he had another think coming.

She opened it, strode into the room, her head held high, careful not to tear the swan wings as the door swung shut behind her.

The man had his back to her and she gave him the once over. Tall, only slightly shorter than she was without these damn heels. Dark hair fell loosely around the collar of his knee length black jacket, black pants falling from beneath that. He looked well dressed, his clothing well cut and expensive.

"Bonjour monsieur," she began in a bored tone, planting on hand on her cocked hip. "Je m'appelle-"

The man turned.

She froze in shock, the words dying in her throat, her hand slithering off her hip.

"Hi," he said quietly, his blue eyes staring at her wistfully. "You look gorgeous, Star. An angel."

"A swan," she corrected, her eyes drinking him in. He looked so incredibly handsome and her heart physically ached at seeing him again after so long.

"I liked that tiger piece before,' he said, looking like he was struggling for something to say. "Very sexy…"

"I bet you did not know I had that in me."

He shook his head. "I knew… but then you've always been sexy to me."

"Why are you here?" she asked, her heart fluttering at his admission, locking her knees so she wouldn't fall. "Why lie about the business proposition? I believed you did not like to assert your fame to get what you wanted."

"I had to see you," he said sadly, his hands thrust into the deep pockets of his jacket and she caught sight of a white shirt beneath the jacket. "I needed to see you… I was devastated when I woke up and you were gone." His lips twisted upward bitterly for a moment. "I guess now I know how you felt when I'd arrive home the next morning from a date. Payback, huh?"

She shook her head furiously, never removing her eyes from his. "It was not payback. Never that. I-"

He shook his head, halting her words. "I was so angry with you for that for a very long time. I never expected you to do that sort of thing. Never expected that I'd be the one night stand."

Her eyes filled with tears at his intentional barb and she tossed her head, blinking them away. "I did not see it that way."

"I know," he said sadly. "I was angry and hurt and I didn't see the truth."

She stared at him.

He looked at her and spoke, his voice sad and soft. "You never lie to me."

"And I never will," she replied quietly before she gave him a brief smile. "Unless it is regarding Silkie."

He gave a very quiet chuckle. "Silkie… how is he?"

"Getting fat. I think I spoil him."

"You?" he replied, with a brief flash of cheekiness. "Never. Couldn't happen." His mouth turned down, his eyes pained for a moment. "You've never lied to me about the important things. That's what made it so hard."

They stared at each other.

"You look well," she ventured after a while.

"You look wonderful," he replied, that wistfulness back in his eyes. "Your career is going so well. You're a sensation back home. Home grown hero."

"You have been watching?" she asked, surprised.

"I always watch you," he admitted. "I missed you, Star."

"And you?" she asked, unnerved at both his admissions, desperately trying not to show how much he effected her. "What are you doing?"

"I went back to Gotham, working for Wayne Enterprises, helping to train Tim in my spare time. There was nothing left for me in Jump anymore. I couldn't stay…" He took one hand out of his pocket, opening and closing it while staring at the palm of his hand. "I never was going to leave you there alone. I wanted to bring you to Gotham with me. I'd even cleared it with Bruce, brought us a flat so we could live together… That's what I was talking to Flash about, we were trying to think of a way to ask you."

"Oh," she replied, a strange fluttering sensation trickling down her spine. If only she'd known that. If only he'd thought to tell her instead of pushing her away.

They fell silent again.

She watched him swallow, give a small nervous cough. "So many things I would've liked to have done differently," he said quietly. "Things I should've talked to you about, instead of consoling myself with other woman that couldn't hold a candle to you and what we could have had together. I was so blind… I didn't see what I had until it was gone. Until I'd had a taste and it was torn from me."

Her hands were trembling.

He took a tiny step toward her. "You were right you know."

"I was?" she asked, her voice wavering.

He was looking at her intently, his blue eyes determined and uncertain all at once. "Starfire will always belong to Robin, and there's a new one of those, one that she doesn't belong with. And Nightwing royally screwed things up by being the bastard that he was and pushing her away. I don't expect he'll ever be forgiven for ruining what they had. And he shouldn't expect her too."

She drew her hands to her chest, her eyes wide.

"But," he continued hesitantly. "I wonder…"

"What?" she asked, after waiting for him to continue for an eternity.

His blue eyes connected with hers, baring his soul. "How does Kory Anders feel about Dick Grayson?"

She stared at him, her heart rattling against her chest, threatening to burst.

But she couldn't bring herself to speak, just stared at him.

His eyes turned sad at her silence, faded into acceptance and then dulled completely.

The door slammed open causing them both to jump. Pierre bustled in, still bellowing instructions over his shoulder to his assistants. "Please forgive me," he said, finally turning to them. "Such is life behind the curtain. I do believe I did not even get to introduce you, how rude of me."

"It's fine," he said and she heard a faint catch to his voice, quickly smothered. He stuck out his hand toward her, giving her a tightlipped, polite smile. One of those smiles she only ever saw him make at those silly parties his father made him attend. "Dick Grayson."

"And this is the loveliest of my swans," Pierre said proudly. "The beautiful Kory Anders."

She forced her hand to take his in greeting.

He didn't release her hand, instead bowing at the waist and bringing it to his lips. "Nice to meet you, Miss Anders," he said, his lips still touching her hand. "You are a vision of loveliness."

Her heart fluttered in her chest, her breathing suddenly choppy.

"My company is very interested in you," he said diplomatically, as he straightened up to look her in the eye again, her hand still nestled in his. "I hope that we can at least be friends."

She stared at him, aware that her hand was shaking beneath his fingers, the words still stuck in her throat.

"I apologise for interrupting your preparation time," he continued, dropping his eyes from hers. "I just wanted to meet you."

Her heart plunged to her toes and rose up again so quickly she thought she might be having a heart attack.

His hand drew away, his eyes downcast, his shoulders slumped in defeat.

Her grip became vise like, her other hand clamping over the top of his, keeping him there.

His eyes snapped up to hers, shock echoed on his face, his stance stiff.

"I do not join with just anyone, Mister Grayson," she said quietly, finally finding her voice. "You will need to prove yourself."

One of his true smiles burst from his face, one that lit up his eyes as well, made them sparkle. "I like a challenge."

"I have been waiting for just the right offer."

"Not an offer," he said huskily, his other hand coming up to clasp around hers. "A new beginning."

Her heart soared. "It could have great potential," she said cryptically, aware that Pierre was looking between the two of them strangely.

"A wonderful partnership."

"It is a pleasure to meet you," she said softly, giving his hand a light squeeze, returning his smile with tear-filled eyes, "Richard."