Alternative Ending

Author's note: I felt the last chapter was a bit rushed, and I also left a few little things out that I had wanted to put in. This can be looked at as an 'aftermath' or if you liked the previous chapter, you don't have to consider this anything to the story.

"So you don't want to get married anymore?" Robin asked, trying his best not to sound so deflated. He ran his fingers through his hair, shifting slightly.

"It is not that," Starfire sighed, removing the boy's hand and keeping it still, clasped tightly in hers. "Robin, I feel that we rushed things. I was so eager, and you were so eager. We wanted so badly to make things fit together again." She scooted closer to him. They were seated on the roof of the tower, but it felt like they were all alone. Sitting on the roof of the world. "I said yes because I thought it would erase everything that had happened, but Robin, it cannot."

"I love you," Robin muttered hopefully. He took his hand away. "Starfire, Slade's gone. I made sure of that. I went back and checked the warehouse, and there was his body. I killed him!"

Starfire only shook her head. There was an odd expression plastered on her face, as if she felt sorry for Robin. Felt scared for him even. "You did not," she said quietly. "You may have disposed of his physical body, but Robin…" she shifted herself to face him directly. "I still see him in you. Haunting you. Waiting for you."

"He's not here anymore," Robin tore at his hair. "Do you want me to be scared? Is that it? Do you just hope that I'll be miserable for the rest of my life?!"

"I just do not think you are being true to yourself," Starfire stood up as he did. "The Robin I know would not have just destroyed Slade. The Robin I knew was a hero, not a murderer."

It was too much for his ego to bare, and without even thinking about it, Robin began to scream at her, making her jump slightly. "SHUT UP! A murderer?! You think he didn't do terrible things to me?! He made me wish I was dead! I wanted him to kill me! Everyday I wanted to die!" He turned around and raised his Tshirt slightly. "I will always have this horrible scar because he marked me! While I was throwing up with a fever, that bastard took a burning hot needle to my skin for over two hours, branding me!" He began to cry, in spite of himself.

Starfire looked horrified, and her voice came out smaller than he'd ever heard it. "What did you do?"

"What could I do?" Robin almost laughed, sniffling. "All I could do was wait on what he had next." His arms fell helplessly to his side. "He made me do awful things, Star. I had to stab a dog, I had take blows to the face, he…" he would not say it, not to her. "He just ruined me, okay?"

The alien girl grabbed him, pulling him against her. "No," she wept, buring her face into his shoulder. "He did not ruin you."

"Please don't call me a murderer," he whispered, his arms still at his side. "I killed an animal, and had a human being killed because of me. Slade wasn't either of them."

"You should have told us," Starfire whimpered, still sobbing. "Why did you keep all of it to yourself? We could have helped you."

"How?" Robin pulled away from her. "How could you have helped me? The only way I was ever going to get rid of him in my head was to get rid of him in reality." He turned away from her. "I planned it. For a long time. After I moved back into the Tower, I was already waiting on him to show up again." He looked down at his shadow. "Just so I could kill him…"

A gust of strong wind flew by and Starfire tried to get control of her hair. She looked out into the sky, blanketing the city with its cloud-dotted blue. "I am sorry," she said quietly.

"I understand that you don't want to marry me," Robin muttered. "I wouldn't want to marry me either, I guess."

"I do wish to marry you," Starfire told him. "But, Robin, it is not the right time. We both still have wounds, yours greater than mine."

---

Robin turned eighteen and he and Starfire did not get married. In fact, they broke up shortly after he turned seventeen, and dated on and off afterward. It was funny how he thought Raven and Bruce had argued just to show how mature they were, but over time, Robin realized they had been right along. He fell in and out of love with Starfire, and vice versa. He would go through phases of being moody and scared, and there were times when nothing in the world could rattle him.

Time was a strange thing. Sometimes it seemed to go on without him, and sometimes he raced ahead of it. A criminal was brought into the hospital, poisoned by his own mistake, and Robin had been on his way out the door when a doctor ordered, "Detox!"

He ended up staying, watching the unconscious drug-addict, the machines hooked up to him. The doctor said, "It's a slow, painful process. Poison, especially those in drugs, are hard to clear from the system, and even after, things won't be the same again." He sighed. "The magic of Detox isn't the medical portion, it's the emotional one. The one only time can offer."

Robin nodded. His system wasn't filled with heroine like the other young man's, but the words still went deep within him. He was filled with his own poison-Slade. He had been addicted to catching him, and when Slade caught him instead, it had been long and agonizing, and frightening. His own Detox was still not fully complete, and he would still have problems, still have fears, still have bad memories. Time could heal things, though. He knew this now. Maybe things would never be rip-roaringly happy again, but they would be okay.

"Go home, Kid," the doctor said. "I know you're a super hero and all, but that's no reason not to get your rest."

"Yah," Robin nodded, turning to leave.

"How is he?" Starfire asked, meeting him outside, floating down from the sky.

"He'll be okay," Robin said. He took her hand. "It'll be okay."

Starfire looked at him, and she smiled slightly. "Yes, it will."

The End (for real this time)