This story was inspired from Brokenwingsx88's story Ash. It's really good, so check it out if you haven't already!
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans.
He'd taken away everything. What more reason was there for her to live?
Her friends...they didn't want her.
"God, Starfire, what have you done?"
"Please, friends, I did not do this! I had no intention of harming him any more than necessary!"
"Accident or not, it's the truth."
They didn't look at her. They only saw the corpse on the ground, burned beyond recognition.
Her dear little Robin...he'd thrown her away.
"I'm sorry, Starfire. I can't...we can't..."
"Robin, you must believe me. I would never commit such a terrible crime!"
"Star--" He paused. "Starfire. The facts are there. You can't deny what happened yesterday. It's for the good of the people--for your good, too, if you just...leave. Please, Starfire." In this one instant, Starfire lost her strongest belief in belonging. Oh, the irony...it was her own boyfriend--the boy that made her feel loved in the first place--that cut her off, for being so uncaring and emotionless when she needed him to reach out to her the most.
Her newfound people...they hated her.
"Read all about it! Teen Titans member Starfire kills Red X in cold blood!"
"Run her out of our city!"
"Turn her in! Turn her in!"
Starfire was forever marred in this world. They would never want her again, not after what she had done. What she didn't understand was--why?
"You do not get, Starfire, how much your team needs you. Without you, they fall apart. It's a pity they won't be around anymore, it was quite amusing to divert all your heroic plans. I don't know how long it will take me to find another group so persistent, but nevertheless, I was tiring of the five of you. It's about time I was allowed to have my run of the city without distractions," Slade told her frankly. How he'd gotten into her jail cell, she had no idea. But she didn't care, she only wanted answers.
"But I did not--I could not have done this. I would never take a life!" she protested weakly.
"Of course you wouldn't. I did. You were merely at the right place at the right time."
"You have done the setting up! You...you were the one to kill the Red X..." The images of his grotesque body appeared in her head again. It was not her. She never did that. Her star bolts never disfigured him to that extent.
"Correct." If his mask was off, Starfire was sure Slade would be smiling. "Truly, I was bored, watching the growing Titan victories. Conventional methods were not working well to get rid of you. I'd considered Red X for an apprentice for quite some time. He is entertaining--he didn't lack boldness. But now he serves a better purpose."
Starfire was shaking with disgust. "You will not get away with this."
Slade laughed, truly and terribly. He'd taken away everything...everything, and still, this girl would not surrender. "What illogical reason can you have for not giving up, my dear? No one here wants you--at least, not alive. This is no longer your home. What makes you think you can do anything to protect it? Or even to reclaim your superhero status?"
"Hope," she responded simply, holding his gaze. She knew he would not understand. Slade shook his head.
"Your hope has gotten you far, I must say. Ah...here are your guards. Good luck at your trial--I'm sure it will not last long."
He disappeared, melting into the shadows. What looked like a whole troop of guards showed up at her cell door, pointing at least three guns at her. "One wrong move, alien, and we won't hesitate to shoot."
She doubted they would do much harm to her anyway. "Do not worry. I will come quietly." She allowed them to escort her out of her cell. Surprisingly, they were gentler with her than she had seen them with most of the other prisoners. She could detect pity in almost every one of their eyes.
Suddenly, the wall next to them exploded.
A black streak tumbled in, righting itself to reveal Red X, alive and well. "Hey, C-cutie. Miss me?" She was so shocked, she didn't even realize the absence of the cockiness, or the raw anger she heard in his voice. "Eat this, citizens of Jump City!"
That cannot have been one of his more eloquent battle cries.
Starfire's thoughts scattered as he threw something--some type of explosive, no doubt--and vanished as soon as it detonated. Surprisingly, no one was hurt.
The guards were sent into a frenzy. "Code red! Code red! Lockdown, I repeat, complete lockdown! Security breach!" One screamed into his walkie-talkie. Starfire was all but forgotten, trying to figure out how Red X had come back from the dead.
One of the prison guards noticed her. "What do we do about Starfire?" At least that was a start. She was no longer "alien."
Enough people stopped moving for the situation to be assessed. "Bring her to the courtroom. Tell them Red X is back and--well, alive. Then get her home."
Starfire did not want to be here, having to actually ring the doorbell of the Tower because her own identity was no longer enough to grant her entrance. She remembered the looks on the faces of her "friends" at the scene of the crime, how disbelieving they'd been, no matter what she'd said. There was nothing they could do to make her feel welcome here anymore. But she had to come back for Silkie, at least.
The doors swung open, revealing three solemn Titans inside. Starfire held her ground, staring at Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy, none of whom shrunk from her gaze. Did they have no humiliation? Didn't they know how much they'd hurt her? Even as forgiving as she was, Starfire would not be able to consider them her friends. At least Robin had the sense not to try. She had been considered a waste of his time anyways, hadn't she? How often had he told her that? Well, no more.
Contrary to her beliefs, the Boy Wonder did in fact show up. He stepped out of the hallway, and Starfire gasped.
Gone was his Robin costume. In its place was a black-and-red Red X suit.
"Starfire--" Beast Boy started. She stared at him, confused and scared. The team was already falling apart, and she'd been off of it for only a couple of days! Robin had already reverted to his old Red X identity...
"Star, we knew. We knew you didn't kill the real Red X. Not at first, but after the autopsy. Problem was, no one else got convinced," Cyborg insisted.
"But we convinced them in the end," Raven pointed out.
Hope surged through her veins, nearly making her dizzy with relief. "You began to believe me?" Her throat was dryer than the desert. Perhaps all her saliva was needed to produce as many tears as this event required.
Robin dared to approach her. "We never stopped."
For once, it was Starfire on the receiving end of a four-fold, back-breaking hug.
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