Epilogue: Betrayal Leads To Departure

She stood exuberantly at the door to his room, contemplating how she was going to present her question to him—to Robin.

She had a fairly normal question to ask, and an ordinary feeling about what she'd encounter when she'd present it to him. It was like most she'd presented to him in the past; nothing that stood outside the realm of ordinary or anything outside the mundane.

Starfire was so used to going to visit him, she didn't even bother knocking, as she never really had needed to in the past. That would be an error on her part. She'd later wish she had used discretion and had just knocked. Maybe she wouldn't have ended up feeling as hurt in the process.

She never would have suspected what she ended up discovering as a result of her intrusion, nor realize how much she'd regret her decision to even intrude in the first place.

Robin was in the room, as she full suspected he would be. He wasn't alone—and he was also occupied with that somebody else.

What she didn't even conceive of suspecting was that that somebody was Raven, and how he just happened to be occupied with Raven.

Her expression from just the instant before the door opened to just after shifted immediately from the expression of happy exuberance to pure mortification.

"ROBIN!!" She gasped. Her big emerald eyes were widened in sheer horror. "How could you??"

"Oh no—" Robin had just acknowledged Starfire's presence—too late. "Star…"

Raven looked up to see Starfire after she heard her dreadful exclamation in the doorway.

"Oh no," she murmured.

Starfire had rushed away from the scene, obviously heartbroken by the tears evidently seen streaming down her face before she ran off and the sobbing that could be heard all the way down the hall as she fled the scene.

Robin would have gone after her, but the situation of the two meeting up again just shortly after her tearful departure would have been awkward at best. He wasn't prepared just yet to deal with her fury face to face, plus he wasn't in a decent position to rush right after her at that moment anyways.

XOXOXOXOXOX

"Star—what happened?" Cyborg found her distraught and sobbing in her bedroom, her door wide open and her room easily accessible without its barriers. She had a suitcase opened on the top of her bed, with several garments and personal items strewn across the bed's surface.

"Something horrible," Starfire sobbed, acknowledging him by looking up to where he stood. "I cannot even begin to register what I witnessed."

"Is there a reason why you're packing a bag up? Are you planning on a vacation or something?" he asked her. "Is the reason you're doing this because of the horrible thing you just happened to witness?"

"There is a reason—and the reason is as you stated," she replied, closing up the suitcase before her. "You would understand if you had witnessed the same from my perspective."

"Can you give me a hint as to what's so horrible that it's got you packing?" he asked her. "I'm your friend, and I think that I deserve an explanation at least—plus I could help if I knew exactly what's going on."

"Nothing could help," she replied solemnly. "But I do believe I need to discuss this with someone." Tears were streaming down her face etched in misery. She collapsed into the open embrace he offered, sobbing excessively.

XoXoXoXoXoX

"You—what??" Cyborg exclaimed. "Are you sure that's what you saw??" Starfire looked at him, nodding solemnly

"Never more sure about anything in my life," she replied somberly. "He and Raven…I never would have suspected they were secretly betraying me with each other in this form. I do not even understand their actions—nor do I care to." She began to sob.

"Star—" Cyborg saw how deeply hurt she was about what she'd experienced, and he was deeply disappointed by the actions of his other two teammates. He knew he'd have to discuss this with them, and Beast Boy would probably need to be informed about it before he ended up finding out about it the wrong way. "Do you want me to talk to those two for ya—get this worked out?"

"No—I cannot even face either right now," Starfire replied. "I cannot stay here while I feel the hurt they have left me with. I apologize for this, but—I must leave."

"At least let me help you find a place to stay for the time being," Cyborg offered. "And at least explain to BB what happened before ya go. You don't need to leave him hanging high and dry—and without an explanation to boot."

"Thank you Cyborg," Starfire replied, offering a small somber smile. "I will inform Beast Boy before I depart, and humbly accept your offer of help with lodging."

"I'll make a few calls, get things worked out for ya," Cyborg assured her. "Even if you don't want to do it yourself, I'll be having a talk with that boy—and I'm going to find out exactly what is going on in that mind of his."

"Again—thank you for all of this," Starfire told him. "Thank you for understanding why I need to do this."

"You're welcome Star," he replied with a grin.

She hugged him.

XoXoXoXoXoXoX

Beast Boy had been just as disappointed by the news as Cyborg, and just as understanding about Starfire's need to leave.

She didn't waste any time; Starfire was gone the next day. Speedy had invited her to Steel City, and she was happily obliged to accept his offer. When the other two found out she was actually leaving they were dumbfounded.

"The only way to escape my pain is to go," she had stated flatly as her explanation to them.

After she left, she kept in touch with Cyborg and Beast Boy, but the other two never heard another word from her again. Robin felt guilty about his actions at first, but he couldn't say to himself he ever regretted what he'd done. He didn't love her anymore, and it didn't merit enough for him to feel regret.

Raven, on the other hand—felt horrible. She tried several times to make amends—attempts made in vain. Starfire was too angry to even talk to her.

The worst part about it was—it wasn't even Raven's fault really. But from everyone else's perspective— it sure looked like it was.